Southern Living
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
35 Mins
Yield
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

You may be shocked that Chicken Divan doesn’t have roots down South. This signature 1950s classic from New York’s Divan Parisienne Restaurant in Hotel Chatham in New York City. The restaurant and the hotel didn’t make it in the long run, but Chicken Divan found its way into recipe boxes across the country. The recipe became so popular that Campbell Soup Company published a recipe for Chicken Divan on that back of a soup can.

Because of its fame, chefs, cookbooks, and Mama herself have offered twists on classic Chicken Divan over the years. There are dressy recipes made with Mornay sauce, a Gruyère cheese-based white sauce, as well as dump-it-and-forget it recipes made with a mayonnaise-and soup-based sauce. Our version of Chicken Divan falls somewhere in the middle—the perfect blend of easy and company-worthy. Like many modern Chicken Divan recipes, ours uses Parmesan cheese in the sauce (and extra on top!), but you can sub cheddar if you’d like. Our recipe is made ultra-rich by folding in whipped cream to the sauce. Don’t be tempted to leave it out! With only about 30 minutes from start to finish, you can feel fancy on a weeknight or serve this classic chicken casserole recipe to a party crowd any time. This 1950s dinner party favorite still holds up today. Trust us.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly grease an 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Step 2

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour. Gradually add milk, and cook, whisking
constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat.

Step 3

Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot mixture into egg yolks; add yolk mixture to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry and next 3 ingredients. Fold in whipped cream.

Step 4

Microwave broccoli according to package directions; drain. Arrange in prepared baking dish. Cover with chopped chicken. Pour sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.

Step 5

Bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Chef's Notes

Use steamed fresh or frozen cooked broccoli florets if you’d like in place of the broccoli spears, and substitute Cheddar for the Parmesan.