Chicken Divan is a classic, chicken casserole where broccoli, chicken, and mushrooms are baked in a creamy sauce with sherry, Worcestershire sauce, and a touch of nutmeg. This is an old school, old fashioned family recipe that freezes well, reheats well, and is very easy to make.
Sometimes life calls for a throwback recipe. Something circa 1970s, complete with condensed cream soup. My Tuna Noodle Casserole is an example, and my family loves tuna noodle casserole. Chicken Divan is another.
About the ingredients
- Cooked chicken. Either boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts can be used, but be sure that they are cooked juicy tender. If your chicken is tough, this casserole can’t save it.
- A head of broccoli.
- Sliced mushrooms. White button or cremini (baby bellas) mushrooms both work in Chicken Divan.
- Unsalted butter.
- Panko breadcrumbs. Fresh breadcrumbs also work very well for this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese. The fresh stuff.
Divan sauce ingredients
- Unsalted butter.
- All-purpose flour.
- Mayonnaise. Sounds weird, but mayonnaise in the Divan sauce is the classic way to make it.
- Worcestershire sauce.
- Sherry. I use cooking sherry that you can find at the grocery store. I don’t cook with sherry often enough, so I want the long shelf-life of cooking sherry.
- Heavy cream.
- Condensed cream of celery soup. We use this straight from the can without diluting.
How to make Chicken Divan
First we blanche the broccoli. This isn’t required, but it is a quick step and makes a huge difference in the pretty green color of the broccoli.
Next we brown our mushrooms in butter. I’m a stickler for proper browned mushrooms, so if you would like to learn how to do them correctly, see my post How to Brown Mushrooms.
Next we make the Divan sauce. This starts with the mother of all sauces: béchamel. Béchamel sauce is made by adding milk to a roux made of flour and butter. Once that gets thickened, we add the rest of the sauce ingredients.
Lastly, we layer the broccoli, mushrooms, and chicken in a casserole or 13×9 bake dish and top with the sauce. Top with breadcrumbs and parmesan, then bake.
Assemble this recipe in 4 disposable aluminum pans, cover tightly, and freeze up to 2 months. To cook, remove pan from the freezer and allow to thaw (this can be done for several hours on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. Bake as per the recipe directions.
Need a recipe for when someone is in need of hugs and a casserole? Check out my Chicken and Zucchini Casserole.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 2 large chicken breasts cooked and cubed
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets
- 8 oz mushrooms sliced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- fresh bread crumbs
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Blanche the broccoli: add to boiling water for 1 minute, then move to an ice water bath to cool quickly. Drain and set aside.
- In a frying pan over high heat, brown the mushrooms in the 2 Tbsp butter until browned. Set aside..
- In a saucepan, make a white sauce: Melt the butter, add the flour, and cook the flour 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the soup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and nutmeg. Mix well. Add sherry and cream.
- Place broccoli in a 13×9 baking dish, top with the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with the sauce. Dust the top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.