Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chicken Divan

This is another recipe that freezes really well. I made three 9x9s of these in my recent freezer meal frenzy using two whole roasted chickens. This recipe is geared towards a 9x13 serving.

Half of a Roasted Chicken
1 large head broccoli
1 1/2 cups brown basamati rice
3 cups water or broth
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
2-4 TB butter
Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

De-bone the chicken and chop it into cubes or shred it. You probably only need about half of a full chicken for this and this part can be done ahead of time (recommended). Cook the rice in the 3 cups water by bringing the rice and water to a boil and then turning down to simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. Meanwhile, chop broccoli into flowerettes. If using stems, peel and dice them. Steam broccoli about 5 minutes or until barely cooked.

Next, make the cheese sauce. I don't use a recipe for this so my amounts are estimates. Just use your favorite bechamel recipe and add sharp Cheddar to taste.You can also use the blender method I posted here. My usual method is just to melt the butter on med-high, add milk and then flour, whisking well, and whisk until the mixture boils. Remove from heat, then add lots of cheese, some salt and maybe some pepper - usually white pepper. Stir until cheese it melted.

Combine rice and broccoli first. Then add as much chicken as you want to use. Finally pour in the cheese sauce slowly, mixing as you go. You don't want to end up with rice soup and leftover cheese sauce is never a bad thing. Pour mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 350' for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is hot.

Note: Two chicken breasts also work in place of the roasted half-chicken. Just sprinkle with seasoning salt and bake at 350' until cooked thru. Since we eat pasture-raised chickens, I only buy whole chickens so I've adjusted the recipe based on what I use.

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