Chicken Divan

This is a great recipe from back in the days of working at Gutherie’s Digs in the mid to late 70s. We served thousands of these things during lunch. I mean it, we made a couple dozen of these things everyday and we would serve them all.

The Chicken Divans are great for dinner parties. You can make these a day or two before the party then just pop them in the oven and WOW your guests.

Prep Time: 1 hr 15 min or so

Cook Time: 20 min approximately


5 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts 4 to 6 oz each

5 Broccoli Spears

2 10 oz Cans of “Cream of Something Soup” (Your Call)

5 Slices of Havarti or Provolone Cheese

6 cups Prepared Instant Mashed Potatoes

Season Salt (be careful the “Cream of Something Soup” is usually salty)

Season Pepper

Granulated Garlic

2 Tbls Oil

2 Tbls Butter


5 Oven safe Bowls

1 Large Piping Bag (go buy one, trust me)

1 Large Skillet

2 Sheet Pans

1 Med Pan

1 Colander

OK let’s get started.

Pre heat you oven to 350º.

You will need to pre-cook the chicken and the broccoli. I usually brown the chicken in a large skillet and finish them in the oven. Heat the oil and butter, when the pan is hot put in the chicken breasts and brown both sides. Transfer the chicken to a sheet pan and finish in the oven. Cook the chicken to about 160º internally.

While the chicken is cooking clean and cut the broccoli in to 5 relatively equal pieces. Making sure they will fit in the bowls you are using.

A word on bowls, be sure they are oven proof. Corning Ware is probably the best thing to use, but is also the most expensive, I paid $5.00 a piece for my new square bowls and I was lucky to find them so cheap. They usually run $8 to $10 a piece. But once you have them they should last forever, unless you drop them. I had a nice set of 4 round bowls now I’m down to 1.

OK back to the broccoli you will want to cook the broccoli, I usually just cook it in some water. You can also steam it. What ever way you like is fine. When the broccoli is done to your liking, pour it into the colander and cool it under some cold running water. Drain well and set aside.

The chicken should be done by now. Check to makes sure it has an internal temp of 160º and remove from the oven and let cool.

Now for the sauce, I use Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic soup. You can use any cream soup you like, thus the “Cream of Something Soup” above. Well maybe not Cream of Shrimp. I use only half of the milk called for in the directions on the can and the 1/4 cup of white wine. I also poured in the juices left over form cooking the chicken. It makes for a heartier sauce. Heat up the sauce just enough to mix it well.

In the restaurant they just ladled out of the can.

Now let’s build the Chicken Divans, get out your bowls and and arrange the chicken and broccoli in each one.

Once you have the chicken and broccoli in the bowl add the “Cream of Something” sauce.

I did not put enough  saquce in mine, so what you see here is not enough sauce, about another 3 oz ladle should do. Then top with a slice of Havarti or Provolone cheese.

If you are going to serve them the next day or later the same night cover them and put them in the fridge.

If you are going to serve them right away continue with the next step.

If your finishing them at a later time, continue with the next step about 1 to 1 ½ hours before you intend to serve them. Take them out of the fridge to allow them to just reach room temperature. Or you could take the chill off them by placing them in a microwave for 1 minute each. Be sure to preheat the oven to 425º.

This Is The Next Step (for clarity)

Arrange your bowls on the sheet pans. Make sure you clean the one you used for the chicken. The bowls should not touch. Prepare the instant mashed potatoes per the directions on the box. I like to put a little extra butter in the mix to ensure browning. We will then be piping them around the bowls.

Pipe the potatoes around the edge of the bowls using a star tip. Make the ring of potatoes about an inch to 1 ½ inches wide. You may need to go around twice, or use a slight zigzag pattern. Or you could be lucky enough to have a large piping bag with a large star tip.

I had a bit of a problem with the piping bag. I couldn’t find all the parts to the one I had and the potatoes were too thick to us a plastic storage bag. So I ended up running to the local mega-mart to purchase a new piping bag. In doing so I forgot to take a picture of the Chicken Divan being piped. Oh well, you can see what it should look like by the finished picture above or below.

Place the Chicken Divans in 450º oven until the potato mixture gets a nice brown color on the edges of the potatoes and the sauce is nice and bubbly. Mine toke about 30 min because I just could not stop checking it.

The potatoes didn’t brown quite well enough in the oven so I used the blow torch method to brown it a little more. Just be careful, it can go from brown to black in an instant. If you have a convection oven it should brown a lot better. 

Let stand 10 minutes and serve with a nice white Zinfandel or another white wine of your choice.



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