Weird Wednedays: Chicken Divan – It’s Divine!

I’ve been spending a lot of time over at Kitchen Stewardship lately – it’s been great to get new inspiration and instruction in cooking the nourishing way. Katie’s posts are fun to read, full of info, she posts a LOT, and none of it is fluff. One of the things I got inspired  by was her Reverse Engineering – basically taking a favorite recipe that calls for processed, store bought ingredients, and making the whole thing from scratch. Now, I already do this a lot – but it’s cool to call it “Reverse Engineering”, and the great thing is, Katie has already done a lot of the work for you. She gives you her standby cream-of-whatever soup recipe, and substitutes for lots of common ingredients. Her mayonnaise recipe is AWESOME – I made it this week to use in my casseroles and it was amazing. Just like the real thing (without all that hydrogenated soybean oil and other toxic ingredients! – more on that in another post!) You can see an example of how she breaks down a recipe in this post, which contains some of her favorite make-ahead-and-freeze casseroles.

Which brings me to our subject of the week here on Weird Wednesdays (which I have been thinking of renaming “Wholesome Wednesdays” – what do you think? Not quite as catchy, but a bit more of a positive connotation?), and that is Freezer Meals.

So, I already told you about how I try to make double the dinner sometimes and freeze half as one of my methods to relieve Kitchen Combat Fatigue. I have often toyed with the idea of cooking for a whole day and putting a bunch of meals in the freezer (also known as Once-A-Month-Cooking). But the idea has overwhelmed me at times, mostly ’cause a lot of the recipe ideas for OAMC are full of processed ingredients, too much pasta or flour, and not something I would feed my family. Well, inspired by my friend Naomi’s OAMC marathon earlier in the week, and the new yummy recipes I’m finding on all of these Real Food blogs, I have decided I should give it a try. Then I went shopping yesterday (I was feeling well enough for the first time in weeks) and I found 10 Lbs. of chicken on sale (at Sauders, for you locals), and bought a 50 Lb. bag of potatoes, and, well, I guess I’m doing this thing.But not alone! Oh, no – everything I’ve read and heard says, you should not do this alone, so I’ve rope my sis-in-law to help me out tomorrow, and we’ll see how it goes.

Now, I’m not gonna blab on and on about my plan and recipes until I’ve actually done it – but I am going to post a casserole recipe that is a long-time family favorite, one which I’ll hopefully be making tomorrow. If you have ever done OAMC, or have a favorite, nutritious casserole recipe, I would love to hear your tips! And I promise to share a complete report next week!

Chicken Divan

2 cans cream chicken soup (I use 2 cups homemade)
2 Tbsp lemon
1 c. mayonnaise (homemade!โ˜บ)
1 Tbsp. curry powder
4 c. cooked rice
2-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 crowns steamed broccoli
1 c. grated cheese
Bread crumbs, optional
Mix soup, lemon juice, mayo, and curry powder. Spread rice in 9×13 casserole dish. Stir in about a cup of the sauce and mix well into the rice. Next, layer the chicken, then the broccoli. Spread remaining sauce over top, sprinkle with cheese and then optional bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 min., or until heated through and cheese is bubbly. 

This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday over at the Nourishing Gourmet.

7 responses to “Weird Wednedays: Chicken Divan – It’s Divine!”

  1. […] Chicken Divan (see post for homemade recipe links), side salad […]

  2. […] recommend the gathering of all your favorites in a handy one place. Yesterday I made a favorite, Chicken Divan Casserole, along with the mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup that recipe calls for — all from my […]

  3. Wildcat Avatar

    I just made some 'cream of whatever' soup tonight and used some of it in a pork & rice casserole. YUM! Honey (my husband) actually had seconds – a first for a made from scratch meal I prepared. First time in 11 1/2 years. Thank you so much.

    I also have 8 meatloaves cooking to freeze and eat later. (I'm trying the OAMC on a different level. Last night was pasta sauce, tonight is meatloaf, and tomorrow night will be a chicken casserole.)

    Thank you again. May we never have to eat boxed meals again!

  4. Wildcat Avatar

    I made a batch of the 'cream of whatever' soup tonight and used some of it in a rice & pork casserole ~ YUM!! My husband had seconds!! This is the first time in 11 1/2 years that he has had seconds of something I made from scratch. Thank you so much.

    I also have 8 meatloaves cooking to freeze. I'm trying the OAMC thing with some varaition ~ last night was pasta sauce, tonight is meatloaf, and tomorrow night will be a chicken casserole (Divian, perhaps??). I'm so excited!! It's geeky, I know, but I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you again . . . may we never, ever have to eat boxed food again.

  5. Kateri Avatar

    Thanks for the link to Kitchen Stewardship. Just spent several hours reading thought Katie's blog and several of the others. This opens a whole new world of blogs! So fascinating and so many yummy recipes to try!
    I've never done OAMC, so no help here. I'm interested in hearing how it goes though.

  6. rahraht Avatar

    Yummy…this is what we lovingly call “Grandma Food”. Something we haven't made in a while because of the canned soup. I'll have to check out the “reverse enguineering” ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Naomi Joy Avatar

    Hey Trina! Oh, it's TOTALLY worth it! We were so wiped at the end of that day, but I am already noticing how much free time and energy and mental energy I am going to have for the rest of the month!

    A couple things we figured out that might be helpful. . .

    Ahead of time, I labelled all the bags or freezer containers to save time and that was really helpful. I soaked and cooked the beans in the days leading up to it so they were ready. I cooked the rice in the oven so it didn't have to get watched on the stove. And I peeled and diced and par-boiled the potatoes a few days before and froze them, so I could transfer them into whatever other recipe they needed to go into, without having all that peeling time and mess on the day. I also got out all the cans and flours and stuff so we weren't digging around in the cupboards. Then we put them away as we used them so there wasn't a huge mess at the end. Mom washed dishes all throughout so those didn't pile up.

    I noticed that it was really easy to have things sitting out too long, like the cheese and milk that we kept going back to. Same with the meat – we couldn't fit it all in the skillet, so we had to do it in a couple of batches and then we'd realize – oh dear, that has been sitting there too long. The cheese kept coming out of the fridge and going back in but then I realized if we left it out 30 minutes 5 times that was 2 1/2 hours it was out of the fridge! So that was hard.

    Most of my things went in freezer bags and we pressed them out flat and froze them, so now I was able to stand them up all in a row in the freezer. . . cept I'm too short to really reach them where they are, so I think I will alphabetize them or put them in the order that they will be used for easier husband-access!

    Most of the recipes I did were new ones that I had gotten off blogs, so I won't share any til I know if they are good or not!

    Have a great time! Don't wear yourself out!

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