I got this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks that I received at a wedding shower—over 5 years ago! Even though I now live in California and grew up in Chicago, I still reminice fondly of our time in Nashville and feel very connected to some of the Southern heritage and cooking! This is a spin on the classic Southern dish, Chicken Divan. This dish comes together very quick and can be made a day in advance. I saw a Paula Deen show once where she said that chicken divan should be in every wife’s repertoire. I’d never even had it before, so I figure I better get on it!
4 cups fresh broccoli florets, or 2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (I usually use 2 buck Chuck chardonnay)
1 jar (16 oz.) Alfredo sauce
2 cups (4 oz.) grated smoked Gouda or Edam cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 cups cooked penne, macaroni or orecchiette (about 3 cups dried)
2 cups shredded roast chicken, home cooked or purchased
1/4 cup dry Italian-style bread crumbs
Paprika for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
If using fresh broccoli, cook the florets in a steamer until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and drain thoroughly. If using thawed frozen broccoli, squeeze out the excess liquid. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, kosher salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the milk, and nutmeg. Then stir in the cooked pasta, broccoli, and chicken and mix thoroughly.
Transfer to an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish. Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Tip: This casserole can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated. It can also be assembled and then frozen. If the casserole was frozen, thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
Source: Bride & Groom First and Forever
One thing I love about this cookbook is that it has a lot of recipes with only 2-4 servings, so it’s perfect for a married couple or an intimate dinner party.