In spite of the fact that I rarely ate them growing up, I absolutely love casseroles. But it takes a bit of work to find tasty casserole dishes that are actually nutritious; cream soups and piles of cheese seem to be the main ingredient in most casserole recipes. So when I found this delicious, healthy casserole recipe, I fell in love.
In this dish, shredded chicken and broccoli are cooked in a light, tangy sauce and topped with a thin layer of breadcrumbs. I serve this over fluffy wild rice or brown rice, and everyone, including my toddler, asks for seconds! You’ll find plenty of sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish after cooking, which is perfect for pouring over the rice.
This is a great way to use up leftover chicken, and you can easily trade the broccoli for spinach, asparagus or the vegetable of your choice. I highly recommend using homemade chicken stock in this recipe because the sauce relies so heavily on it for flavor. If you have to use the canned version, get the best quality stock available.
Healthy Chicken Divan
Adapted from The Comfort Table, by Katie Lee Joel
2 cups cooked wild rice or brown rice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and add the chopped broccoli, cooking for about 4 minutes. Drain the broccoli and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, and add in the onion and garlic, sauteeing for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the chicken broth and add the salt and pepper, increasing the heat to high. When the mixture boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the lemon juice to the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
Spread the broccoli in the bottom of a casserole dish, add the shredded chicken and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
Bake the dish uncovered for about 20 minutes, then place under the broiler for 1 minute or until the breadcrumbs have browned.
Let sit for a few minutes, then serve over the hot cooked rice.