You make a gluten free casserole fancy by making this chicken divan, a chicken casserole usually served with broccoli, almonds, and Mornay sauce (a béchamel sauce (basic white sauce) with cheese added). Chicken Divan was invented at and named after the old Divan Parisienne Restaurant in the New York Chatham Hotel, which is no longer in existence.
Fresh out of slivered almonds, I skipped the almonds. You can add gluten free bread crumbs sauteed in butter on top, but taking the lazy way out, I chose to reserve some of the parmesan cheese to add on top (instead of using it for layering), and then topped it off with some gluten free bread crumbs sprayed with olive oil, for a contrasting texture. If you enjoy broccoli, this is one tasty dish. I created a lighter version. Instead of using cream and tons of butter, which tends be a bit overpowering in richness, I used a small amount of butter and whole milk. Still very creamy and yummy! A definite to add to your gluten free recipes for guests, as it may be made ahead of time and then backed prior to serving.
Gluten Free Casserole – Chicken Divan Style
An easy dish for guests or family, with little clean up if made in advance, allowing you to spend time with your guests.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb.)
- 1 package frozen or 1 fresh head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Namaste.)
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 2/3 cup cheese: gruyere, emmentaler, jarlsberg, fontina, swiss or jack, shredded or grated
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay,Chablis, or a not so sweet Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Chenin Blanc)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (optional)
- Spray oil or butter (optional)
- Add chicken breasts to a large pan; add water to cover; bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F. Remove chicken from pan, and place on cutting board. Reserve the broth for cooking the broccoli. Cut chicken into 3/4" cubes. You may also use left over chicken, whether breaded or not, but you'll then need some chicken broth for boiling the broccoli. Or use water, but your broccoli will have less flavor.
- Skim off any floating chicken residue from the chicken broth and bring it back to a boil. Add broccoli; and cook for about 2-3 minutes whether fresh or frozen. If needed, add additional chicken broth or water. Strain broccoli and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat the milk in a small sauce. Do not allow to boil, just scald.
- In another small sauce pan, melt butter on medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth, about one minute. Reduce heat to low. Pour in scalded milk, slowly, while whisking, and cook until thickened, approximately 2 minutes.
- Mix in about 2/3 of the Parmesan and all of the shredded cheese and stir until creamy. Add wine, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Oil or butter the bottom and sides of an 9 x 9-inch casserole dish. Layer half of the broccoli and chicken and add half of the sauce, and then repeat these steps. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan on top of casserole and bake until bubbly, approximately 35 minutes. If you desire a crispy golden brown crust, place under broiler for 1-2 minutes. Serve with white or brown rice, or gluten free pasta.
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