Most of the biography A Woman of No Importance takes place in France. In French, the word divan refers to a meeting place or great hall. The original Chicken Divan was served in the Divan Parisien Restaurant in the Chatham Hotel in New York City. My mother used to make a quick version with mayonnaise and a can of cream of chicken soup. It was good, but I much prefer to make my own mornay sauce with sherry and parmesan cheese. This chicken divan is divine!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dry or cream sherry
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
2 (10-oz.) packages frozen broccoli florets (or steamed fresh)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 cups water
1 cup Jasmine rice (or long-grain white rice)
1 teaspoon of salt
Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly grease an 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour. Gradually add milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat.
Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot mixture into egg yolks; add yolk mixture to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry and next 3 ingredients. Fold in whipped cream.
Microwave broccoli according to package directions; drain. Arrange in prepared baking dish. Cover with chopped chicken. Pour sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.
Step 5 Bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and browned.
While casserole is baking, combine rice, water, and salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Divide rice evenly among plates and top with Chicken Divan.
Serves 6 to 8.