Chicken Divan Make-Over.I mentioned in an August 2012 post of our love for chicken divan, in fact, this is now my fourth recipe on the subject, each with a difference twist. But unlike the other three which are all casseroles and all truer to the original recipe from the by-gone Divan Parisien Restaurant in New York, this one is in my opinion, taking it to another level in that the broccoli and cheese is stuffed into the chicken breast and a creamy sauce embellishes its top. Doesn't that sound divan, I mean divine? Sorry, I couldn't resist.
This recipe's innovation comes from the Television Food Network; I cannot take the credit with the idea of stuffing a chicken breast, in fact, I am sure it goes back much further than the Scripps channel operation. What I liked about the FN recipe is the presentation; a much more elegant entree. The appearance is pleasing to look at rather than a mass of the better known casserole. What I did not like about their recipe is that the broccoli became lifeless, almost overcooked with out any texture which is fine if serving on cruise ships for senior citizens. And their sauce, although much healthier than mine, just did not have a walloping appeal needed to meld with the elegant prepared chicken. It just lacked the extra depth that only heavy whipping cream brings to a sauce and needed too were a few more elements of flavors.
This is my adaption of the recipe with changes in cooking technique and texture of stuffing along with a change up in flavor and depth in the sauce. Enjoy!
Stuffed Chicken Divan with a Sherry Dijon Sauce4 servings
2 cups (4 ounces) fresh broccoli florets, cut in half
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated white cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mild shallot, thinly sliced and then diced
4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 tablespoons extra light olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Divan Sauce:1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon creamy Dijon with wine mustard
Preheat the broiler. Mist a shallow rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the broccoli and submerge florets under the water for a couple of minutes until bright green and crisp tender. Drain well in colander and run under cold water until cold. Drain well again and lay on paper towels pressing out excessive water with more paper towels.
Coarse cut the broccoli and toss into a bowl with the cheese, garlic and shallot. Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of each chicken breast to make a 3-inch deep pocket. Stuff each chicken breast with equal amounts of the broccoli mixture. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and thyme together and rub both sides of the chicken breasts with the oil mixture. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Add remaining olive oil and put the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. If the chicken begins to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium to finish cooking through. Transfer to the baking dish.
Meanwhile, combine the cream and stock in a small pot, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the sherry and cornstarch together until smooth and pour, whisking constantly, into the sauce. Cook until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Top each chicken breast with 2 tablespoons of sauce.
Place chicken in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then cut each breast in half on an angle. (I did not when I took these photos.) Transfer chicken to plates (whole chicken breast for each serving). Whisk the mustard into the remaining sauce and spread a heaping tablespoon onto each chicken piece.
+Drick Perry +Drick's Rambling Cafe