When I was little my favorite meal was Turkey Divan.
My mom made it by layering thick cuts of turkey
with a heavy white cream sauce, broccoli and provolone cheese.
A few more layers like that and it ended up
like a delicious creamy meat and cheese lasagna.
The thought of it still makes me hungry
but I decided to try out a healthier version
of it and so here we have
Chicken Divan casserole.
It’s not exactly the same but it was yummy and
my kids ate it up with no issue.
For this recipe I used added rice straight into the slow cooker
but I think the next time I make it I may leave
the rice separate and simply serve the
chicken mixture on top.
Here is what you need:
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
3 TBS whole wheat flour
1 Cup organic chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
1 TBS brown mustard or 1 tsp dry mustard
1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan
2 Cups instant brown rice* (if adding to the slow cooker) or
2 Cups regular brown rice if cooking separate
4 Cups chopped broccoli
*I don’t usually encourage the use of instant rice however
I read that when adding rice into a slow cooker recipe the
instant rice maintains it’s flavor and texture better than either
uncooked regular rice or pre-cooked rice which tends to get mushy.
This is why I made the recipe this way, and I agree it worked better than
other recipes I have tried to make with rice mixed in however my family
prefers the taste and texture of regular long grain brown rice and this is why
next time I say I would probably leave the rice out of the recipe and simply serve the
rest of the mixture on top of a bit of regular brown rice cooked separately.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, garlic and thyme.
cook about 8-10 minutes until soft
and then add in the flour and coat everything evenly.
Once the onions are well coated slowly add in the chicken broth, using it to
de-glaze the pan and get all the browned bits up and mixed in (yum!)
(see how the bottom of the pan looks clean now as you stir- that’s what you want.)
Doesn’t this look yummy?!? It is I promise
Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker and add the milk and mustard
Place the chicken in the liquid, coating both sides and then turn the cooker on low for 4-6 hours.
Once the chicken is cooked through use a spoon or fork and shred it
then stir in the rice*, cheddar and Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste
let cook about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
During the last half hour chop the broccoli florets into small even sized pieces and
steam or microwave it to heat through.
Add the broccoli to the chicken mixture and cook for another 5 minutes or so, serve and enjoy.
So this is definitely not My Mama’s recipe….
but it is easy, yummy and a healthier version of it.
Remember, you don’t have to eliminate everything you love to eat when you
are trying to get healthier, just play with your recipes.
I replaced heavy cream sauce with the broth and skim milk and mustard
and made a huge difference in calorie and fat levels and by adding
in the rice instead of serving it with thick mashed potatoes I
cut that down even more.
Now if you are just starting out attempting a clean eating diet you
may wonder about the cheese. Some people do not include
cheese regularly as part of a clean eating plan however my family loves cheese
so instead of cutting it out we opt to use real cheese with no added ingredients.
Buy Block cheese and shred or slice it for any of your needs.
All the loving goodness of cheese without any of the crazy added ingredients in the bagged stuff!
~eat well, be well