Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan Recipe: A Classic Gourmet Comfort Food
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In this article, we will explore the delectable Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan recipe. Chicken Divan is a classic and creamy comfort food that has stood the test of time. Created by the renowned chef Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, this recipe combines tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and a rich cheese sauce, resulting in a dish that is both satisfying and indulgent. Join us on this culinary journey as we delve into the ingredients, instructions, and wonderful flavors of this gourmet delight.
The History of Chicken Divan
Chicken Divan was first introduced in the early 20th century at the Divan Parisien Restaurant in New York City. It gained popularity as a signature dish and soon became a classic American casserole. Ina Garten, the renowned chef and television host of “Barefoot Contessa,” later adapted the recipe and added her own touch of elegance, resulting in the now-famous Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan.
2. Ingredients for Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan
- Chicken breast: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Broccoli: 1 head of fresh broccoli, cut into florets
- Cheese: 1 ½ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Sauce: 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
- Baking dish: 9×13-inch baking dish
- Casserole: 2-quart casserole dish
3. Instructions to Prepare Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the chicken breasts in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes until they are fully cooked. Once done, remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside to cool.
- In the meantime, steam the broccoli florets until they are crisp-tender. Drain the broccoli and set it aside.
- Once the chicken has cooled, shred it into bite-sized pieces using a fork or your fingers.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the condensed cream of mushroom soup with ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- In the baking dish, layer half of the cooked broccoli at the bottom, followed by the shredded chicken, and then the remaining broccoli.
- Pour the creamy mushroom sauce evenly over the layers in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese over the top.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Once baked, let the Chicken Divan rest for a few minutes before serving.
4. Enhancing the Dish: Broccoli, Chicken Breast, and Cheese
The combination of fresh broccoli, tender chicken breast, and melted cheese makes the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan truly exceptional. Broccoli adds a vibrant green color and provides essential nutrients, while chicken breast offers lean protein. The melted cheddar cheese adds a rich and savory element, complementing the other ingredients perfectly.
5. The Secret to the Creamy Sauce
The creamy sauce in the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan recipe is made with condensed cream of mushroom soup. This soup adds depth of flavor and a velvety texture to the dish. The mushroom flavor pairs well with the chicken and broccoli, creating a delightful harmony of tastes.
6. Baking and Serving the Chicken Divan
Baking the Chicken Divan allows all the flavors to meld together and the cheese to become beautifully golden and bubbly. Once baked, the dish is ready to be served. Slice it into portions and serve it on plates or in bowls. The Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan is an excellent main course for a family dinner or a gathering with friends.
7. Chicken Divan as a Comfort Food
Chicken Divan is the epitome of comfort food. Its creamy texture and savory flavors make it a dish that brings warmth and satisfaction to every bite. Whether enjoyed on a cozy evening at home or served on a special occasion, the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan is guaranteed to bring comfort and joy to all who taste it.
8. Chicken Divan: A Classic Dish with a Gourmet Touch
The Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan takes a classic recipe and elevates it with a gourmet touch. Ina Garten’s expertise in creating flavorful dishes shines through in this recipe. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, anyone can recreate this culinary masterpiece in their own kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh broccoli?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli if fresh broccoli is not available. Make sure to thaw and drain the frozen broccoli before using it in the recipe.
Q2: Can I substitute the chicken breast with another protein?
Certainly! While the recipe traditionally calls for chicken breast, you can experiment with other proteins such as turkey or even tofu for a vegetarian version.
Q3: How can I make the dish less creamy?
If you prefer a lighter version, you can use low-fat cream of mushroom soup or substitute it with a homemade mushroom sauce using lighter ingredients.
Q4: Can I add extra vegetables to the Chicken Divan?
Absolutely! Feel free to incorporate additional vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or carrots to add more variety and flavors to the dish.
Q5: Can I prepare the Chicken Divan in advance?
Yes, you can assemble the Chicken Divan ahead of time and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, simply bake it according to the instructions.
In conclusion, the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan recipe is a timeless classic that combines the flavors of tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and a creamy cheese sauce. With its gourmet touch, this dish offers comfort and indulgence in every bite. Whether you’re cooking for your family or entertaining guests, the Barefoot Contessa Chicken Divan is sure to impress. Try it out today and savor the deliciousness of this beloved recipe!