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This has been a weekly staple my whole life, the one recipe my mom cooked for the family really well. She would also take it to potlucks, and my little cousin begged for more helpings of the "chicken in the van". That is now the name we use for this dish. It is a little different than the standard Divan recipe, but try it- you'll love it. The tarragon, nutmeg and touch of cinnamon work beautifully, don't be afraid! The waterchestnuts, while neutral in flavor, give a great chrunch. Everyone who's tried this recipe has loved it...a good Midwesterny comfort-dish perfect for potlucks.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 stalks broccoli (or one frozen pkg of stalks)
- 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded, can substitute colby, mild cheddar, jack, or mixes)
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup (can use low sodium)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (real mayo is the best, lower fat ones fail to set)
- 1 (12 ounce) can low-fat evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- 1 dash cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- cooked white rice or jasmine rice
- Steam chicken and broccoli together with some salt and pepper until partially cooked (will cook completely in oven), cool and cut both into bite size pieces (if using frozen broccoli, just thaw and cut to bite size pieces).
- Combine soup, mayo, milk, and all seasonings with a whisk, fold in grated cheese.
- In 9 x 13 pan, layer broccoli, chicken and waterchestnuts.
- Pour liquid cheese mixture over and bake at 375 F until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes to 1 hr (if you really want a browned cheese top).
- Serve over rice and enjoy!