Chicken Divan is usually made with whole chicken breasts, served in a rich cream sauce with broccoli. This classic French recipe has many different permutations, but I have updated that classic recipe into a Chicken Divan Casserole that is much simpler to make. This recipe also stretches a few cups of chicken to serve at least six people.
Cubed, cooked chicken is layered with broccoli florets and rice in a white sauce enriched with cheese, then the whole thing is baked until it is bubbly and brown. This casserole will feed a crowd, and it's elegant enough for entertaining. But it's also simple enough that non cooks can make it.
I like to buy a rotisserie chicken and remove all the meat and cube it for this recipe. But you can also cook some boneless skinless chicken breasts and use that for the recipe. Or you can cube some raw chicken and saute it just until just done. This is also a wonderful recipe to use up leftover cooked or grilled chicken.
This casserole can also be made ahead of time. Get it all done, then cover with foil and refrigerate up to 2 days. When you want to eat, just bake it, adding 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time, until the casserole is bubbly and the top is starting to brown. The recipe would freeze well too. Chill it in the fridge until cold, then wrap well in freezer wrap. Label it and freeze up to 3 months. To use, let it thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake it until bubbly and hot.
All you need to serve with this dish is a green salad and some garlic bread. Enjoy it on a cold fall night while it's raining outside and you are warm and cozy at the table with friends.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9" x 13" glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine Alfredo sauce, cream, and the Gruyere cheese and set over low heat. Let the cheese melt, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth.
Meanwhile, place the rice in the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with the broccoli and the chicken.
Stir half of the Parmesan cheese into the cheese sauce.
Pour the sauce over the food in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 to 40 minutes until the casserole is bubbly around the edges and the top has started to brown. Serve immediately.