Our Chicken Divan Recipe - Party Hit
Boneless chicken, fresh mushrooms, broccoli and a wonderful sauce – this Chicken Divan Recipe is simple to make!
Our Chicken Divan recipe gets its inspiration from the original 1950’s Divan first introduced in a New York restaurant.
Although broccoli was an expensive luxury then, now it is an affordable favorite that goes very well with our boneless chicken and fresh mushrooms.
The sauce is way too simple, but just that good. Best of all, this dish can be made well in advance and warmed up at the party.
This Chicken Divan Recipe will serve 50 people, if you are you are serving other entrees and/or appetizers.
Remember that your guests are going to eat a little over a pound of food per person for dinner.
Read about Party Food Quantities and how to plan for the right amounts.
Shopping List for 50 People:
___10 pounds of boneless chicken thighs. We use thigh meat because it is moist and flavorful, but you can use boneless chicken breast if you want.
___pepper and garlic powder
___5 pounds of frozen broccoli spears
___3 pounds of fresh mushrooms, any size
___24 cans of cream of mushroom soup, any brand – use the #10 (normal size), but careful not to get the kind that’s “ready to eat” – you want the kind you’re supposed to add water to.
___2 large onions
___2 cups celery (3 or 4 large pieces)
___1 stick of butter or margarine (1/4 pound)
___1 large lemon
___1 small can of vegetable oil spray
___4 disposable aluminum pans 10”x12¾”x2½”
___2 bunches of fresh curly parsley
Procedure for Chicken Divan Recipe:
One Day (or more) Before the Party:
Peel and cut the onions and celery into small pieces – about ¼” squares.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter and fry the onions and celery until cooked through. You don't want them mushy, or carmerized - just browned. Keep the heat lower so the butter doesn't burn.
Pour them into a large bowl and set aside.
Open the cans of mushroom soup and pour them into the bowl with the onion. Add one can of water for every two cans of mushroom soup to the mix. Stir well.
Wash to mushrooms under running water, cut them into slices about 1/8” thick and add to the soup mix. Season with 1tbsp. of pepper and 2tbsp. of garlic powder.
Careful not to add salt, because there’s more than enough salt in the soup mix. Cover the bowl and set aside.
Unwrap the packages of chicken thighs, washing the thighs under running cold water.
Pull off the skin and any leftover pieces of fat or bone.
Using your washable cutting board and a sharp knife, cut the chicken into pieces around 2” long by ¾” around or so.
The idea here is for your guests to be able to cut each piece of chicken just once.
Don’t let a lot of cut chicken accumulate in your work area.
Refrigerate it as soon as it’s cut.
When the chicken is all cut and refrigerated, it’s time to assemble the entrée.
Lay out the four aluminum pans and spray each one with lots of vegetable spray, bottom and sides. Carefully divide the soup mix and mushrooms into each pan, dividing evenly.
TIP: You want each pan to be slightly less than ½ full with soup mix, leaving enough room for chicken.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Equally divide the chicken over the four pans.
Equally divide the broccoli spears into the four pans. Using your very clean hands, carefully stir the soup mix, chicken and broccoli in each pan, being careful not to break up the broccoli. Try to evenly distribute the contents of each pan. Cover each pan tightly with aluminum foil – shiny side of the aluminum foil up and refrigerate.
NOTE: You can bake these now, well ahead of time, refrigerate and warm up in your party kitchen for service the next day. If so, bake in an oven prerheated to 350^F for 90 minutes. Keep covered with aluminum foil.
NOTE: This Chicken Divan Recipe can also be pre-baked and frozen for use days or weeks later. If so, after baking, remove aluminum foil and cover tightly with film, pressing the film directly down to the surface of the chicken. Then, recover the dish with the aluminum foil over the top, then place in freezer. For best results, use within 30 days. Place the frozen chicken into the refrigerator two days before your party and allow to thaw.
After 90 minutes of baking, carefully remove a piece of chicken from one of the pans. Cut in half and make sure that it is cooked all the way through. The correct internal temperature for all cooked poultry is 165°F.
This is true for chicken is cooked and served right away, or, when it’s cooked ahead of time, frozen and then reheated.
Only the Thermometer knows. Click here to see about food thermometers and food safety.
For best results, bake the Chicken Divan on the day of the party and serve immediately.
On the Day of the Party:
If you’ve prepared this dish the day before, remove it from the refrigerator and place it in your pre-heated 350°F oven for 90 minutes. If you’ve already cooked the Divan, make sure it’s fully thawed and reheat it in a 350°F oven for approximately 45 minutes. Heating or reheating, make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through and is 165°F internally.
Careful when reheating to make sure that the chicken does not dry out. Go ahead and add some boiling water to loosen up the sauce if necessary.
Once the chicken is completely cooked, transfer one or two cans to your chafing dishes to keep warm.
Reduce your oven temperature to 150°F and keep the other pans of chicken warm until ready to serve on your buffet.
Presentation for this Chicken Divan Recipe: Your Eyes Eat First
Keep the chicken nice and moist. Stir in hot water if needed, but careful not to break up the broccoli.
TIP: Cover the warm chicken with film, removing just before guests arrive at the buffet.
Spread some of the fresh washed parsley in and around the chafing dish. You may also want to slice a few fresh mushrooms and spread them on top of the chicken divan.
If there’s a downside to this Chicken Divan Recipe in any way, it might be that it looks a little “flat”, maybe lacking some color. Compensate for this with lots of parsley.
Leftovers for Chicken Divan Recipe:
This dish freezes very well, just be sure to push film right down onto the surface of the chicken, then cover again with aluminum foil. Reheat completely when serving.
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Find an Appetizer that will go with Chicken Divan.
Questions about the Chicken Divan Recipe? Need an idea for your party? Use the form below to ask us about quantities, substitutions, whatever. We're here to help. Ask a Caterer is free:
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