Slow-Cooker Chicken Divan

27 09 2011

The slow cooker strikes again…

Actually, it hit it right out of the park again.

I love my slow cooker!!!

Chicken Divan – I grew up with it, and loved it.  But for those of you who haven’t had it – think a cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole, cooked slowly, topped with toasted breadcrumb topping.  It’s delicious, fast prep, and easy.

Original recipe (amended ever-so-slightly) from Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen, pg 220.

* 4 Tbsp veggie oil, divided

* 2 small/medium onions, minced

* 4 garlic cloves, minced

* 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

* 3 Tbsp flour

* 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus 1/2 cup (if needed later)

* 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half

* 1 tsp dry mustard

* 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (do not be afraid of dark meat – it truly brings the flavor to life and it is soooo tender and juicy)

* Salt and pepper

* 2 cups instant rice

* 1 cup (or so) shredded cheddar cheese

* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

* 12 oz broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces

* 1 recipe Toasted Breadcrumbs (recipe follows)

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions, garlic, and thyme.  Cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute more.  Slowly whisk in the broth, smoothing out any lumps.  Transfer to the slow cooker

Stir half-and-half and mustard into slow cooker.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to the slow cooker  Coat evenly with the sauce.  Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 4 to 6 hours on low.

Break up chicken into bite-sized pieces (I used a wooden spoon).  Stir in rice, cheddar, and Parm.  Cover and cook on high until the rice is tender about 20 to 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on the mixture… If you need more liquid for the rice add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth.

Toss the broccoli with the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil.  Microwave, stirring occasionally, until tender and vibrant green, about 3 minutes.  Stir softened broccoli into slow cooker and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with Toasted Breadcrumb Topping and serve.

Toasted Breadcrumb Topping:

* 2 slices high-quality bread slices

* 2 Tbsp imitation butter (I love Brummel & Brown)

Process bread slices in a food processor until they become coarse crumbs, about 1 minute.  Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.  Transfer crumbs to a bowl and season with a bit of pepper.

Did this recipe make you Smile?  I would be honored if you’d become a Facebook fan of mine!  Click here (or copy and paste this link into your browser:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smiles-in-the-Kitchen/143789102327574).

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