Creamy Chicken Divan over Rice Casserole

Healthier? Maybe a little,

… still very pleasing and high on taste.

Okay, it is cold here. When the northern winds push down into our coastal area causing us to start layering on clothes, pulling out our long-johns, we get a little fuddle minded. Well, even more so.

I have made my Chicken Divan Casserole umpteen times. For some lightheaded reason, I decided to redo it, change it up and somewhat lighten it up, a bit. If you follow my recipes, then you know I cook for the glorified truism of satisfying my own taste-buds. I’ll normally let y’all figure out how to cut out calories here and there. But like I said, I got caught up in wanting an extra large helping of this fine chicken casserole to fill me up, make me warm and cozy and for some unknown reason, thought it should be lightened up a bit. So this is how I did it…. Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Divan with Rice Casserole
for 2 cold, hungry folks

2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 garlic toe, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese (or low-fat)
1/3 cup bread crumbs or panko

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat, add sherry and bring to a simmer. Cook until sherry reduces out and then add onion and celery. Stir cooking until onion is clear; stir in garlic and broccoli tossing until bright green. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add chicken.

In a small bowl, whisk cream with cornstarch and stir into the broccoli mixture. Allow to come back to just a simmer and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.  Add the rice to the casserole and top with the chicken broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove cover, top with the bread crumbs and return to the oven allowing the topping to brown.

Note: Adding slivers of butter on top of the crumbs is great, helps to brown nicely and adds another layer of taste; but it also adds more calories.

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