|Bits of lobster and crab waiting for the stock to reduce.|
Pasta waiting to be cooked.
I came across a link to the WORLD'S BEST Chicken Divan and stopped there. I'm glad I did! I read through the the blog post/recipe and began pulling out the ingredients. Because I can't go running off to the grocery store I made a few substitutions and changes, working with what I had on hand. I guess we all have similar limitations!
I certainly identified with New York Time's columnist, Sam Sifton's column entitled "Substitution City". He wrote: "With everyone out of this pantry item or that one, recipes have become mere suggestions of where you might start. They’re like assembly charts from Ikea when you have only 60 percent of the fasteners."
The major substitution I made was using the broth from a can of chicken noodle soup, mixed with water, for the chicken broth and bouillon... and what the heck, I threw the noodles in the casserole as well. Knowing that canned soup tends to have a ton of salt in it, I did not add any other salt in my cooking.
The recipe link above has detailed instructions. Here is my "Cliffs Notes" version:
- Sauté seasoned cut broccoli and cauliflower (I didn't have enough broccoli) in olive oil for 30 seconds, then add 1/2 C of chicken soup liquid and water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and put in a baking dish.
- Add some butter to the pan after removing the veggies. Increase the heat. Put in cubed chicken that was previously seasoned liberally with pepper and paprika. Sear the chicken for about a minute, then stir and cook only until just done. Spoon the chicken on top of the broccoli/cauliflower mix.
- Add a hunk of butter and some olive oil to the juices in the pan. Add some flour, seasonings and make a paste. Add more of the chicken soup liquid with water, some milk (I used half and half) and cook to thicken. Add sour cream, shredded cheddar and parmesan. I also plopped in some mayonnaise. Combine and spoon over the vegetables and chicken. (The recipe called for corn starch. I used it. I wouldn't use it again. My sauce became very pasty. I don't think it needed additional thickener.)
- Pour some bread crumbs on top and cover with additional shredded cheddar. (When I make this again, I'll add some pats of butter on top of the bread crumbs)
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 and then enjoy.... thoroughly!
Just an aside....
this was posted on FaceBook. It was written by Haroon Rashid.
Wow... what a powerful message, putting us all in our places!
Suddenly Disney is out of magic.
Paris is no longer romantic,
New York doesn't stand up anymore,
the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress,
and Mecca is empty.
Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons,
and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.
and can't get you the oxygen you're fighting for.
It only puts humans in cages.
I think it's sending us a message:
The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine.
When you come back, remember that you are my guests.
Not my masters."