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Poppa Featherson's Chicken Divan

While most our recipes come from the Mommas, this childhood favorite from Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins was her Poppa's creation!

Poppa Featherson's Chicken Divan

Why it's on our list

On Episode 34, Actress and podcast host, Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins and her sister, Nkena shared with us some of their favorite recipes from childhood. While Momma Cynthia made sure the family ate dinner together, every night, it was Poppa Featherson who was the chef of the family! The sisters still love to make Poppa Featherson's Chicken Divan casserole.

This fancy sounding dish actually has very fancy origins! Chicken Divan originated from the Divan Parisian Restaurant at the Chatham Hotel in New York City in the 1930's. Some historians claim that this was the introduction of broccoli into American cuisine. Whatever the case, there is no record of the original recipe created for the famous hotel restaurant and people have been trying to recreate it ever since.

There are many disputes to how classic Chicken Divan is prepared. Some recipes call for a bechemel sauce while others call for hollandaise. The original recipe did have some type of white sauce, chicken breasts, broccoli and parmesan cheese. Today you will find Divan recipes with everything from mayonnaise to sour cream and cream cheese. The commonality to most modern Chicken Divan recipes is that they are served as casseroles and not full breasts of chicken over the broccoli, like the legend of the O.G.!


Seves 6

  • 3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded

  • 3 cups broccoli florets

  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup of butter

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 TLBS Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 TLBS melted butter

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (we used seasoned Italian)


Preheat over to 375°

Lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish

Steam broccoli florets until bright green about 3 minutes and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Once the butter is melted, stir in the flour and create a roux cooking until well combined and slightly golden.

Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and heavy cream and Worcestershire removing any lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it thickens and becomes smooth.

Add grated Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Mix gently until the cheese is fully melted.

Add chicken, broccoli and mushrooms to the sauce and continue to stir until all of the ingredients are covered evenly in sauce.

Transfer the chicken mixture to your prepared baking dish then cover with cheddar cheese. Combine breadcrumbs and melted butter in a small bowl then sprinkle evenly over casserole.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly on top.

Let your beautiful creation rest for a few minutes then serve!!


Serve it up!

What's your family Chicken Divan recipe? Send us a note!

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