If this van’s a rockin’…

Posted by on Feb 19, 2012 in Dinners, Recipes | 5 comments

..don’t come a knockin’!

(no, this isn’t a sure fire way on how to charm your date to get in on in a car…but who knows, may just lead there…)

“Chicken in the van” is what my nieces and nephews call this wonderful meal. When they were just toddlers, they had a rough time pronouncing the real name; Chicken Divan. Anyhow the name totally stuck. Now we are all HUGE fans of my sister’s Chicken in the Van!

This is a recipe that my sister Jan has been making for years…I assume it’s not an original recipe, since there are many versions of this meal around, but this one is wonderful and easy, and sure to please any palate!

Chicken Divan (aka ‘Chicken in the Van’) (serves 6-8)

3 Bone in, skin-on Chicken Breasts, boiled to doneness*
2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup (cream of mushroom and chicken work well too)
Head of fresh broccoli
1 Cup of Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
1 Tablespoon of melted butter

1) Boil the chicken in a large pot, so that it is well covered with water. Add a little (pinch will do) salt to the water. If you want, you can also boil the chicken in chicken broth.

* To doneness…the time to boil the chicken is about 20 minutes, depending on how large they are. If you’re in doubt, take one out, and cut into the thickest part of the breast, and it should be cooked through (all white and no pinkness at all).

After they are cooked…take them out of the water to cool. Once cooled, remove and discard the skin and pull off the meat…shred it.

2) Rinse the broccoli well, and cut off  the head into spears (about a couple inches long).  Steam the broccoli in a medium pot (with steamer and about 1/2 Cup of water),  until the broccoli turns a bright green. This doesn’t take a lot of time – around 7 to 10 minutes. Some people like their broccoli more cooked, but be careful, it can get mushy quick.

3) Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl (high for 15-20 seconds…be careful not to over cook). pour the breadcrumbs over the butter, and stir.  Set aside.

4) In a mixing bowl, mix together the Mayo, chicken soups, curry, cheddar cheese and lemon juice.

5) In a large casserole dish, layer the cooked broccoli first, then the shredded chicken, pour on the top the Mayo mixture. Finish it off with the breadcrumb topping. And cover with foil.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes; it will bubbly and a little brown on the edges.  Remove and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

This can also be made the night before. And it will great served over steamed white rice.  Enjoy!


  1. 2-19-2012

    Chicken in the van is delicious and I love your website aunt Jessica!!

  2. 2-24-2012

    Yummy….I make a version of this recipe using those canned onion rings as a topping. Next time I make it I’m going to use some curry powder like this one calls for..sounds good.

    • 2-25-2012

      Yes, it’s great…the curry gives it a wonderful flavor, and not overly spicy either!

  3. 3-6-2012

    thank you!

  4. 3-6-2012

    thanks so much!

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