Chicken divan tonight, chicken tetrazzini next week

  • Preparation Time5 mins
  • Cooking Time24 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the base chicken recipe

1 litre chicken stock
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
30g butter
3 tbsp. plain flour
250ml dry white wine
120ml double cream
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg or the equivalent of freshly grated
Salt and pepper

For the divine divan

450g broccoli spears
225g Gruyere, shredded

For the tremendous tetrazzini

30g butter
12 mushrooms, sliced
225g wide egg noodles, cooked to al dente and hot
35g bread crumbs
20g (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano
55g slivered almonds, toasted
Suggested side for chicken divan:
1 (280g) bag baby salad greens
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
White wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, for dressing
Salt and pepper
Bread and butter, for the table
Suggested side for chicken tetrazzini: Mixed greens with vegetable streamers and confetti
1 (280g) bag baby salad greens
1 baby courgette or 1/4 cucumber, seedless
1 carrot, peeled
1/2 red pepper
2 spring onions
3 tbsp. fresh herbs, mix from what you have on hand
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. (3 turns around the bowl) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Bread and butter, for the table
1) Bring 1 litre chicken stock to a boil in a wide, deep skillet with lid. Add chicken breasts. Return broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and poach the chicken 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Reserve the broth for the sauce.

2) In a skillet, saute shallots in oil and butter for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in 3 tbsp flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in 240ml wine and reduce by half, 1 minute. Ladle in chicken broth, whisking sauce as you do. Stir in 120ml double cream. Season sauce with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to low.

3) Slice the chicken into 1-cm strips and add to the pan. Coat chicken in sauce. At this stage, in order to have enough for 2 meals, remove half of the chicken in sauce and transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid. Cool the chicken, cover, and freeze for the tetrazzini, recipe follows.

4) To assemble divine divan: Simmer broccoli spears in 2.5cm water, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a 23 by 33cm baking dish. Top with half the grated Gruyere and half of the base chicken recipe. Top chicken with remaining Gruyere and brown until bubbling and golden under preheated grill, about 2 minutes. Serve with dressed salad greens and bread.

5)To assemble tetrazzini: Reheat defrosted base chicken recipe in microwave oven. Melt 30g butter in a small pan. Saute mushrooms 5 minutes, until tender. Toss drained hot egg noodles with chicken and mushrooms. Transfer mixture to a baking dish and top with bread crumbs, cheese, and almonds. Brown under preheated broiler until topping is even golden brown. Place pan 15cm from heat source. Topping will brown in 2 to 3 minutes.

6) Serve with salad and bread.

7) For the salad: Place greens in a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of courgette or cucumber into the salad bowl. Repeat with carrot. The vegetables will look like party streamers. Finely chop capsicum, spring onions, and fresh herbs to make colorful confetti. Sprinkle chopped vegetables into bowl. Toss salad at the table with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, to your taste. Serve with bread and butter.

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