One of my favorite meals from growing up was Chicken Divan. I love the curried, creamy goodness of this dish, and to this day is brings me fuzzy feelings of comfort. It was a classic of my mom’s. But, over the years my stomach has gotten a bit sensitive to dairy, which makes the mounds of cheese and cream-based soups of the original a little unsettling to my stomach. I was thrilled to stumble upon this dairy-free version from Popular Paleo. I’ve made a few changes to make this more like the casserole I grew up with, and to also adapt it to use with left over chicken. Enjoy!
Paleo Chicken Divan
This is a great alternative to the classic! All of the comfort without the dairy that makes many of our tummies unhappy. So much creamy goodness, that you won't miss the cheese - even my kids love this dish!
I've adapted this recipe from Popular Paleo to use leftover chicken and to be freezer friendly. It's a great make ahead and freeze option, or a quick last-minute option for busy nights.
Serve with rice, riced cauliflower, or over a potato. Add a salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!
First, soak your cashews. You can choose to boil the cashews (quick way), or soak over night.in To boil, add a cup of cashews to two cups of water. As soon as the water reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat, cover and let rest for a good hour. Drain the water and use the cashews.
The slower, simpler way is to soak the cashews in a cup and half of room temperature water overnight. When you're ready to cook drain the water off and you're ready to go.
Next, make your cashew sauce. Add the soaked cashews, chopped onion, garlic cloves, coriander, curry, salt and black pepper to the food processor. Pulse several times to break down the cashews. Then flip the switch to "on" and stream in the cup of organic chicken stock. Let it run until the sauce is as creamy as you can get it. Set aside.
Then, steam the broccoli and heat chicken. Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add broccoli and chicken and stir to coat. Reduce to medium-low and cover. Steam like this for 3-4 minutes. Broccoli should be bright in color, but not fully cooked.
Fourth, add curry cashew sauce to the broccoli and chicken mixture. Stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a greased 8x8 square baking dish.
If freezing, cover with foil and place in freezer until cooking day.
Preheat oven to 350°.
IF FROZEN: Remove foil and top with flax seed. Replace foil. Cook for 40-60 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes to allow top to brown. Remove from oven and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.
IF ROOM TEMP: Sprinkle flax seed over top. Cook at 350° for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes to allow top to brown. Remove from oven and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.