Saturday, March 28, 2009

Still snowing here

The snow seems to excite the hummingbirds --- we have at least 3 and maybe more, they're hard to tell apart. They have been zipping around the yard all afternoon. This snow didn't stick; but it did pour rain or snow or some combination all day. The rain gauge says .86 inch in the past 24 hours. Seems like more. Liam has learned the hummingbird noise except he doesn't make a "zzz" or a "t" sound yet so the "tzzzik" noise comes out more like "mmmmik." It's still pretty cute and is now the default bird noise, replacing "da, da, da, da, da" in a high voice, which is what birds used to say.

In other news: 4 dishes of chicken divan were made by me today. One to eat and 3 for the freezer. This is what happens when you buy an enormous block of cheddar cheese and an enormous bag of broccoli at Costco thinking: "neat, we eat cheese; we eat broccoli, this will take care of itself." Not so much. Turns out, you have to eat a lot, every day, for this stuff to be consumed by the time it should be.

If you look up chicken divan on the Internet you get recipes that are mayonnaise based, cream soup based, milk based, and broth based. Some have sherry, some don't. Some cheese, some not. Many have curry powder. None of my present cookbooks have a recipe (not even the "new, improved" Joy of Cooking). So, since the one we ate for dinner was pretty good, in the spirit of public service, here's what I did:

Make the sauce. Melt 2T butter and 2T flour and a liberal pinch of salt and pepper over med-high heat to make a roux. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Whisk away until it's smooth and let it cook a bit until it starts to thicken. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream and a few tablespoons of dry sherry or white wine. Whisk again and cook some more. Add about 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Whisk again. Check for seasoning and adjust, I added more pepper and salt.

Assemble the dinner. Butter a baking dish. Spoon in the broccoli (I cut it pretty small and did not steam it ahead of time). Add the cooked chicken layer. Spoon the cheese sauce over top. I made it so the cheese sauce pretty well came up to almost the top of the chicken layer, but did not totally cover things. Add some bread crumbs to the top. Bake in a medium oven until it's hot and the broccoli is cooked. I think this took 20-25 minutes. Serve with rice. We used brown rice and are therefore officially labeling tonight's dinner as healthy. Tzzzzik!

1 comment:

Tina said...

Sounds delicious but oh so artery clogging, my husband would love it!

The pictures of the hummingbirds are amazing... we once had one in our freezer for like four years. He's been replaced by a teeny tiny turtle we found dead. The hummingbird had died a probably horrible death...we found him..beak stuck in the screening of our camp porch. It was a very sad moment..but the opportunity to see him up so close was fascinating. Eww that sounds gross