Chicken Divan

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins

According to Arthur Schwartz, the recipe for this dish probably originated in the 1930s at Divan Parisien on East 45th Street. Schwartz's adaptation uses both white and dark meat.


1 (4-5 pound) chicken
1tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2tablespoons salt
3tablespoons unsalted butter
3tablespoons flour
2cups milk
1/2teaspoon grated nutmeg
3tablespoons sherry
1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1large bunch broccoli, tops only, cut or broken into very small florets
1cup grated Parmesan cheese, approximately
2 egg yolks
1/2cup heavy cream, whipped


  1. Place chicken in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Add peppercorns and salt. Cover, place over high heat, and bring water to a boil. As soon as the pot boils, turn off the heat and let stand for 3 hours. Uncover the pot. Remove the chicken. Reserve broth for another use. (It may be kept for several days in the refrigerator, or for several months in the freezer.)
  2. Meanwhile, make a white sauce: In a small to medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk. Let bubble for about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let the bubbling stop. Beat in milk all at once. Return pot to heat and, stirring constantly with the whisk, bring mixture to a boil, at which point it should be thickened and smooth. Stir in nutmeg, sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer another minute. Stir in lemon juice. Cover and keep hot over very low heat.
  4. Remove the skin of the chicken and carve the breast, leg and thigh meat into neat slices. Whatever you cannot slice neatly, save for another purpose.
  5. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Cook broccoli until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain broccoli in a colander and then arrange it in one layer in a deep heatproof serving platter or in a shallow casserole or gratin dish.
  6. Preheat oven to 400F. Sprinkle broccoli with about half the grated cheese. Arrange chicken meat on top of the broccoli.
  7. Whisk egg yolks into the white sauce. Fold in whipped cream. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
  8. Place in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, to heat through.
  9. For a final glazing, place the casserole about 5 inches below the broiler heat source, and cook until tinged with brown, about 3 minutes.

From Arthur Schwartz’ New York City Food (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2004,

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Glycemic Load 0
  • Calories 400
  • Fat 26g
  • Saturated Fat 12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 8g
  • Cholesterol 160mg
  • Sodium 2060mg
  • Potassium 550mg
  • Carbohydrate 13g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 30g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 25%
  • Vitamin C 120%
  • Calcium 25%
  • Iron 10%