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Gretchen's Chicken Divan

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Leave it to a woman from the heartland to whip up a dinner to warm you right up. As co-anchor Gretchen Carlson of The Saturday Early Show says, "I'm from the Midwest, and this is something that we would eat in the winter time when it's cold temperatures and would make you...feel warm inside.

"And then I'm making a salad, which I thought would go well with it, because it's a little bit more healthy."

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Chicken Divan:

Ingredients:

6 to 8 chicken breasts
1 1/2 large bunches of broccoli
3 cans of cream of chicken soup
1/2 to 1 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Hellman's mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 Tbs. lemon juice
Cheez-It crackers, crushed and moistened with melted butter

Method:
Bake chicken breasts at 350 degrees in a glass pan. Season with salt and pepper. Put a small amount of water in the bottom on the baking dish for 20 minutes. Cut in edible-sized pieces.

Cut off stems of broccoli and cut the flowers into relatively big pieces. Blanch broccoli pieces in boiling water for 30 seconds. Shock with cold water in strainer. Dry on paper towels.

Layer chicken on the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. (No need to grease the pan.) Add a thick layer of broccoli on the top of the chicken.

Make the sauce in a mixing bowl by combining cream of chicken soup with mayo. Then add chicken broth until mixture is smooth, but not too soupy. Add curry powder, lemon juice and grated cheese.

Pour sauce on top of chicken and broccoli layers. (You may not need all of the sauce.) Use a knife to fold the sauce into the chicken and broccoli without disrupting the layers so some of the sauce moves to the bottom of the baking dish. The sauce should cover the broccoli in the dish.

Sprinkle the butter-moistened Cheez-It crushed crackers on top of the sauce.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes until the casserole is bubbling.

Italian Salad:

Romaine lettuce
1 jar hot marinated artichoke hearts
1 jar of hearts of palm sticks
1 red onion sliced
1 can ripe black olives
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Dressing:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic minced

Method:

For salad: Strain artichoke hearts and hearts of palm sticks and slice. Add olives, sliced onion, artichoke hearts and hearts of palm to the greens.

Shake the dressing ingredients in a jar or Tupperware container and dress the salad just before serving. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top of the finished product and serve.