It started out so innocently. I spied a recipe that included chicken, which I already had, and broccoli, which I love. Not to mention milk, which I needed anyway, for a pie. And, of course, parmesan cheese. Which is tasty.
But only when I started making Saveur's recipe for the incredibly old-school casserole chicken Divan did I realize what I'd gotten myself into. This is a recipe that calls for - I kid you not - butter, whole milk, cream, cheese and flour. Yeah. I know. Not my usual weekly lunch fare. But, you know, sometimes it's okay to fold whipped cream into your cheese sauce and pour it over chicken and vegetables and then bake it.
The good news is that the resulting dish is tasty, and not just in a happily retro kind of way. It's rich, yes, but there's just enough sauce - not too much - to coat the peppery broccoli and tender chicken, and the nutmeg makes things nice and wintry. I used a healthy amount of salt and skipped the almonds, since I'm not a big fan, and I'm convinced it's just as good as it would be with nuts. (Though I do think walnuts or pine nuts would be worthy substitutes.)
In short, I highly recommend indulging yourself with a little cheese sauce casserole sometime soon. If nothing else, you'll get to tell people you had whipped cream for dinner.