Monday, August 5, 2013

Memories Around the Table: Phillip Richardson's Chicken Divan

Marsha Richardson, Phillip's mom, shares with readers here today. She writes, "Attached is a photo of another plate piled high with spaghetti . . . another of Phillip's short list of favorties...again, prompting mom to implore, "Human-sized bites, please!" Thank you Alice, for sharing your touching stories as well as allowing us to share ours. This is truly a healing process! Thanks again."

Chicken Divan
In Memory of: Phillip L. Richardson, III
March 16, 1989-July 17, 2010

1 large bunch of broccoli, steamed
2 cup chicken, cooked
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
croutons or buttered bread cut into cubes

Arrange broccoli stalks in 9x13 pan. Place chunks of chicken on top. Spread mixture of soup, mayonnaise, and lemon juice on top. Top with cheese and croutons, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Can be served over rice or noodles.

To say that Phillip was a picky eater was the understatement of the century. He liked what he liked and could eat a ton of it. But if you didn't have what he liked, he would just plain not eat at all. I could always count on him piling his plate high with Chicken Divan---no rice, no croutons, just Chicken Divan. Ironically, the recipe was given to us by our daughter's best friend's mother who undoubtedly grew tired of it being requested every time my daughter walked through her door. It became a family favorite since it was easy and everyone liked it, which meant we could all actually eat together . . . which is priceless when you have teenagers.

I can still see Phillip shoveling his pile of Chicken Divan down with hardly a breath in between bites and me reminding him, “Human-sized bites, son!”

Special thanks to Rae and Bill and Laura Oldham for sharing this great recipe and all of the precious memories that it inspired.

--Phillip's mom, Marsha Maples Richardson

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