Chicken Divan Macaroni and Cheese and a Friday Faves Academy Award Round-Up

by heidi on February 22, 2013

It’s been a bit of a pasta week around here, so let’s end it with a favorite.

Chicken Divan Macaroni & Cheese || FoodieCrush

I was asked a to contribute to Wisconsin Cheese’s 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese, and oh man am I glad that I did. Mainly because I was introduced to this trove of recipes created by some amazing food bloggers. And I got to dress up some tasty elbow macaroni.

Chicken Divan Macaroni & Cheese || FoodieCrush

I gussied up large elbow macaroni with creamy fontina and a little salty parm to mix up a classic casserole in our family, Chicken Divan—or as some call Broccoli and Chicken—to create my Smudge’s new favorite Chicken Divan Macaroni and Cheese.

Chicken Divan Macaroni & Cheese || FoodieCrush

Since big Daddy—my husband—was out of town and it was just me and my gal, I had ssseeeeveral servings left over. So I packed it up and took it to one of her friend’s houses—ya know, scoring points with the mom’s because you never know when you’ll need a favor—a house of five who I hoped would give it the passing grade. You never know with kids.

So did it pass? Oh yes. With flying colors. In fact it just may have been dubbed the best mac and cheese they’d eaten and put me in the ranks of Spongebob and iCarly. Watch out Hollywood here I come.

Chicken Divan Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 8-10 servings

Chicken Divan Macaroni and Cheese


1 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups cold whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (16 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 pound frozen broccoli spears, thawed
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain noodles and set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and curry powder, whisk well, cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant and flour starts to smell nutty.
  3. Add cold milk and whisk well to combine. Bring mixture to boil and continue to whisk occasionally as mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper, add cheeses and stir until melted.
  4. Add chicken, broccoli and cooked macaroni to cheese mixture, fold to coat and cook on stovetop over medium heat 5 minutes or until heated through. Pour mixture into buttered 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
  5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; add bread crumbs and mix. Top macaroni mixture with buttered bread crumbs and bake 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Speaking of Hollywood, after last year’s Academy Awards post honoring my beloved Brad Pitt who was nominated for Moneyball, I wanted to continue the theme with a fresh take on this year’s award nominees, including the object of my new celebrity crush, ie: Bradley Cooper who is the one actor who has finally stolen Brad’s crown in my book.

Brad for Brad. A good trade after watching Brad take himself far too seriously as spoofed on SNL.

So to continue the Academy Award glitz, here are a few tips to make you feel a little more glammed up.


Trade out your yoga pants and pony tail for a special outfit to add some bling to light up the night.


Gussy up your table with some glitterazzi.

free-oscar-party-printables-from-party-chicAnd for keeping score of the winners and the ahem, losers, give this free Academy Award nominees printable a run through the laserjet and put all that time you spend watching E! Entertainment to work for you.

And now it’s time to get to the guts of every party: the food. Thanks to my great interning contributor sweet Hayley, we have a new Academy Awards recipe round-up for you to enjoy. Feel free to take a page from her ‘Silver Lining Playbook’ and come up with your own list of must eats while watching the must sees.

Break a leg Hayley.

Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by the movies. My earliest and most vivid memories of them are when I went to see The Little Mermaid in theaters and the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz. I recall getting hysterical every time I watched that scene where the lion runs into the mirror after encountering the great and powerful Oz.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been watching The Academy Awards—the only awards show I ever deemed worth watching. I loved seeing my idols and crushes gliding across the red carpet, pausing for photo ops and interviews and of course I enjoyed critiquing their fashion triumphs and faux-pas. When I was younger, I was never able to make it through the entire ceremony because often it fell on a school night and ran long past my bedtime. Finding out the winner for best picture the next morning was like waking up to see if it snowed over night and discovering school was canceled.

About six years ago, my family inadvertently started what has now become one of my favorite traditions. We began Oscar dinners, where we devised a menu centered around puns of the nominated films—“Brokeback ribs” and “Crash”ed potatoes, “Into the Wild”-salmon and “the Wrestler’s” mussels. We’d start scheming months in advance, testing rhymes and challenging our inner nerd. Over the years, we’ve added our very own “red carpet,” ballot contests and Hollywood trivia to the mix and as Oscar grows, so does our guest list. It’s something I look forward to every year. It’s my Superbowl.

If you’re thinking of hosting your own Academy Awards party, here are a few ideas to add some glimmer and bright lights to your party.

So in the spirit of that little gold man, here’s a menu inspired by all nine of this year’s nominees:

Red Carpet Cocktail Hour


Dark and Stormy cocktail from The Clever Carrot in honor of Zero Dark Thirty. This movie was dark. And stormy.


A Good Old Apple cocktail by Cook the Story for Lincoln, who was very fond of apples.


An Aged Cheese Plate by In the Little Red House for my love, Amour



Silver-Lined Crabby Snacks by Eatori for cute Bradley Cooper’s Silver Linings Playbook


Mini Lamb Curry Meat Pies by The Cuisinerd for….wait for it….wait for it….Life of Pi Supporting Cast


Hushpuppies from A Spicy Perspective for Beasts of the Southern Wild


Peasant Bread from Honey & Jam with a whole lot of singing en honour of Les Miserables

Feature Presentation/Main Feature


Coq au Vin from The Year in Food with a little more singing, or a lot more singing in Les Miserables

End Credits

White Cake from Willow Bird Baking to unchain the sweetness you know is somewhere within Django Unchained


Nanaimo Bars, a classic Canadian dessert, from Cooking Classy for Ben Affleck’s Argo

Thanks for reading and please keep in touch. This post may include affiliate shopping links of which I receive a small percentage of sales to help keep this blog and magazine going so thanks for your support. Subscribe to FoodieCrush and follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest and check out FoodieCrush magazine.


Posted in: chicken and turkey,entrees,friday faves,noodles, rice and grains,recipes

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie @ Big Bear's Wife February 22, 2013 at 8:34 am

I’d love to be at an Academy Awards party with all of this yummyness! And of course that Macaroni and Cheese! It looks divine!


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom February 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

OMG Heidi!! I love how you paired food with the movies for the Oscars. . LOVE it! what a great post! and LOVE LOVE LOVE Bradley. Silver Linings Playbook was the only movie I saw this year in the theater! still need to see the rest of the nominees and Argo! Hugh Jackman will probably win best actor but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Bradley on Sunday!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet February 22, 2013 at 9:29 am

How fun! I love this post! The food and movie pairings are brilliant! And that mac and cheese – I want it for lunch today!


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking February 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

Chicken Divan, how very Mad Men-esque of you! I love the Oscars. Last Sunday I was out and freaked out because I thought the Oscars were that night and I forgot to record them. So I made my husband, who could care less about the whole event, download an app so we could record it while we were away. We got home only to discover it was this weekend and we had recorded the whole Sunday night line-up by accident. Oops. At least now we get to watch it live.


Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes February 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

This macaroni and cheese looks amazing! Love this post – so fun :)


Holly Waterfall February 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Oh Heidi, I’m 100% putting this mac on my menu for next week, and I’m so excited for it! Wish it was my lunch right now though.
Loved the round-up from Haley as well – super fun and entertaining.


Nikki @Pennies on a Platter February 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I love your family’s Academy Awards tradition!!! Might have to start one myself! Or, just become a part of your family… ;)


Rachel @ Baked by Rachel February 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Is it weird to have a favorite pasta shape because that one right there is my absolute favorite.


Annalise February 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I had a college roommate who made chicken divan all the time when we needed “something special”. Haven’t thought about this dish in years, but now I’ve got a serious hankering!

Also, in case you need something else for your Oscar party, my designer friend made these awesome Oscar Bingo cards.


Emily February 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Totally printed this recipe. We are huge fans of Chicken Divan and I’d love to try it in mac & cheese form. YUM!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. February 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm

This looks so good!! Going to add it to our dinner menu for next week! I also love all of these Oscars ideas!


Jessica Macpherson February 25, 2013 at 7:53 am

This looks delicious! I haven’t had much experience with casserole type dishes so, question! Do you think I could make ahead and assemble the dish a day in advance then bake it the following night? Thanks!


Laurie {Simply Scratch} February 25, 2013 at 7:55 am

You had me at cheese! #totalsucker


carrian February 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Everyone seems to be popping up with a chicken divan recipe, and I’ve never even heard of it!! I’ll have to try this version as my first!


Rachel @ Bakerita March 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Mmmm, this sounds amazing! I’m a mac and cheese fiend, and your version sounds absolutely heavenly. Love the “chicken divan” twist. Pinned!


2014 oscars free stream February 21, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I’ll immediately clutch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your email subscription link or
e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit
me realize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.


Sara June 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

Does anyone have a suggestion for a substitute for the fontina cheese? Just looking for something that’s not $12/pound. Thanks!


heidi June 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

You could use a swiss cheese. Just choose something melty!


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