Wednesday, November 21, 2012

JEN's Divine Turkey Divan aka Rice Casserole--Thanksgiving Leftover Remake

Why yes, I did take this.  While snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Thank you.  I think it rocks, too.

It's not that difficult, once you get into it, to eat seasonally when you live in a place that has actual seasons.  And, I suppose, it's not that difficult when you eat from the farm share all year 'round, even though you're only picking up goodies from mid-May through Thanksgiving (if you're lucky!).

But what happens when you don't live in a place that has real seasons?  How can you look forward to the comforting soups and stews of winter, to heating up the kitchen baking bread, to enjoying your favorite casseroles when it's paradise all year 'round?

I lived in Hawaii for more than 3 years.  I lived there long enough to notice the subtle changes in season--the times when the mango tree next to my daughter's preschool littered the parking lot with ripe fruit, the times when it was a little hotter than usual because the trade winds had slowed down, the times when the surf on the North Shore was so awe-inspiring we'd drive up just to watch it.  (And eat garlicky shrimp from the shrimp truck, but that's another post).

It was hard for me to get in the mood to cook heavy 'winter' dishes.  Frankly, it was more fun to go out for a big holiday meal, because roasting a turkey and all the trimmings when it's in the 80s is just . . . wrong.

Don't misunderstand--I loved living in Hawaii and loved raising my little kids there.  Even though my spouse considers it a honeymoon [Me:  I want to go on a honeymoon.  We never went on a honeymoon.  Spouse:  I took you to Hawaii for 3.5 years.  Me:  I was changing diapers for most of that time.  If you're changing diapers it's not a honeymoon. Spouse:   (the sound of crickets, cuz he knows he's got no response)] it was a great experience and one I will treasure forever.

There is one fall/winter casserole type meal that I did cook during our time in Hawaii--this dish.  The official name of this recipe is Turkey Divan, but my family just calls it Rice Casserole (if you've had little kids, you can see how it got it's name).  My friend JEN brought it to a gathering long ago, and I got the recipe and made it soon after.  When the kids were little, I'd blend up the cooked casserole and mix it with rice, hence our family nickname for it, but now they are old enough to eat it as is.
It's a great way to turn leftover turkey into a totally different dish!

Note:  I forgot to nuke the broccoli.  Oops.

 JEN's Divine Turkey Divan, aka Rice Casserole

stuffing crumbs (I keep a canister of Stovetop for this purpose)
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped into bite sized pieces (could sub chicken or ham)
2 crowns broccoli, chopped, briefly cooked (I nuke mine for 3-5 minutes)
1 to 1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (could sub Colby Jack)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 soup can milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Hot Madras curry powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a 3 quart oval casserole, place a handful of stuffing crumbs.  Top with the turkey, broccoli, and cheese.  In a medium bowl, mix soup, mayo, milk, and curry powder.  Spread over top of cheese.  Top with another handful of stuffing crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve over rice.

This is shared with Foodie Friends Friday--the Father's Day edition, as it is my spouse's favorite casserole, and Food on Friday (twice).


  1. Yum.. Chicken Divan was a long ago favorite of our family.. I grew up in the sub-tropics of very southernmost Tip'O Texas.. Spent most of my childhood Thanksgivings & Christmases barefoot & in shorts It had its own brand of awesome. :) And gotta love getting shrimp straight off the boats.. yeah.. Life was Grand. ;)

    1. Kim, I'm hungry thinking about shrimp now! Glad to remind you of warm family Christmases.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My mom used to make something like this, so I know it is yummy. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday.

    1. It's comforting in its familiarity, that's for sure.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. As I was grabbing the link for the round up on my site I noticed your sea turtle photo and had to stop and look at it for a while. I love it so much! We just got back from Hawaii a few weeks ago and I got to swim with a sea turtle in Hanauma Bay and that photo brought back wonderful memories!!

    1. Angie,
      According to Crush in Finding Nemo, sea turtles live a good long time, so this could easily be the same one. I'm so glad you got to swim with a sea turtle--it's a pretty cool thing. I'd love to go back to Hawaii and I'm quite jealous of your break! Thanks for including my casserole in your round up!