Apr 29, 2012

Hawaiian Haystacks


This dish is a serious oxymoron. It's sweet and savory. Hot and cold. Creamy and crunchy. And super yuuuummy.

The first time I ever ate it was after our first baby was born and a sweet friend, Ruth, brought us dinner. She was so surprised I had never heard of it before. I looked it up and according to Wikipedia - it's not a Hawaiian cultural dish, but a Mormon one. Who'da thunk?

Regardless of where it came from, it's a fun dish to serve. It starts with a base of rice and chicken in gravy. After that, you can add whatever toppings you want! I think it traditionally has pineapples and coconut (hence the name - Hawaiian Haystacks), but really "there's no limit to the excitement you can explore." Uh... what?! I asked my husband what I should say there and that is what he came up with. Maybe I won't let him be a guest blogger anymore. I think it's going to his head.

So, moving on.... What I was planning on saying was more along the lines of  "you can use any combination of ingredients that your family will like." And the kids love making their own. It's also great for feeding a crowd!

Most recipes use cream of chicken soup, but since I would rather eat soggy cereal than cream of chicken soup, I made my own chicken gravy.

Chicken Gravy
1/4 cup butter
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in onions, flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.

Pour milk and broth into pot, mixing quickly with a whisk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir 1 minute. Add chicken and remove from heat, stirring to combine chicken and gravy.

Hawaiian Haystack ingredients (in the order we stacked them):
Rice (we like brown)
Chicken gravy
Pineapples or Mandarin Oranges
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Bell Peppers
Sliced Olives
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Chow Mein Noodles
Toasted Coconut (I forgot to toast it when I took the pictures, but the next night we had it again and it was SO much better toasted.)
Sliced Green Onions
Anything else your family likes!

7 comments:

The Mayne Attraction said...

This is a family favorite for us! We called this Indonesian Chicken growing up, and Donald's family calls it Chinese Salad. We add a curry sauce, and celery (or bok choy)to ours. I've never tried it with olives or peppers and I'd never heard it called Hawaiian Haystacks until I was at BYU.

The Mayne Attraction said...

Oops, Meant to say, I love all the random ethnicities applied to this dish. Pretty funny.

Jenni M said...

My friend's parents called it Javenese Dinner. It was our favorite growing up!

Jenni M said...
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Jenni M said...
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Karen Merkley said...

It actually originally had curry in the gravy and could be made with any of a variety of meats including beef, chicken, pork sausage, and etc.

Karen Merkley said...

It actually originally had curry in the gravy and could be made with any of a variety of meats including beef, chicken, pork sausage, and etc.

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