Hawaiian Haystacks

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Hawaiian Haystacks is a family favorite. My mom makes it almost every time there is a large group gathering at her house. Everyone I know makes it a bit different, but one thing that stays the same is the base: white rice with a chicken gravy.  For our family the toppings stay about the same, but it can vary with what food we have around the house. I do my chicken gravy a couple different ways, I'll give you both versions. The easy way, I make the most often, when I need to hurry up and get dinner ready fast. But when I am making dinner for someone with a gluten and/or dairy allergy, I make my gravy from scratch. 

Chicken Gravy (the easy way)

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups water (more if you like a thinner consistency)

2 cooked chicken breasts (diced or shredded)

1/2 tsp lemon zest

a couple dashes of garlic salt

a couple dashes of pepper

salt to taste

Mix ingredients together and heat through on the stove top. Quick and easy. Serve over cooked rice, and stack with toppings. 


Chicken Gravy (from scratch)

2 cooked chicken breasts (diced or shredded)

3 cups chicken broth or stock

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour or cornstarch (more for a thicker consistency)

1/2 tsp lemon zest

a couple dashes of garlic salt

a couple dashes of pepper

salt to taste

Start your gravy like you would any roux. Melt the butter a bit in a sauce pan on the stove and add your thickening agent (flour or cornstarch), whisking constantly. Add chicken broth little by little whisking until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir together. Serve over rice, and stack with toppings.

Now let's talk about toppings!!

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My favorite toppings:


mandarin oranges



green onions


almonds, pecans, cashews, macadamias or peanuts

shredded coconut

chow mein noodles (the crunchy ones in the can- if I happen to have them around)

diced bell peppers

grated cheddar cheese (or Colby jack)

tabasco sauce (chipotle or jalapeno are our favorites)

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It's amazing to me how these toppings are so different, but go so well together. When I was younger, I liked to stick with the fruits, but now I like it all. My dad is the opposite and sticks with the veggies. Some of my kids like their toppings separated on the side. It's a great way to please all different palates. 

What do you like to put on yours??

Hillary HessComment