We had our third college cooking lesson this week. I decided Cali needed to learn to fix her favorite meal – Hawaiian Haystack.
I think this dish is pretty much a staple for a lot of families. Some of you may call it Mexican Haystack or just Haystacks. I’ve heard it called all kinds of things.
I think this recipe came from one of the very first cookbooks I got when I was married – Make a Mix.
Whenever Cali gets to pick what we have for dinner her choice is always Hawaiian Haystacks.
This dinner is quick and easy to prepare and it is a great one when you are feeding a crowd too. It can be made ahead of time and kept warm in a crock pot. The other reason it is great for a crowd is because people can personalize it to their tastes – depending on what toppings they add.
Hawaiian Haystack is a fun dinner – a “build your own” kind of meal. We just serve the meat sauce over rice and then everyone adds whatever toppings they like.
Some of our favorites are pineapple tidbits, chow mein noodles, peanuts, green onions and lots of cheese. The sky is the limit as far as what you can add to it!
As we were fixing it my 23 year old college son informed us that he makes Hawaiian Haystack all the time at school!
The first trick I taught Cali was a quick and easy way to cook the chicken that goes into the Haystack. It is done in the microwave and the chicken stays nice and moist and doesn’t dry out as chicken will do.
Fill a 9 x 13 (size of pan will vary depending on how many chicken breasts you are cooking) with about 1/2 inch of water. Place chicken into water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook in the microwave until chicken is done.
For 2-4 chicken breasts it takes around 10 minutes – possibly a bit longer. For the four of us I used two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and there were no leftovers – that was 3 girls and 1 big boy (Jim was out of town)
The chicken is basically cooked in a steam bath and you end with with nice moist chicken.
After it cools, cut up or shred the chicken.
Add the chicken to two cans of cream of chicken soup (for 2-3 breasts) and then add enough chicken broth to make it the consistency you want. We don’t like it too runny!
Then reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Serve over rice. Add toppings. Doesn’t get any easier then that!! Enjoy!
Some basic portion guidelines:
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 C chicken broth
2 C chopped, cooked chicken
Add chicken to cream of chicken soup. Add chicken broth until desired consistency.