Hawaiian Haystacks are one of our favorite weeknight meals. It is one of probably only about 5 meals that all of our kids will eat. I didn’t grow up eating Hawaiian Haystacks but once I married into my husband’s family I was introduced and fell in love! It’s a chicken gravy poured over rice and topped with various toppings such as pineapple, coconut, chow mein noodles, cheese, olives, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, olives and celery and green onions.
The gravy is typically made with cream of chicken soup which is processed and filled with preservatives and MSG, so after a lot of tweaking I have come up with the perfect recipe. 100% from scratch, homemade, no junk. It also has the special addition of homemade chicken stock which is full of nutrients and very nourishing.
All the kids like rice and they love having the choice of toppings. I make enough to feed our family of 5, 2 adults and 3 kids for 2 dinners which is another plus, leftovers are a mother’s favorite thing;) The recipe listed below is how I normally make it but I have also made a dairy free option and just left out the milk and replaced it with more chicken stock and it still thickens up nicely. You can also cut the wheat flour and sub any sort of thickener, like sweet rice flour, or arrowroot powder for a gluten or grain free option.
One other thing I do now is cook my white rice in homemade chicken stock. I’ve tried time and time again to get my family eating brown rice, I also added quinoa to white rice to try and get some extra nutrients in them, but again they noticed and didn’t like it. So white rice it is. I do cook it in nourishing homemade chicken stock to add flavor as well as nutrients to the rice.
Hawaiian Haystacks (no canned soup, from scratch)
1 1/2 c. rice uncooked (cooked in homemade chicken stock)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks, or leftover cooked cubed/shredded chicken from a roast chicken
3 T. butter
1 small onion finely chopped
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. milk
Toppings: cheese, chow mien noodles, coconut, pineapple, celery, mandarin oranges, olives, green onions, chopped carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, really anything you have on hand.
1. Start cooking your rice now so it’s ready when you need it.
2. In a large saucepan/skillet melt butter and cook onions and raw chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes. If you’re using leftover chicken that’s already cooked don’t add it now, we’ll do this later.
3. Sprinkle flour or substitute and stir and cook for about a minute, this keeps the sauce from tasting like flour!
4. Slowly whisk in milk and broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat, add salt and pepper. If you’re using leftover chicken add it now.
5. Simmer until sauce is thickened a bit, it will take about 5 minutes.
6. Turn off heat, ladle gravy/chicken mixture over rice and top with desired toppings and enjoy! Chop up enough toppings to have enough for leftovers the next day.
What are your favorite toppings? Have you had Hawaiian Haystacks before? Please comment below.
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