For a fun Friday meal when it is just your family, or when you are expecting guest Hawaiian Haystacks are great! I may have had them when I was younger, but the first time I really realized that I was eating a haystack was at Brigham Young University when I was a freshman.
This week we invited two families over to eat dinner with us and I was a little stressed about what to fix for dinner. I had about 5 menus running through my head and couldn't decide on one of them. Should I make meatloaf and mashed potatoes? But it is more of a winter meal. What about cheesy potatoes instead of mashed. Bean dip would be good and fun to eat--but how many pans should I make? We could have chicken pockets, but it would be hard to keep them warm for those that wanted seconds--you get the idea. Then I remembered the package of Chinese noodles I had picked up at the store the other day and my meal came together.
The nice thing about a dish like Hawaiian Haystacks is that since there is a variety of toppings for the rice and Chinese noodles, it fits everyone's taste, and since the chicken is served in a gravy, it goes further. Typically for ingredients I have the following:
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
I love all of these flavors together--yum! For this dinner I was feeding 15 people, and with the amounts I made it would have feed 20-22. To make the meal go smoother I started my rice at 3 p.m. in my crock pot on high. It was perfectly done at 5:30 when we were ready to eat. I did 12 cups of hot water with 6 cups of rice.
For the gravy I whisked together 1 cup of canola oil with 1 cup of flour until bubbly. I then added 6 bullion cubes, 3 to 4 cups of chicken, and 8 cups of water. I also put in a couple of teaspoons of salt. One time I made gravy with olive oil--yuck! I wouldn't recommend it. It didn't taste quite right.
We used about 3 cups of cheese and 2 cans of pineapple and 1 package of Chinese noodles. I was out of green onions--but I imagine a good sized bunch, sliced thin would have been enough. I served this meal with a yummy watermelon and a green salad.
So the next time you are thinking about a fun Friday meal, consider a Haystack--Hawaiian style!