Any time we serve these it feels like a party! Hawaiian Haystacks are a delicious assemble-it-yourself meal! They offer a terrific range of texture and taste; crunch and smooth, warm and cold, sweet and savory. One of the little girls today declared SHE didn't see how it looked like a haystack. I suppose if you compare it to the neat bales of hay stacked together it doesn't. BUT, as you pile ingredients on top of each other, a main one of those being crunchy chow mein noodles, it can resemble the old fashioned stacks where hay was just piled as high as one could toss the hay with a pitchfork.
This is more a meal with directions rather than a recipe. You increase or decrease amounts according to the number of people you're feeding and tailor it to your likes.
Cooked rice (1 or so cups per person)
cooked chicken to add to the gravy
These items are the base. I like to boil a whole chicken, debone it, make a gravy from the broth and a few cans of cream of chicken soup. BUT - more simple is to just cook & dice a couple of chicken breasts, heat 2 cans of cream of chicken soup (for about 4-6 people), add 1 can of water, stir until blended. Add 2 tsp. soy sauce and the diced chicken. Keep warm.
You'll want to have several of the following items as toppers:
shredded cheddar cheese
diced green pepper
diced onion or sliced green onion
sliced almonds or cashews
To assemble your Haystack, start with a nice mound of rice, cover with gravy, sprinkle with chowmein noodles (I love LOTS of these!). Add the other toppings as desired. We like to eat ours with chopsticks if we're feeling patient.... otherwise a fork works wonderfully.
This is a fun and easy meal for a large group, simple to fix for just a few. Each person gets to add what they like, leave off what they don't. I add it all.... not so huge on the olives, but hey, I just put fewer on. I should have take a picture of the little girls' haystacks.... very, very simple.... lot of cheese and olives. LOL!
Have fun trying Hawaiian Haystacks in your home!