Here’s another one for our new series: Grown Up Childhood Favorites. As a kid, I loved this dish called Hawaiian Haystacks, which consisted of crunchy chow mein noodles, topped with rice and a cream of chicken soup gravy. My grown-up version is much more sophisticated, and yet still totally accessible to kids. First of all, the star of the show is the creamy, spicy, savory coconut curry chicken gravy that is so simple to whip up, even on the busiest night. And the supporting cast of toppings adds amazing taste and texture and color to the dish. Each person can build their own haystack according to their tastes, which makes it a total crowd-pleaser. This is a perfect weeknight meal, but also super fun for a party. Try it out and see if your inner child isn’t completely satisfied.
Grown Up Hawaiian Haystacks
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons yellow curry paste (look for it in the asian cooking aisle)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 can coconut milk
4 cups cooked rice
chow mein noodles
1 tomato, diced
3 green onions, diced
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup diced pineapple chunks
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add cooked chicken and sprinkle flour all over and give a stir for even coating. Add in curry paste, followed by the brown sugar and coconut milk. Stir until well combined and bring to a simmer. Keep warm until serving.
To make individual servings, place a layer of chow mein noodles topped with one cup of cooked rice. Top with chicken gravy and any desired toppings. Serve immediately!
Do you have a favorite childhood meal you’d like to see get a makeover? Let us know!