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Making a Hash of Things. Again. March 1, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, random stuff.
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You know how, sometimes, you stumble on a recipe in an odd place?

PhotobucketMaybe you find your the Best Ever recipe for vanilla pudding on the box of corn starch.

Or perhaps it’s the absolutely fantastic way to cook scrambled eggs – from the manual for a microwave oven.

Have you ever wondered about that?  I mean, where do these recipes come from?

Does corn starch have a test kitchen?  Does someone graduate from culinary school and go to work developing recipes for a microwave manufacturer?


Several years ago, we received a catalog in the mail – and while it’s not ridiculous to think of a recipe printed in the William-Sonoma catalog, it’s still kind of odd, isn’t it?

And even more odd to find a recipe for chicken hash printed with the $60 stainless steel egg poacher.  I mean, I’m no marketing expert, but you’d think a recipe like that would be with a roasting pan or something, wouldn’t you?

So we roasted ourselves a chicken a couple of weeks ago, and as is common when two people roast a chicken, we had some leftovers.



Lots of leftovers.  And ultimately, we made this chicken hash.

Now I’m not a big fan of hash, normally.  Except maybe hash BROWNS, that is.

But here’s the thing – my mother, to my knowledge, never made hash.  She opened cans of hash – roast beef hash, corned beef hash, and that was it.  It was always served with fried eggs, and my father always put ketchup on it.  (But you can’t really go by my father – he also put ketchup in beef stew.)

I never knew, until maybe 15 years ago or so, that people actually could make hash at home.  And I never knew that hash wasn’t actually supposed to taste like Alpo, either.



I know, I’ve led a sheltered life, haven’t I?

So anyway, we started with about half a chicken’s worth of leftover chicken (we had a lot left over!), added it to a small bowl of mashed potatoes and an egg, along with a bit of flour, and went from there.

We set aside the chicken mixture, and in the big cast iron frying pan, we melted a gob of butter (you know, a gob – a good-sized hunk), then we slowly cooked a diced onion.  Add some minced garlic (a couple of cloves) then 1/4 tsp (heaping!) of cayenne, about 3 scallions, thinly sliced, some chopped parsley (2 Tbsp.) a pinch of dried thyme (or a sprig of fresh, de-sprigged), along with a splash of dry sherry (the recipe says 1/3 cup, but I’d go with a scant 1/3 – more like 1/4) and a bit of salt and pepper, to taste.


Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off, maybe 5-10 minutes.  Once it’s cooled slightly, add the onion mixture to the chicken-and-potato mixture, and stir.  Form the mixture into 6 patties – if you make fewer, they’ll be ridiculously huge.  Wonder how I know that?

You’ll want to dust the chicken patties with more flour while you’re shaping them.  Actually, you’ll want to dust your hands with flour – either way.  The patties should be about 3/4 inch thick and the size of, well, the size of a burger, I guess.


Refrigerate your patties at least half an hour – the longer you chill them, the easier they’ll be to handle.  (Next time, I think I’ll try to remember to do them the night before.)  (Good luck with that, huh?)

Anyway, in the cast iron pan (that you’ve OF COURSE cleaned out by now), heat about 1/4 inch of oil to fry the chicken patties in.

Don’t think of it as deep-frying – 1/4 inch is not deep.  It’s shallow-frying, and as long as you get the oil hot enough, it’s not going to soak into your food.

Once the oil is hot, just fry your chicken hashes, about 4-5 minutes on each side.  Drain them on a paper-towel lined plate (or baking sheet).

We served them with a poached egg on top and a tossed salad, but we didn’t need the $60 egg-poaching pan.

And, for what it’s worth, leftovers reheated nicely the next day.

Or would that be leftover leftovers?


1. anne - March 1, 2011

I honestly have no idea what hash actually is. Is it one of those things that varies, depending on what is in the fridge?

I think it is. As I said, I never had it growing up, except the canned, Alpo-tasting stuff. But I suspect that, like shepherd’s pie and stuff like that, it was originally a way to use up leftovers, probably from Sunday Dinner. Oooh, I’ll bet it would be good with, say, mashed up beans (or even lentils) instead of meat, and potatoes and. . . veggie stuff in it, wouldn’t it?

Hmmmmm. . . .

anne - March 1, 2011

Do tell, how do you know what Alpo tastes like? 😛

😳 Well, I, um, well. . . my brother told me. Yeah, that’s it. My brother. 😀

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