I have to admit, I loved this, but I did change a few things. I too would prefer mushroom soup over chicken. I doubled the recipe and when I did, I doubled the cheese too. I used butter flavored cooking spray to grease my baking dish as well, which gave it a nice crispy-on-the-outside texture, and made cleaning a snap. I also followed the fried onions topping too. I didn't have any problems mixing it together, it just took a little time and I used a folding technique. I wonder if the quality of the frozen hash browns makes a difference? I'm thinking it does. My grocer was out of Ore-ida so I went with a slightly upper brand called Alexia Yukon Select Hashbrowns and man oh man. It was delicious and the potatoes didn't mash together. Those come in an odd weight and since I was doubling it anyway, I went with 3 bags. I hate to deliver the bad news to Cracker Barrel, but this one is clearly the winner. This is going to be my go to recipe for this type and it's clear that it will freeze beautifully. I can smell it on Christmas morning already! ;) I highly recommend it.
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I have to admit, I loved this, but I did change a few things. I too would prefer mushroom soup...