I make a version of this that my husband's side of the family asks me to make EVERY year for Christmas...they call them "those amazing potatoes". I buy the o'brien style of shredded hashbrowns that have the onion & green pepper in them. If you can't find them, put in your own onion&green pepper...it adds alot of flavor. I never add butter to this dish, with all the cheese, sour cream & cream soup it's not necessary and you won't miss it, trust me! I also like to add fresh minced garlic to the mix...and I also never bother thawing out the hashbrowns as this recipie implies (with the need to press out the excess water) just mix it all together with the hashbrowns in their frozen state. Other soups work nicely, too. We have a vegetarian in the family so instead of cream of chicken I use cream of onion (great flavor booster!) cream of celery or cream of potato. Since I always double this for a crowd, I use two different types of soup. Cr. of onion is my favorite, though! If you want crispy browned edges, remove the foil or lid half way through baking. When it's all bubbly & browned around the edges, it's done. It takes a little over an hour and when doubled, takes more like 1 1/2 hrs. or so. I also think the chips make it too greasy. 2 cups of coursely crushed corn flakes (cereal) mixed with 1/2 c. melted butter is better, I think. If you use durkee fried onions, put them on the last 10-15 min. or they will burn! Don't forget to spray baking dish w/nonstick spray!!!!
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I make a version of this that my husband's side of the family asks me to make EVERY year for...