Thanks for your nice replies. I now have a place to start. I am a bit intimidated, though. I rarely have a need for chroot, and I never have done a debootstrap of a system, and what with the need to sign kernels and all, well, it's a lot to take in at once. I am midgrade in knowledge, capable of making a general fool of myself over on Debian-user list and can hold my own with basic admin chores, but the lower-level system stuff, I am new to.
I hope you can be patient when I ask dumb questions. Thanks for your help!
(I was asking about it to make sure, because I think some of the stuff I found was for the Acer x86 Chromebook. A real Chromebook, but not what I am working with.)