Tri-colored Chicken Nachos

Nachos.  Football food, right along with chili and chicken wings.  Perfect for having a cold beer.  Is it restaurant food?  Absolutely.  Fine dining? No, but any sports bar, pub, casual restaurant, Mexican place, etc will have nachos on their menu.  Why?  Because everyone loves nachos!

Crispy, smooth, spicy, savory, cheesy… delicious.  Perfect game – time finger food.

So, what’s the trick?  Why do we need a blog recipe for nachos?  We don’t, but there are a few things I would like to emphasize (other than how good these are).  First and foremost:  just like every other multi-part recipe I have posted, it is critical to make sure every component is made correctly, seasoned and cooked correctly before we combine everything.  It may seem obvious, but it’s so important.  Second, I think some people get intimidated with cheese sauces, homemade pico de galo (or raw salsa), guacamole, and bean puree.  It’s easier to open a few bottles of tostitos cheese sauce, bean dip and salsa and call it a day.  Not a bad idea, and when you’re in a pinch, it’s a great idea.  But there are excessive amounts of fat and salt in those pre-made items, and a limited amount of true flavor.  Better to make it yourself, control your ingredients, and have far superior finished product.

So here it is.  My recipe for nachos.  I broke it down component by component, so you can choose what you want to make, what you want to buy, when you want to make them, and to just make the process simpler.  Don’t be afraid to serve this with my chili recipe or roasted chicken wing recipe.  They all work together!

Tri-colored Chicken Nachos

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield:  enough for 5

You will need to prepare the guacamole and pico de galo from this earlier post:

http://chefnotebook.blogspot.com/2012/08/guacamole-and-pico-de-galo.html

Ingredients:

For the cheese sauce:

4 oz jack cheese, shredded
4 oz sharp yellow cheddar, shredded
1 cup heavy cream
1 small can jalapeno peppers

For the chicken:

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 tbsp montreal chicken rub
1 tsp chili powder
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the chips:

1 package tri-color tortilla chips
few tbsp sour cream

For the beans:

1 can black beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chop
1/2 red onion, rough chop
franks or tapatio hot sauce
1 tbsp chili powder

Method:

For the cheese sauce:

In a small sauce pot, heat the cream and add the cheese in 2 installments, with the jalapenos.  Whisk until melted, keep warm but not hot.  Reserve.

For the beans:

In a small sauce pot, add 1/2 cup of water, the beans, hot sauce, chili powder, onion, and garlic.  Bring to a boil and reduce slightly.  Transfer everything to a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the cilantro at the very end.  It should be thick.  If it’s not thick enough, return to the sauce pot and over low heat, reduce further.  Check seasoning.  Reserve and keep warm.

For the chicken.

Mix the chicken with the seasonings, lime juice and oil.  Liberally salt both sides and grill over a hot grill, until slightly charred and just cooked through.  Slice into thin strips.  Keep warm, and reserve.

For the Chips:

Gently warm chips in a low oven.

To finish:

In a mixing bowl, toss the warm chips with the bean puree, 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the pico de gallo.  Transfer to a platter or serving bowl and drizzle the rest of the cheese sauce over the top.  Top with the remainder of the pice de galo, sliced chicken, guacamole, sour cream, and the remainder of the chopped cilantro.  Serve right away

Feel free to add diced bell peppers, additional red onions, additional shredded cheese on top, sub steak for chicken, add additional avocado on top, and so on.

Enjoy.

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