Friday, November 1, 2013
Buffalo Chicken Nachos
My post today is more of a technique than a recipe. I'm not giving any quantities, because it's totally up to how many nachos you want to make. One of the great things about nachos is that you can make just enough for a small lunch or snack for one person, or you can make enough to feed a crowd while watching football on Sunday.
I consider myself to be a bit of a nacho connoisseur. I've eaten a lot of nachos, from a lot of different places, and along the way I've learned exactly what I want. Toppings on every chip. Chips that are still crispy with the last bite, not so soggy that you have to eat them with a fork. Cheese that gets just ever so slightly browned on the edges. Very few restaurants seem to have nailed all of these requirements, which is why I love to make them at home.
What you'll need:
Sturdy tortilla chips (I like to use Whole Foods' 365 brand lightly salted restaurant style white corn chips)
Cooked chicken breast, shredded*
Buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Fresh salsa, drained well (I like Whole Foods salsa) - you could also chop tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and cilantro - I'm usually too lazy for this though
Optional: Olives, jalapenos, sour cream
*I usually poach the chicken. To do so, place it in a pot in a single layer and cover with water until it's about an inch over the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, keep the chicken covered, and allow to sit for another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and allow to cool slightly.
Before assembling the nachos, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the shredded chicken with the buffalo sauce, adding sauce to your desired level of heat.
Then in a baking dish, add a layer of tortilla chips, covering the entire bottom of the pan. Add some of the chicken, making sure each chip has a small bit of chicken. Add some of the fresh salsa, again taking care to get some on each chip. It's very important that you have drained the liquid out of the salsa - too much residual liquid will make the chips soggy. Add some of the shredded cheddar. Repeat the layers as many times as needed to use up your ingredient/feed your crowd. Top with some scallions. If you want to add olives or jalapenos, feel free to layer them in as well. I sometimes add an extra drizzle of buffalo sauce over the top as well.
Bake the nachos for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is warmed through. I will sometimes bake them for 8 minutes or so, and then turn the broiler on for a minute or two to get the cheese a little browned.
That's it! So easy and so customizable, and this method produces nachos that meet all of my requirements above. Enjoy!