Thursday, June 19, 2014

Grilled Chicken Nachos

Some of you may not know this about me... but I am a connoisseur of nachos. So much so that multiple toasts at my wedding actually referenced my love of the crunchy, cheese snack. 

 After sampling nachos all over the world (ok, all over Wilmington, and many a movie theater and sports arena), I figured i'd try my hand at making some of my own.


When it comes to nachos, I don't really discriminate (unless it's just melted cheddar on top- who does that? a cheese sauce is vital), but there are some kinds I like more than others.  I like to keep my nachos pretty simple, with a little pico, the occasional pulled pork or grilled chicken, and maybe a dollop of sour cream on top.  I skip the beans and jalapenos, but feel free to go crazy with any toppings you like.

The best part is the pico is double duty- part of it is used as the base for the cheese sauce and the rest is served on top.  The cheese sauce recipe makes plenty, so you could keep the extra warm in a fondu or crock pot for a party.

For the Chicken:
* 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied
(halved lengthwise to create a thinner chicken breast)
* 1/4 tsp. paprika
* 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
* 1/4 tsp. onion powder
* 1/4 tsp. cumin
* 1/4 tsp. chili powder

* 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
* 1/2 red onion, minced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 jalapeño, minced
* juice of 1/2 lime

Cheese Sauce
* Pico (half of recipe above)
* 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
* 1 tbsp. flour
* 1/2 c. lager style beer
* 1 c. monterey jack cheese, grated
* 1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
* 1/2 -1 c. heavy cream
* 1/4 tsp. cumin
* 1/4 tsp. chili powder
* 1/4 tsp. paprika

First, prepare the pico by combining all ingredients in a bowl; set aside.  To prepare the chicken, combine all spices in a bowl, then rub on the chicken.  Grill on medium high heat until cooked through (about 3-4 minutes per side). 

For the cheese sauce, start by adding the vegetable oil to a pot.  Heat to medium high, then add half the pico and sauté until the onions are slightly soft.  Stir in flour and cook for one minute.  Add the beer and cook for one additional minute, then add heavy cream.  Heat this mixture until small bubbles form around the edges, then reduce heat to medium low and add the cheeses.  Season with cumin, chili powder, and paprika.  If the cheese sauce is too thick, add a bit more cream until you have reached the desired consistency. 

Serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy! 

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