Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yes, we are entering...Chicken Nacho NIRVANA!!!

nirvana |nərˈvänə; nir-|
   • a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place.
   • PARADISE, heaven; bliss, ecstasy, joy, peace,serenity,      tranquility; enlightenment.

12 x 17 inches of Chicken Nacho goodness!

This is a recipe that I came up with several years ago and it has become one of our favorite "weekend sins". The recipe has evolved over the years, but here is the version we are currently using. Some may feel these are a little spicy or they may like more or less cheese on their Nachos, but it is an easy recipe to adapt to your taste level. When we make these, we split the chicken mixture and remaining cheese in half and make Nachos twice over a week OR...shhhh, don't tell...sometimes two nights in a row.

Awesome Chicken Nachos
  • 2 tsp. - Chili Powder 
  • 2 tsp. - Ground Cumin 
  • 1 ½ tsp. - Oregano Leaves 
  • 1 tsp. - Crushed Red Pepper 
  • 1 tsp. - Garlic Powder 
  • 1 pk. - Boneless Chicken Breast (20 oz. package) 
  • 1 - 14 ½ oz can undrained “Red Gold (brand) Diced Tomatoes, Chili Ready" **see note 
  • 1 - 15 oz. can undrained "Kuner's Black Beans, with Cumin & Chili Spices" (usually located in Mexican food isle) **see note 
  • 6-8 c. - mix of shredded Monterey Jack & Mexican Cheeses - divided (we eyeball the amount of cheese we use, so don't know the exact amount) 
  • 1 - “Super Size” bag of “Tostitos” Corn Chips (large chips) 
  • Sliced fresh or jarred Jalapenos 
  • Garnish – sliced Green Onions, chopped fresh Tomatoes, shredded Lettuce, med/hot Red Taco Sauce or Salsa & Sour Cream (or lean), Guacamole, etc.

Cut chicken into small chunks/pieces. Mix seasonings; sprinkle over chicken. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat; add chicken. Saute chicken 5-8 minutes, until done. Add undrained tomatoes and black beans, cook until well heated; about 5 minutes. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cheese & cook until mixture thickens; remove from heat (sauce will continue to thicken some while sitting). 
Heat oven to 450 degrees on the broiler setting. Cover large jelly roll pan or baking sheet with heavy duty tin foil; lay out one tight layer of chips. Add desired amount of sliced Jalapeno (*optional - you can add chopped white/yellow onion to chips), then drop pieces of chicken mixture onto chips (there will be extra). Sprinkle with desired amount of cheeses. If you would like, add additional 1/4 to 1/2 layer of chips, jalapenos, chicken mixture & cheese (we do this). Cook Nachos until cheese is melted, watching closely (in the first picture, notice the tips of a few of my chips were starting to burn). Add garnishes.
While eating, if we still feel we need more chips to balance it out, we will use additional chips from the bag. 
Depending on the amount of Nachos you make or the amount of chicken you add to your Nachos, you will most likely have enough chicken mix left over for a second batch. Everyone has different tastes preferences, so you may need to make these a few times, before you find your perfect balance of spices, chicken mixture & cheese. 

**Note - If you want to reduce spice level, you can either drain the liquid from the Kuner's Cumin & Chili spiced Black Beans or use regular Kuner's Black Beans; rinse before you add to pan. You can also drain some of the liquid from the Chili Ready Tomatoes or use regular Red Gold diced Tomatoes. I suggest keeping the Chili Ready version & instead reducing some of the spices a bit. 

My husband isn't a big lettuce or fresh tomato person, so you will notice our Nachos have no lettuce & only light tomatoes on one side.  We also forgot to put the sour cream and Guacamole on our Nachos before we took these pictures. Oops!

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