If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am good for whipping up some incredible nachos on the fly. I usually follow my golden rule: use what you have! Sometimes I actually plan and grocery shop with the express intention of making some bomb ass nachos.
Rules of Thumb
- Spread it wide and low! (No towers of chips over here)
- Sheet pans, cookout disposable pan, oven safe pan, cast iron skillet, etc.
- Generous layers
- Condiments (pico, guac, sour cream, cilantro, etc.)
I usually opt for a full sheet pan if I’m sharing but if I’m making it just for me then I’d opt for a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan.
Place aluminum foil in the pain and spread out a good layer of chips.
I always prep everything at once because it makes assembling much easier.
There is no recipe here but I’m going to outline a couple of things.
Take Care of Your Bird
When I need some quick and tasty chicken to top nachos, or pizza or whatever, I tend to follow the same steps.
- I slice my chicken breasts to be 1/2-1″ thick. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Heat your skillet to medium high. Your cast iron should be smoking (I recommend cast iron).
- Season the chicken to your liking. For this purpose? I’d use kosher salt, coarse pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, a little sazon, cumin, smoked paprika and finish with lime juice. Use what you like. Gently pat the seasoning into the chicken.
- Use your preferred oil (that can withstand the heat). Add a couple of teaspoons, not a lot of oil. You’re not frying this.
- Add your chicken to the skillet. You should hear that musical SSSSSSSS immediately. LEAVE IT ALONE. Let it cook unbothered. Because you cut them so thin, you should be able to see the white begin to encroach upon the pink chicken facing you. Around 4-6 minutes. Peak under to check on that Maillard reaction. Your chicken should be pretty brown. If it isn’t, no worries. Flip the chicken and let the other side cook, unbothered. After a few minutes, if your chicken is brown enough for your liking then you can flip it around the pan for a couple of minutes. Don’t do this too long, you don’t want a dry bird. (I have never written out how I get such juicy, yummy chicken breasts using this method. If something doesn’t make sense when you try this, don’t hesitate to message me on IG or using the contact form on the site).
- Let the chicken rest on your cutting board. Ain’t no cutting to check or to taste. If you wanted to taste you should have cooked a small piece before cooking the whole breasts! (Pro-tip, by the way).
While the chicken is resting, start chopping up and preparing the fixins. My personal go-to’s are a LOT of shredded cheese, fresh pico, guacamole, black beans, chopped jalapenos (fresh or pickled, or both!), cilantro, lime juice and zest, red onion, sometimes lime and cilantro rice, corn. What I use is generally determined by what I have, unless it’s a planned nacho night.
If I’m using pork, I use a very similar method. If I use steak, I sous vide first then season and sear. I use chicken 97% of the time, though.
Once everything is ready to go, slice your chicken. Chop, if desired.
Time to Stack
Scoonch your chips around to get the cheese and fixins under the chip too. You don’t want everything just sitting on top and a bunch of naked ass chips on the bottom. Spread a bit of cheese on top the finish, if you want.
Bake on 450 until the cheese is all melty.
Top with pico, guac, sour cream, or anything that shouldn’t necessarily be ‘hot’.
I’ve included pictures of my various forays into nachos and tacos. I use the same methods and rules more or less.