Almost every Wednesday night for at least the past decade, I’ve eaten nachos. I’ve tried a few versions over the years and gone through a few phases, but for the most part, I’ve made them exactly the same way every time. I love my regular nachos just the way they are so why would I want to change them? But…
I had a few leftover chicken breasts and it was Nacho Night. It was quite a dilemma. I could go with my tried and true nachos and waste the chicken or I could branch out a bit and merge the nachos and the chicken.
I seasoned the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and a generous amount of chili powder. I put them in a frying pan, added some water and salsa, turned the heat on and placed a lid over top to steam the chicken so that it would be nice and tender. I flipped it over a few times and when it was fully cooked, took it off the heat and shredded it using two forks.
Admission time: I have no idea how I’m actually supposed to shred chicken. I don’t eat much meat, so I’ve never made shredded pork or whatever else people shred, so I took a guess that forks might work. They did.
At this point, I actually covered the chicken shreds, put them in the fridge and went out to run a few errands and take kids to lessons. This is how I know that you can make the chicken ahead of time and it is still moist and delicious later!
To assemble the nachos, I lay triangle white corn chips on a pizza stone and added shredded monterey jack cheese, the chicken, green chilies, chopped green pepper, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños (a note about this in a second), and more cheese. I put another layer of chips and toppings on top and baked them in the oven just until the cheese had melted.
When it comes to my jalapeños, I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a snob. I’m of the mindset that jalapeños should be as fresh as possible. We grow them on our deck in the summer and in the winter, I’ve been known to go from one grocery store to another in search of the best peppers I can find. I never use pickled jalapeños on my nachos but I decided that the flavours might go better with the chicken and the type of cheese I was using. I have to admit that I do think it was a better fit for these nachos than using fresh jalapeños would have been.
These are essentially the opposite of my usual: different chips, the addition of meat, pickled jalapeños, green peppers, green chilies, no onions, and yet…I loved them! The were so good that I felt guilty eating them because my husband was working late and didn’t get to sample them, so when he got home, I made him his own. I still haven’t decided whether I like the shredded chicken nachos better than the ones I’m used to or not, but the fact that they are even in the running is more than I thought possible. We will definitely be making these again!
Looking for other Nachos recipes? Follow my Nachos board on Pinterest!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt, pepper, chili powder
- 1/4 cup water (more if needed)
- 1/4 cup salsa
- white corn tortilla chips
- monterey jack cheese
- green chilies
- green peppers
- pickled jalapeños
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and chili powder.
- Place in pan with the water and salsa and turn heat to medium high.
- Cover. Turn chicken a few times during cooking. Add more water if needed.
- When chicken is cooked, remove from heat. Shred.
- Put tortilla chips on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Layer with shredded cheese, chicken, and vegetables.
- If desired, add another layer.
- Bake until cheese is melted. Check often as they don't take long to cook.
- Optional: Serve with sour cream and salsa.
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