Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Grilling - Smoked Chicken Nachos

I received pans and compensation from Handi-Foil to facilitate my review and recipe. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Some nights I really need something fast to feed a hungry crowd and I don't want to hear any whining. That was definately not a problem when I made up these Smoked Chicken Nachos thes week.

What can I say? I love nachos.

When my husband and I were working through college on late nights we would split an order of loaded nachos at our favorite pub. A beer and black bean nachos were the perfect date night food for us. Now I am older and I have my own fancy toys... aka smoker, so I wanted to see if my Traeger was up to the challenge of smoking some nachos.

Now, if you remember my foray into Smoked Mac and Cheese, you know the smoker can take even the simplest cheese and make it taste heavenly. No expensive smoked cheddar needed. So, what could my Traeger do for a simple nacho platter?

Boy, oh boy! It did wonderful things. Now, I wasn't about to try scraping burned cheese off my grill so this was the perfect solution. I love the small slits in the bottom that allowed the heat and smoke to get underneath the chips. There wasn't a soggy chip in the whole tray.

As for grilling my nachos? Well, it was the fastiest and easiest way to make nachos I have ever found. This would be fantastic for feeding a hungry crowd. For even more trays, use the Handi-Foil sheets to ball up and stack up those trays of nacho goodness.

I have blogged about this pans before. Handi-foil makes my cooking and baking easier, as well as helps me out with the clean-up. Did you know most of these foil pans are made from 100% recycled aluminum and they are 100% recyclable. Everybody wins here.

I actually had some various cuts of chicken to use up. Usually I place the large chicken breasts directly on the grill, but this time I also needed to use up some smaller boneless thigh peices. I like the flavor (and the price) of thigh cuts, especially when I will be chopping the meat up into bite-sized peices. The grill sheets kept the small peices from falling through the grate.

Then I assembled my nachos as usual. I like to put down a first layer of cheese to melt to the chip, then all my toppings like black beans and chicken, then another layer of cheese to hold those loose items on the chip. Clever, right? It's a system.

After smoking just long enough to melt the cheese and impart the deep smokey flavor of my wood, I took the nachos off the grill and topped with my cold items like avocado, tomato and sour cream.

It really ended up being a beautiful thing. Share this at your next party and you will have some happy guests.

Smoked Chicken Nachos

You Will Need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, or 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • chicken rub
  • corn chips
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 c. black beans
  • 1 can Fire Roasted green chilis
  • 1/4 c. sliced olives
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 roman tomatos, diced
  • sour cream to dot the top

Start by prepping your smoker. Check to ensure you have plenty of chips or pellets, then open the door and turn onto the smoke setting. Once you notice smoke rising from the smoker, shut the door and turn on high.

Season chicken with salt and pepper or your favorite chicken rub. Place on a a grill sheet. And cook until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove from the smoker and let the chicken rest, covered with foil.

Fill 2 grill pans with a thin layer of corn chips. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese, then your black beans, green chilis, sliced avocado. Cut chicken into bite-sized peices and distribute over the nachos. Finish up by sprinkling cheddar cheese over the top.

Place on your grill for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts. These cook quickly, so keep an eye on them. Finish topping with sliced avocado, diced tomato and sour cream. Serve immediately.

To round out our smoked nacho dinner, I grilled some young squash in the other grill sheet. I sprayed them lightly with grapeseed oil and then dusted them with my favorite dried herbs. I grilled these on high until they were fork tender.

Again, the grill sheets made cooking faster and easier. Grab a stack of these before your next BBQ at the park and you won't need to worry about communal grills anymore. These grill pans and sheets will have your food covered.

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