Chicken nachos with arbol chili are a fiery new way to enjoy a beloved snack. From the popular blog Adventures in Cooking comes our favorite poultry book in recent memory. Adventures in Chicken helps take the world’s most beloved meat from “been there, done that” to “I can’t wait to cook tonight!” Join author Eva Kosmas in reinventing this humble bird to a thing of true beauty. Invite chicken to the party and watch that hungry crowd descend.
These nachos. You guys. They are so, so good. The homemade arbol chili sauce really makes the nachos shine, and it only takes about 20 minutes, which is super short for such a flavorful sauce. You can find dried arbol chilies in the Mexican-food aisle of nearly any major grocery store. They have an earthy, almost smoky aroma and flavor, which complements the chicken perfectly. As you simmer them in the chicken stock, their dried exterior softens and soaks up the flavor of the stock. Then once you puree the sauce and toss it with the nacho fixings, you roast everything in the oven to keep the chips poking out at the top nice and crispy, creating a luscious, gooey layer of toppings underneath.
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large chicken (about 1 1/4 pounds), bone in and skin on
Arbol Chili Sauce
- 4 dried arbol chilies, stems cut off and seeds emptied and discarded
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/3 cups chicken stock
- 7 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ancho chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
- 4 cups tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
For the nachos
For the chicken, mix together the salt, black pepper, ancho chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl. Rub the olive oil over the chicken and then coat with the spice mixture.
Place on a small baking sheet and roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until the skin is golden and the chicken is cooked through. Remove, leaving the oven on, and let cool.
Peel the skin off the chicken and remove the meat from the bone by gently easing your fingers underneath the breast meat to peel it off the bone in one large piece, then pull apart into shreds using two forks. Set aside.
For the arbol chili sauce, in a medium saucepan, cook the dried arbol chilies in the oil over medium-low heat until the chilies soften and the oil turns slightly red, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, ancho chili powder, and chipotle chili powder and stir to combine. Simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.
For the nachos, in a large bowl, pour half of the arbol chili sauce over the chips and toss gently to coat. In a separate bowl, toss together the chicken, 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese, the bell pepper, beans, jalapeño, and remaining sauce.
Spread half of the chicken mixture in a medium casserole dish. Lay the chips over the chicken mixture and top with the remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.