BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Ever since I threw together these //BBQ pulled pork nachos// a couple years ago, I have been wanting to do a BBQ chicken version. I typically prefer BBQ chicken over BBQ pork. So I wanted to put a new spin on it.

These nachos feature my favorite //pickled red onions//, spicy pickled jalapenos, and a mild, smoky cheese sauce. And of course, once you top everything with fresh scallions and cilantro, the flavors are complete!

Here is my pledge to you: I will never stop making nachos. But, this was one of the last nachos ideas I had on my list.  There are a couple others, but I am working on perfecting them.  What kind of nachos would you like to see up here? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

BBQ Chicken Nachos

Ingredients
For the cheese sauce:
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups milk, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce, if desired

For the nachos:
1-2 cups shredded BBQ chicken, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop
Pickled red onions
Pickled jalapenos
Creme fraiche or sour cream
Minced cilantro
Chopped scallions
Tortilla chips

Directions
For the cheese sauce:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk quickly to combine. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warmed milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Once it thickens, lower the heat to low. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Add shredded cheese and whisk gently until completely melted. Finally, add hot sauce and whisk to combine. Feel free to add more or less to your heat preference.

For the nachos:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread tortilla chips onto a sheet pan in an even layer and place into the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the chips start to get warm.

2. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Drizzle with cheese sauce. Layer on the shredded chicken, and drizzle with more cheese sauce. Then top with pickled red onions and pickled jalapenos. Drizzle with creme fraiche or dot with sour cream. Then sprinkle minced cilantro and chopped scallions on top. Serve immediately while it’s warm!

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I have a yummy Mexican recipe for you!!

A little while ago I made a batch of slow-cooked BBQ chicken for my husband’s work lunches.  And it turned out I’d made just a bit too much.  Like he wasn’t going to eat it all before it went bad.  So I decided to use some of it to make some recipes I’d been kicking around in my head for a while – the first of which was BBQ chicken quesadillas.

I had a really good BBQ chicken quesadilla once at a restaurant downtown.  It was chock full of BBQ chicken and melty cheese and peppers and onions.  That’s kind of what I was going for, but mine are much thinner, because I have an inability to make big fat quesadillas and not have them fall apart when flipping.  I need one of those quesadilla grill baskets or something!  But whatever.  These were plenty good!

I used my favorite //pickled red onions// in this recipe along with some store-bought pickled jalapenos and the flavor was spot-on, exactly what I was looking for.  Little bit of sweet, little bit of heat.  I used pepper Jack cheese too, and a fresh sprinkling of cilantro both inside and on top of the quesadillas.  They were so good!

When Vegetarian May is over I may just make these again!!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Serves 2

Ingredients
4 large flour tortillas (burrito or enchilada size)
1-2 cups shredded BBQ chicken (see Notes)
2+ cups shredded pepper Jack cheese (or mix 1 cup shredded pepper Jack + 1 cup shredded cheddar)
Pickled red onions, drained and dabbed dry
Pickled jalapenos, diced
Minced cilantro
Sour cream, if desired

Directions
1. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Spray one side of one flour tortilla lightly with cooking spray, and place sprayed side down on the griddle. Repeat with one more flour tortilla.

2. Top each tortilla with about a 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Then layer on 1/2 cup or so of shredded BBQ chicken on each tortilla, then pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, and minced cilantro. Top with remaining 1/2 cup or so of shredded cheese on each tortilla. (I say “or so” a lot because these can be as big or as small as you want. Do it to your preference!)

3. Spray one side of each of the remaining flour tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Place each tortilla sprayed side up on top of each quesadilla that you’ve built.

4. As the cheese melts on the bottom tortilla, use a spatula to peek underneath to make sure the tortilla is not burning. When the tortilla is nicely browned, carefully flip the quesadilla over, and cook until browned on the other side. This can take several minutes, depending on the heat of your stovetop or griddle. Just keep an eye on it, and if it’s not moving fast enough for you, raise heat to medium-high, but then you REALLY have to keep an eye on it.

5. When finished, cut each tortilla into fourths or sixths, and sprinkle with more minced cilantro if desired. Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

Notes
To make shredded BBQ chicken: Place 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a slow cooker and cover with a 12oz bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. When done, shred the chicken right in the slow cooker, then serve. Or, remove to differently tightly-sealed containers for leftovers and other purposes.