Summer BBQ Chicken Nachos with Buttermilk Onion Rings.

This is the best trashed up dinner ever.

Except according to my husband, who refuses to eat nachos for dinner but WHO CARES.

More for us.

Is it fair to call nachos with obviously fried onion rings “summery” and “light?” Because these just are.

I’ve been craving some onion rings ever since I taught a burger class a few weeks ago where we made crispy onion straws for a quinoa burger topping. Ummm… so good. Needed them again.

This was also BEFORE I burned an entire pain of fries (literally pulled them out of the oven and they were black twigs) but I think these made up for those.

And these nachos are a little high maintenance but you can make a few pieces ahead of time and throw them all together. I just love fat plates of nachos that have something special on top of them – making it an over-the-top indulgence. Much better than chips covered in bagged cheese and shoved in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Still not above that though.

I cheated and used a store bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. And I’ve gotta tell you. Ever since finding out I had a bun in the oven, I’ve made sure to pick up a chicken at the store because I know that way there is always something for Eddie’s lunches and dinners. However, it’s been the one thing to turn my stomach so even to this day, my game plan is to throw the chicken in the back of the car and drive home as fast as I can while holding my breath. Then I’m like PLEASE TAKE THIS CHICKEN OUT OF SIGHT IMMEDAITELY! And beg him to rip the meat from the bones and dispose of the evidence while I drink bubbly soda. It’s worked out perfectly. And after that: comes nachos. It’s like our reward for driving with chicken and pulling chicken. As long as it isn’t dinner.

My BBQ flavor fantasy includes my favorite sauce with a mix of sweet corn, often some green onions and radishes with a bite. I always like a cheddar, but this time we went with a quick makeshift white cheddar queso and freshly grated cheese – melty in on-so different ways.

It’s just a big pile of love.


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BBQ Chicken Nachos with Buttermilk Onion Rings

Yield: serves 4 appropriately, 2 obnoxiously

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

buttermilk onion rings
2 sweet onions, sliced into rings
1 quart buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
vegetable oil for frying

nachos
2 cups shredded chicken breasts
2/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce, plus more for drizzling
1 standard size bag of tortilla chips
4 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
2 ears of corn, grilled and cut from the cob
3 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup freshly torn cilantro

white cheddar queso
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup half and half
4 ounces freshly grated white cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

buttermilk onion rings
A few hours or even the night before, add the onions to a baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over top making sure to fully submerge the rings. Place in the fridge until ready to use (at least 2 hours). Stir together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic and smoked paprika. Remove the onions from the fridge.

Heat a saucepan with a few inches of oil over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to determine when the heat reaches 350 degrees. Dredge the onions through the flour and drop them in the oil, frying until golden and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Make the queso next!

white cheddar queso
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two to create a roux. Once it's golden and fragrant, slowly whisk in the half and half. Cook for a minute until slightly thick. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese until melted and warm. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep over low heat until ready to use, stirring occasionally.

nachos
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the chicken with 2/3 cup of the BBQ sauce. Place the chips on a baking sheet. Cover the chips with a sprinkling of cheese, then add the chicken on top. Throw the corn on next, along with the remaining cheese. Bake the nachos for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and chips and crispy. Remove immedaitely from the oven and cover the chips with the green onions, avocado, tomatoes, radishes and cilantro. Top with the onion rings and drizzle the queso over top. Finish with a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

a hug of nachos.