Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thai Chicken Nachos

Normally when I go on a culinary tangent I like to mete out my recipes in any one particular theme slowly, but since we've only got a few weeks of football snacking left, I thought I should get my nacho recipes out in short order. Last time I shared nachos of the Italian persuasion, but this time I borrowed from a totally different culinary tradition for something lighter and spicier, Thai Chicken Nachos. Where Italian Nachos were rich and deeply savory, these nachos are light and spicy, two different but equally satisfying ways to satisfy your nacho craving. A generous amount of scallions, cilantro, and jalapeno make these nachos fresh and give a nod to the traditional recipe. Feta cheese maintains the requisite cheesy goodness in light and salty fashion, and the chicken and peanuts make them substantial and savory. If you're looking to spice up your football snacks or simply indulge without doing too much damage, this is the recipe for you.

Thai Chicken Nachos
serves 1 to 2

Cooking spray or canola or olive oil
4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
2 ounces tortilla chips
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 fresh or pickled red or green jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons prepared peanut sauce, diluted with 1 to 2 tablespoons water
Finely chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, preheat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook until meat is no longer pink and at least 170 degrees F.

2. Place tortilla chips on an oven-safe platter in an even layer. Top chips with scallions, cooked chicken, half the cilantro, jalapeno, and feta cheese. Drizzle diluted peanut sauce over the top.

3. Place platter in the oven and bake until nachos are warmed through and cheese is slightly melted (feta does not melt like mozzarella, etc.). Top with the remaining cilantro and peanuts, if using, and serve immediately.

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