Recipe: First We Feast’s Tomatillo Chicken-Cheese Sauce Nachos

Fresh out the FWF test kitchen (a.k.a., our apartment).

  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 33
  • Click through the gallery above to see how the nachos came together.
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 1
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 3
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 4
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 5
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 6
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 7
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 8
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 9
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 10
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 12
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 15
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 21
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 22
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 28
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 26
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 31
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 32
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 34
  • NACHOS Chicken Tomatillo & CT Burger 38

Serious games call for serious nachos. Passing a mild queso dip and round chips off as the real deal won’t cut it. Guests need to be satisfied.

When the stakes are high, the key is to get decadent—you can never have enough cheese—while not overthinking things. You want something messy and massive that will inspire people to throw caution to the wind and dig in.

This recipe requires just three simple steps to set up a hefty dish that combines ideas of snack and meal. It is slightly unconventional in that it does not pursue the commonly held nacho-making maxim that there should never be any soggy chips. These nachos prove that it’s okay to break the rules sometimes.

Taking the extra time to fry your own tortilla chips will ensure that they are sturdy enough to stand up to the onslaught of cheese sauce, but not every chip has to come out extra crispy—don’t worry. When you pull the baking tray out of the oven, you can serve it almost like lasagna, carving out segments of beautifully melded chicken, cheese, and tortilla. The results scream nachos in terms of flavors and build, but the experience is more akin to chilaquiles.

We’ve eaten a lot of nachos in our day, and these are our favorite variety to make at home, not least because you won’t find anything like them at a bar.

Tomatillo Chicken-Cheese Sauce Nachos

Tortilla chips
Cut corn tortillas into quarters and lightly fry in canola oil until golden-brown. Salt as they come out of the oil, then leave to cool. (You will need to do this in batches). We have found that 365 Organics corn tortillas offer the ideal thickness.

Chicken
Purchase a whole rotisserie chicken. Pull both breasts apart in a bowl and shred the meat.

Cheese sauce
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
4 oz Colby
4 oz sharp cheddar
4 oz Monterrey Jack
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large sauce pan (don’t brown). Whisk in flour until butter and flour form a roux of smooth consistency. Slowly pour in the milk and blend with roux. Add cheese and melt. Season to taste.

Tomatillo salsa
5 tomatillo peppers
3 jalapenos
1/2 onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove husks from tomatillo and quarter. Quarter onion. Slice jalapenos. Combine all into a blender. Blend until ingredients combine in smooth liquid. Season to taste.

Toppings
4 oz Colby
4 oz Monterrey Jack
1 can black beans (drained)

Shred and put aside for final build.

The build
Combine tomatillo salsa with cheese sauce over medium-low heat and allow to simmer (this will cut the acid bite of the tomatillo). Fold the shredded chicken into the sauce, then pour off extra liquid so that you are left with a thick mix of shredded chicken and cheese. Place a layer of fresh chips on a baking sheet, cover with the chicken-cheese-tomatillo sauce mixture, then top liberally with the shredded cheese, as well as sliced jalapenos. Broil in the oven until top layer browns.

Put out small plates for guests to pile nachos onto, along with sour cream and diced avocados. A quick squeeze of lime over the top never hurts to cut through the heaviness of the cheese.

Newsletter

Feed your inbox.

Subscribe