Intro: Joe's Blackened Chicken Nachos!
I'm not a big fan of chicken but my husband-critter made blackened chicken and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF IT! It's pretty tasty by itself, but on nachos it's a whole new experience. Normally Joe cooks this so I wouldn't make an instructable, but I realized that if he dies tragically I won't have anyone to make it for me and I didn't know how to make until a few days ago. The realization that if something happens to him I may never get to eat this again struck me pretty hard. If something did happen to him I would be really sad about that but...BUT THE NACHOS!!!!
I'm just kidding! I love Joe more than nachos.
Normally Joe doesn't cook with recipes but I asked him to mix ingredients using measuring spoons so I could record the correct proportions for the spice mix. I have now made this recipe by myself and the spice proportions are perfect!
This can be cooked in the house (not recommended) or on a grill. If you cook it in the house it will smoke up the kitchen and possibly any adjacent rooms. In this example we started making the chicken on a grill but we ran out of propane so we had to finish in the house. Instead of making this instructable when the recipe was performed perfectly, I thought it would be a good example of how you can improvise.
I hope you enjoy Joe's Blackened Chicken Nachos!
Step 1: Ingredients
You can scale this recipe up or down. We find that making this much gives enough leftovers that we don't fight over who gets to bring it for lunch (until it's almost gone).
This spice mix gave us just enough to coat the chicken breasts. You may have to make a little more or less depending on how much chicken you get.
*For the salsa we use 5280 Medium.
**The number of avocados you use can vary depending on how much you like them. When Joe first makes this for dinner I'm so excited I can snarf down two. For lunch I will generally use one for 1-2 small chicken breasts.
In the Ingredients picture the chicken is already cooked and the avocado already cut, but I'll show you how to do that.
~3.5 lbs chicken breast
1-3 ripe avocados**
1.5 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tsp red pepper (or more if you like it spicier)
2 tsp black pepper
2.5 tsp thyme
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
0.5 tsp chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt (coarse or fine - Joe uses coarse)
A little more black pepper and thyme, not mixed, set to the side.
Step 2: Mix Spice Mix
1. This is the first step and it's pretty easy. Take all of the spices from the Ingredients Step and mix them together in a bowl.
2. Go turn your grill on to high heat.
Step 3: Prepping the Chicken
3. Wash the chicken in the sink. Joe says this is optional but he likes to do it to remove any materials/chemicals that could be stuck to the meat from processing.
4. Trim off fat and tendons. Maybe later you could add the fattier strips to soup or cook them up for fuzzy children (dogs or cats).
5. If your chicken is much thicker than ~1/2'' then Carefully take the chicken breasts and cut them in half to make two thinner breasts. You want each piece to be ~1/2'' thick.
6. Coat the chicken breasts in the spice mix. Once spiced, Joe usually puts them on a cookie sheet so that they don't stick and steal spice from each other.
7. Sprinkle a little additional thyme and black pepper on the chicken strips.
Step 4: Cooking the Chicken
8. Take the chicken to the grill. Place them on the grill. Joe says that some grills will heat differently. In our case the back is hotter and the thicker chicken strips are placed there. After the lid was closed Joe turned the grill down to "medium-low" heat.
9. Flip the chicken at ~4.5 minutes. Try to flip them quickly if it's cold outside so you don't cool down the grill too much. Our cooking time may be longer because we're cooking in winter. If you're cooking in summer maybe see how they're doing at 3.5 minutes?
10. At 7 minutes (approximately) turn the grill back up to "high" and blacken the outside of the chicken. Move the chicken a little in one direction so that the metal of the grill doesn't over blacken the meat.
If you don't run out of propane proceed to the step on cutting avocados. If you do run out of propane or you want to cook these inside - proceed to the next step.
This step is for people who want to cook the chicken breast inside - or if you run out of propane.
11. Place the chicken breasts in a pan. Turn the heat up to high. Blacken the chicken but don't make it 100% black - you're not making charcoal. The picture with the single pan full of chicken shows about how much you want to darken them.
12. Cut up the chicken into cubes or strips or whatever shape gives your preferred mouth-feel.
Step 6: Prepping the Avocado & Chopping Chicken
13. Cut your avocado in half and remove the pit.
14. Take a knife and cut parallel lines through each half of the avocado ~1/2'' (or 1cm) apart. Cut another set of parallel lines perpendicular to the first set you cut. This explanation makes it sound complicated so just take a quick glance at the picture.
15. Take a spoon and scoop all of your avocado chunks out of the skin. Toss the avocado chunks in a bowl.
Step 7: NACHO TIME!
Now you are ready to eat your blackened chicken nachos! There are two methods for satisfying consumption:
A. Pile chicken, salsa, and avocado onto the nachos in a bowl and eat.
PROS: Oh my gosh this is so yummy! This is how you can make your meal look impressive!
CONS: Your nachos may get soggy if you don't eat fast enough. Also, you make not get enough salsa, avocado, and chicken on each chip
B. Keep all of your ingredients separate and use each ingredient like a dip or spread
PROS: Oh my gosh this is so yummy and my nachos aren't soggy! Also, it ensures that each chip has the right balance of ingredients.
CONS: You have to make a little extra effort to put each ingredient on each chip.
However you eat it I hope you enjoy Joe's Blackened Chicken Nachos!