Easy Chicken Chili Verde Nachos

So, I thought that since yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, it would be a great time to make nachos. But, let's face it - I'll use any excuse to make nachos. Having people over? Nachos. Got a raise at work? Nachos. Put in a hard, long week? Nachos. It's a beautiful day? You get the picture. I even have my calendar marked for International Day of the Nacho on October 21st. 

Yes, there is indeed an International Day of the Nacho. It was designated in 1975 to honour the death of Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, none other than the inventor of the nacho. (This story just gets more interesting, doesn't it?) Nacho, as Ignacio was called, was a maitre d' in a restaurant called the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. It turns out he invented the dish in 1943 when a gaggle of the wives of nearby US soldiers happened to stop by at closing time looking for a bite to eat. Ol' Nacho said he'd make them something with whatever he had in the kitchen. That 'something' happened to be corn tortillas he'd cut into triangles, smothered in cheddar cheese, heated, and topped with sliced jalapenos. They asked him, "what do you call this dish?" to which he replied, "Nachos especiales". (I almost envision a movie-like, dramatic, backlit pronouncement) The rest is history. I know this sounds totally made up, but it's true. Wikipedia told me so.

Well, that's enough background; nachos need to be made. Since we were celebrating Mexico, and since I had chicken thighs in the fridge that need to be used, I topped these crunchy delights with a simplified version of Chicken Chili Verde. What I also love about nachos is that you can top them in just about anything, and turn a snack into a meal. Here's how to make it:

Heat the oil on medium high, and add the onions and red pepper. Cook until translucent, and add the chicken. Brown the chicken, and add the spice mix, lime and garlic. Cook until chicken is done, and turn to low to simmer. Add the secret ingredient, 200 ml of green salsa verde - made with tomatillos. Let this simmer.

In addition to the standard accompaniments like salsa and sour cream, I made an easy guacamole. (Yes, with one of the many avocados I still have in my fridge.) It's pretty straightforward: Mash an avocado with 1 clove of crushed garlic, juice of half a lime, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and if you like, a teaspoon of chopped cilantro. 

Yep, what makes this simplified is the use of jarred chili verde salsa rather than making my own. I love making things from scratch, but I really didn't have any tomatillos, or a place to get them, or the two hours to do it right. So for those reasons, and because I think it's just as good, jarred salsa was the way to go. And no, I also didn't make my own tortilla chips. 

As a tip, don't add the chicken chili verde until after the nachos are baked. Otherwise, the nachos become soggy. You can just spoon it over top after you them out of the oven. I baked mine for 10 minutes on 400F, covered in shredded jalapeno cheddar cheese. Ole mi amigos!


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