The key to great nachos is all about layering and not overcrowding. Homer Murray of Brooklyn's River Styx fries his own tortillas chips before topping them with homemade queso and crema, braised chicken, radishes, pickled jalapeños, chives and cilantro.
To learn more, read "Chips and Giggles."
Nachos with Cheese Sauce
Recipe adapted from Homer Murray, River Styx, Brooklyn, NY
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes for homemade tortilla chips
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes, plus 15 minutes for homemade tortilla chips
For the Chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
One 12-ounce bottle dark beer (such as Negra Modelo)
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the Cheese Sauce:
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (3 cups grated)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup finely chopped pickled jalapeños
2 tablespoons hot sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Crema:
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
For the Nachos:
8 ounces tortilla chips
½ cup thinly sliced red radishes (5 radishes)
½ cup pickled jalapeños
1 cup packed cilantro leaves, on the stem
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1. Make the chicken: In a small saucepan, combine the chicken, beer, chiles and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and simmer until cooked through, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the chicken cool in the liquid before shredding.
2. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce: In a small bowl, toss the cheese and cornstarch. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the cream, jalapeños and hot sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted and a thick sauce has formed, 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
3. Make the crema: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.
4. Assemble the nachos: Place the tortilla chips on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet tray. Top with the shredded chicken and pour the cheese sauce over it. Garnish with the crema, radishes, pickled jalapeños, cilantro leaves and chives. Serve.
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