Campfire Chicken Nachos
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
We take nachos very seriously in this house. It's an easy meal, a quick meal, you can make it last minute when you forgot to take anything out for dinner or everyone had something going on after school and we get home at 7:00 and still need to eat. AND everyone digs them. And, into them.
I recently took a first-ever trip to Red Robin, of course I got a burger and steak fries because that's their signature meal and I was a first-timer. Matt however, no matter where we go absolutely needs to try the fried pickles, and this was no different occasion. I will eat fried pickles but I could also live without them. Fried foods are a favorite but also not my jam because I can't see the worth of filling myself up with all the grease and I'm really dependent on my air fryer. BUT THE SAUCE! I also can live without BBQ sauce, its not a make or break for me as a sauce, but this version of BBQ sauce and some mixture, I may have just dipped everything in front of me in it, without shame.
Obviously, when we got home Matt googled and taste tested until he found a favorite combination of a various list of ingredients and ALAS, we found our campfire sauce! He went to the store, got himself some Farmrich frozen fried pickles, tossed them in our beloved Ninja Foodi Airfryer and made us a perfect snack to watch Mindhunter. I didn't eat dinner and was flipping starving so I also tossed some Aldi's panko crust chicken in with the pickles (so dang yummy) and we were good to go. I generally go for my homemade ranch for dipping but Matt insisted I try a piece with the campfire sauce and it was life changing. Yup.
Then, in a desperate situation of sneaking a snack without my children seeing I took a handful of tortilla chips and hid in front of the fridge, pretending to clean it, I randomly grabbed the campfire sauce and dipped my chip in. MY MIND WAS BLOWN AGAIN. Can this sauce not be matched by anything? It was BBQ but, a little spicy and a little creamy and some notes of garlic and chili powder. It reminded me of when we have BBQ chicken nachos, but SO MUCH BETTER. Of course, I then had make my go to BBQ chicken nachos, upgrade to this sauce and I had no words. This is definitely something and you need to eat it for yourself.
I marinated my chicken in a good shake of chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzled some olive oil, tossed it around in a ziplock bag and let it sit while I clean my entire damn house because, it was just the weekend and we had every human (and animal) in both sides of the family over for three days of fun. But, now came the time to stop crying and just clean what my kids refused to do.
In between stepping on legos, swearing, folding laundry, and sipping wine, I diced up some plum tomatoes and red onion. Seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and tossed around with oil. I like to think of this as a very basic pico de Gallo, but minus all the extra stuff that creates a very Mexican food staple, because this is definitely going in a different direction. I put that back in the fridge to marinate together and continued onto vacuuming and more swearing.
Later on, once my house looked OK enough for a human being to enter without being concerned, I started searing the chicken in a pan, lowwwww and slowwwww. I love/hate that saying because I hate crockpots and not looking at food as it cooks, but this works, being covered, for getting that juicy chicken without the crockpot. Once the chicken was cooked, I did what I call the "lazy shred" basically just pulling chunks off one by one, and tossed it in a little of the campfire sauce.
On to the layering! First, spray baking sheet. You don't want that cheesy goodness to get stuck to the pan, thats terrible and depressing. Set oven to 300-350 degrees, depending on how fast your oven melts cheese. Spread a layer of tortilla chips, cover in a layer of shredded cheddar and shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle some of the tomato and onion mix all over. Toss a handful of chopped dill pickles across the plate, trust me. Sprinkle on some fresh cooked, chopped up bacon and repeat for a second layer!
Slide that baby into the oven and cook until the cheese is melted. I'd say a safe time would be 10 minutes, possibly more if the oven at set at 300, maybe 15. No more than 1 minute for the broiling, if you like the cheesy a little more crispy.
Remove from the over, drizzle some extra campfire sauce across the top, give a handful of chopped lettuce right on top and a dollop of sour cream, and dig in! And do not wear your skinny jeans.
TIP: Use some leftover campfire sauce to dip those chips that always end up having basically nothing on them in the end, even though you definitely put at least one of the ingredients on them. Life-changing. I'm telling you.
This recipe is a very loosely organized list of ingredients because it's really all what you like for flavor. Some of us are into really over the top flavor on our nachos, some are good with the basics and the in between, so judge with your eye. If you're skeptical, less is more.
2 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets OR 1 boneless, skinless breast
a bag of tortilla chips, I recommend Mission Tortilla chips
2 strips of bacon
sriracha sauce (just a dab will do ya)
1. Begin frying the 2 bacon strips, on LOW/MEDIUM
2. While the bacon cooks, season the chicken in chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
3. Make your campfire sauce by whisking together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, a little squeeze of sriracha (optional), 1/2 TBSP chili powder and 1/2 TBSP garlic powder. Taste to see how you like it, there is always room to add a little more mayo, BBQ or sriracha
4. Bacon should be just about finished, if you still need to flip, flip the strips and cook for about 30 more seconds (you want them crispy but not burned)
5. If there is a ton of bacon grease drain it out but leave a little lining of it at the bottom of the pan
6. Lay the seasoned chicken in the pan and continue cooking that on LOW/MEDIUM or you can turn it up to MEDIUM
7. Flip chicken at 3-5 minutes, when it's done shred off small chunks and toss into a bowl with a little bit of the campfire sauce
8. In a baking dish or on a baking sheet; layer chip, sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, campfire sauce chicken, bacon crumbles, diced dill pickles, red onions and plum tomatoes, repeat layers as desired
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, broil at LOW for 1 minute only, if you want a little extra crisping
10. Remove from oven, drizzle campfire sauce across the nachos, place a handful of shredded cheese in the middle and a dollop of sour cream, enjoy!