Chile Chicken Nachos
Meet your ideal nacho construction plan. Dividing everything between two baking sheets solves problems and creates party opportunities. You’ll get the ideal ratio of ingredients layered on each tray, and if you want, you can put them into the oven at different times so that there’s always a hot melty batch for your guests.
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped, divided
- 1 Tbsp. achiote paste or tomato paste
- 8 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped (or 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce to keep things mild)
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from bones and shredded
- 2 10-oz. bags frozen corn, thawed, drained
- 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, chopped
- 8 oz. finely grated Cotija cheese (about 2½ cups), divided
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 8-oz. bags tortilla chips, divided
- 2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- Thinly sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, and pickled jalapeños (for serving)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high until shimmering. Cook garlic and half of onion, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes. Stir in achiote paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until brick red, about 1 minute. Add ancho chiles, chipotle chile, stock, cumin, and 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit until chiles are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Transfer chile mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Return to saucepan, stir in chicken, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; season with salt. Remove from heat; set chicken aside until ready to assemble.
Meanwhile, toss corn, poblano chile, ¾ cup Cotija cheese, and remaining onion in a medium bowl until combined; season with salt.
Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Arrange half a bag of chips on each sheet. Top each with one-quarter of the chicken mixture, one-quarter of the corn mixture, and one-quarter of the cheddar. Repeat layers with remaining chips, chicken mixture, corn mixture, and cheddar. (Each tray will contain half of all the ingredients.)
Bake nachos, rotating pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until cheese is melted and edges of chips are beginning to brown, 8–10 minutes. Serve topped with radishes, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, remaining Cotija cheese, and desired toppings alongside.
Do Ahead: Nachos can be assembled 1 hour before baking. Cover with plastic and store at room temperature.