What separates a ho-hum plate of nachos from a truly amazing one? Is it the cheese, the meat and veggie toppings, the types of chips or the distribution of ingredients? My answer: All of the above! In this recipe I’ll show you what I think goes into making perfect nachos. And the good news is that it doesn't involve crazy ingredients or fancy techniques.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
Place half the tortilla chips in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Layer with the remaining chips and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Set aside.
Meanwhile, for the black bean sauce: Combine the beans, onion, salt, pepper, cumin and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, adjust the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
For the sour cream sauce: Combine the sour cream, heavy cream and salt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
For the chicken: Heat a small heavy skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. While the pan heats, season the chicken with the lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet and melt. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet with the chips, pushing the chips to the side a bit.
When ready to serve, place the baking sheet with the chips, cheese and chicken in the oven until the cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Slide the chips and cheese off the baking sheet onto a serving bowl or platter. Pour 3/4 cup of the hot black bean sauce over the cheese. Dice the chicken and sprinkle it over top. Dollop with the pico de gallo and guacamole. Drizzle the sour cream in a zigzag pattern all over. Enjoy!