Chicken Nachos

I was at my beloved Wegmans early this past Sunday morning. I had to work that morning, and I was picking up some breakfast treats for everyone who had to work too. Whether this plays into the story or not…I was dressed for a normal workday because we had customers coming in for a meeting that morning.

Now, before I start…in hindsight, I’m trying to recall if I saw a lady shopping in her pajamas while I was doing my own  shopping. If I did, it was one of those times when you see the other people shopping in the store, but you’re really not paying any attention to them. So, maybe I did see her, but didn’t pay any attention to her.

But is my story….

As I was loading my car with groceries, a lady appeared about three inches from my face, totally startling me.

“You know why I’m wearing pajamas?” She asked me while waving her hand in front of her Buffalo Bills pajama pants.
“Oh! No I don’t” I replied to her, and took a step back to reclaim my personal space.
“Today is my day off, and I’m comfy in my pajamas” she said, as she took a step forward and filled in that personal space.
“That’s awesome! You do look comfy!” I said, as I took a couple of steps back, trying to draw that invisible line that I didn’t want her to cross.
“You looked disgusted when you were staring at me.” She said as she took that step and crossed my invisible line.
“Oh gosh, no…just now? I didn’t even see you! You’re too cute! I wouldn’t have looked disgusted at you!” I said taking a step closer to her, now invading her personal space…
“I’m wearing my pajamas, and I’m comfy, and I want to stay in them all day and watch the game..” She said, taking a step away from me to reclaim her personal space.
“I think that’s a great idea, and if I didn’t have to work today, I’d be in my comfy pajamas all day too!” I told her as I started to put my groceries away again, hoping that the conversation was coming to a close.

It wasn’t.

“You are very personable, not at all what I thought of you when I saw you staring at me in the store.” She said, as she moved closer once again, and handed me a bag from my cart. “But I wanted you to know that I did see you staring, and I’m entitled to a comfy day once in a while” she said as she took my cart away from me to push to the cart corral.
“I’m so sorry, I honestly…” and the rest went unheard as she walked away and put her hand up in the air as if to say “We are done here”….

And she drove off leaving me standing at the open back of my SUV wondering what the heck just happened… a little upset, yet a little humored by the whole crazy encounter.

I started thinking about Pajama Lady as I was driving to work, and wondered if maybe she was that self-conscious that she let the whole scenario play out in the store, and then began to believe it. I do tend to stare off into space when I’m thinking…and maybe my mindless staring along with my resting bitch face made it look like I was disgustedly staring at her.

Regardless, it has left me with an uneasy feeling to think that I unknowingly made someone feel bad about herself, when in fact, if Pajama Lady knew me…she’d know that I’m so insecure about my looks…that to me, she looked like an absolute princess in her Buffalo Bills pajamas!


So, in honor of Pajama Lady’s comfy Buffalo Bills game day, I decided to make some chicken nachos.  And while this recipe looks like it’s long and complicated, it really isn’t.  It doesn’t take much time to throw everything together, and while the tomatoes and onions are marinating, you can lounge for hours in your own pajamas!   I decided to make the chicken in a carnitas style because I really love the flavor combination with the garlic, lime, oranges, and that faint taste of lager.  

I love nachos. And I love the beauty of life when you can make them in any way imaginable! I love the sloppy mess, the ten million flavors that are delicious on their own, but when put together are even more crazy delicious. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with these nachos! I used mozzarella pearls for the cheese, but I have to say that you could use pretty much any type of cheese, Cheddar, Feta, or even Bleu cheese…and they’ll be delicious!

Life is good. It’s a “Like my friend Jamison always says…You just can’t make this stuff up…” kind of good.

Chicken Nachos
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
The Nachos
  • Fried Corn Tortillas
  • Carnitas Style Chicken
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Pickled Onions
  • Marinated Tomatoes
  • Blackened Corn
  • Black Beans
  • Cheese, I used Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
  • Olives, I used marinated olives from the stores olive bar
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Fresh limes for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
The Tortillas
  • 1 package small corn tortillas
  • Sea Salt
The Chicken
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Mexican lager, or any kind of beer will do!
  • Juice of one orange
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • !The Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
The Pickled Onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp salt
The Blackened Corn
  • You can blacken your shucked corn on the cob on the grill, under the broiler, or even on your stove! Simply place the corn over the heat, and rotate as it becomes blackened from the heat. Let it cook to your desired darkness. Season with salt and pepper.
The Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
The Nachos
  1. Arrange the tortillas, chicken, rice, onions, tomatoes, corn, beans, cheese, olives, and avocados on a serving tray. Garnish with limes and cilantro.
The Tortillas
  1. I usually like to leave some whole, and cut the rest in quarters.
  2. In a frying pan, add about 1” of vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat. To test the oil, I’ll usually just toss a small piece of tortilla into the oil and I know it’s ready when it is sizzling and bubbling in the oil.
  3. Place one or two tortillas into the oil and fry until golden brown and crispy on each side. Remove from the oil, and drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with Sea Salt.
The Chicken
  1. Generously season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil on high in a large frying pan, and then add the chicken. Sear on both sides until browned, reduce the heat to low, and add the onion, garlic, beer, orange juice, lime juice, and oregano. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until the chicken is fork tender. Remove from heat, and pull the chicken apart with two forks. Let rest in its own juices.
The Cilantro Lime Rice
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, and sauté over medium heat the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the rice, water, and the zest and juice of the lime. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. As soon as the rice begins to boil, give it a good stir, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Let simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring about halfway through. After 25 minutes, remove the cover, and fluff the rice. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
The Pickled Onions
  1. Place the garlic, jalapeño pepper, and onion in a bowl.
  2. Bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, and pour over the garlic, pepper, and onion. Let sit for about 2 hours or overnight. Place in a covered jar, and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
The Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
  1. Place the halved cherry tomatoes and scallions in a bowl. Whisk the garlic, parsley, basil, thyme, sugar, black pepper, salt, olive oil, and vinegar together until fully combined and the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the tomatoes, and let marinate for 2-4 hours. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.



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