Go Back
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No ratings yet

Loaded Summer Nachos with Grilled Corn and Bourbon BBQ Chicken

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives


For the Bourbon-Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup 120ml
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth 120ml
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar 60ml, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon bourbon 75ml, divided
  • 1 small onion grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 4 ounces; 115g)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 30ml
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses 15ml
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 15ml
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 15ml
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce 10ml, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For Nachos:

  • 3 to 4 cups peanut vegetable, or canola oil, for frying (see note)
  • 20 fresh corn tortillas cut into 6 wedges each (see note)
  • 3 ears grilled shucked sweet corn kernels sliced off with a sharp knife
  • 2 cups 10 ounces cooked shredded cooked chicken meat (see note)
  • 8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese 225g, grated
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced pickled or fresh jalapeños stemmed (and seeded, if you want to reduce their heat)
  • 1 cup 5 ounces; 140g chopped grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion cut into small dice
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado pitted, flesh scooped from skin, and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or crema 120ml
  • 1/4 cup picked cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups Nacho Cheese Sauce 1 full recipe
  • 1/4 cup pickled radishes


For easy shredded chicken (if not buying rotisserie chicken):

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place 2-3 large bone-in skin-on breasts on a sheet tray and season both sides with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Drizzle each breast with a little olive oil (a teaspoon or so each). Roast until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast is at 155ºF (carry-over cooking will take it to 160º). This will take 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. Meat can be frozen in a freezer bag and stored for up to a month.

For the BBQ Sauce:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients except 1 tablespoon bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk together and simmer until reduced to a glaze consistency, about 15 minutes (sauce should reduce by about one-third). Adjust flavor vinegar, or hot sauce to taste. Cooled barbecue sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several months.
  • Heat a grill pan over his heat or set glass grill to high. Grill corn, turning every few minutes, until cooked and charred in spots, about 7 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes and cut kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Set grilled corn aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add chicken and 3/4 cup bbq sauce. Toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add more sauce, if needed.

To make the chips:

  • Heat oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet, dutch oven, or wok over medium-high heat until it registers 375°F. Adjust flame to maintain temperature. Working in batches, add tortillas and fry, agitating with a metal spider, until edges just start to brown. Flip chips over and continue to cook until crisp and light golden brown. Transfer chips to a paper towel lined tray, sprinkle with salt to taste, and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes to drain. Repeat with remaining batches. Set aside until ready to use.

To assemble:

  • Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Layer 1/2 of chips in the bottom of a rimmed 9-by-13-inch baking sheet or baking dish, leaving a large space in the center. Drizzle with 1/2 of cheese sauce and 1/2 of shredded bbq chicken. Top with half the corn and sprinkle with 1/2 grated cheese.
  • Layer with remaining 1/2 of chips, maintaining the space in the center. Drizzle with remaining cheese sauce and chicken and corn. Top with jalapeños and sprinkle all over with remaining grated cheese. Bake until cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Top with chopped tomatoes, onion and avocado and drizzle all over with crema. Garnish with cilantro leaves and pickled radish slices. Serve immediately.


Frying your own tortilla chips yields the best results, since they're guaranteed to be thick and crisp enough to stand up to the toppings; if you have a good source of store-bought tortilla chips, feel free to skip the frying step and use them here. For the chicken, you can buy a rotisserie chicken and pull the meat off, or roast your own (directions included in recipe).
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!