This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. All opinions are my own. #BrighTENtheSeason
I love this time of year.. not because of the weather, but more because it’s holiday season! I LOVE this time of year, because I don’t feel as guilty for cooking more ‘comfort food.’ We tend to cook more in the fall/winter since the sun sets so early, and we don’t really feel like spending as much time outside when it’s chilly. The weather is still so off and on throughout winter in southern Alabama, but that’s fine with me. The cold doesn’t do anything for me. We don’t even get snow! I’m not complaining though, I love ‘tropical’ weather.
In the south, if we’re not attending a football game that weekend, we’re most likely at home watching and EATING. We typically will make a few appetizers and maybe one main dish. Especially around the holiday season — we have a bit more time to cook and clean (all while online present-shopping). If a game is on, I tend to be in and out of the kitchen because the games stress me out a bit! During the holidays, the weather gives us somewhat of an excuse to stay inside and instead of tailgate, we “home-gate.”
Any given weekend, we plan out what we want to make for the weekend — it’s usually something different and new — and we cook and eat throughout the weekend. We love experimenting with different flavors and making ‘from-scratch’ recipes, because they’re usually exponentially better than store-bought products. For these nachos, I combine one of my favorite appetizers: nachos and a super-tasty southern treat: BBQ chicken.
This meal can be served as an appetizer, snack OR main dish because of all of the flavor components. It would even be a great dish to serve if you’re hosting a holiday party. Set the toppings out and let guests make their own barbecue nachos! You could even serve with pulled pork (or both chicken and pork). It’s a crowd pleaser, and guests with certain diets or food allergies feel free to customize.
For the barbecue sauce, I created a recipe from A&W TEN® root beer, ketchup, vinegar, and some spices and seasonings. You can make the sauce up to a week ahead of time to use for these nachos, and I chose to coat the shredded chicken in the sauce before topping the chips. The A&W TEN® gave the sauce a sweet flavor, and I saved a bit on calories by buying the “TEN” version of the soda.
You can find A&W TEN® at Target as well as Canada Dry TEN®, 7UP TEN®, A&W TEN®, Sunkist® TEN™ Soda, and RC TEN®. My brother and I are fans of Dr Pepper TEN®, and the A&W TEN® was just as yummy! Speaking of Target, I LOVE having one five minutes away — even though I tend to go and buy way more than I need. I could have a zillion Target GiftCards™ and be a happy camper. I know that’s impossible, but if YOU want to enter to win a $100 Target GiftCard™, you have the opportunity (scroll down to enter the giveaway)!
I started out by reducing the A&W TEN® from 2 cups to 1 cup. Pour 2 cups of the root beer into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for nearly an hour to reduce by half. (I pour it into the same measuring cup to check and see how much it’s reduced). In the meantime, caramelize two onions, stirring occasionally. Once the onions are caramelized, add half to the reduced A&W TEN® and save the rest for topping. Add the rest of the ingredients to the sauce. Bring entire mixture to a boil, then simmer for another 30 minutes or so, stirring every once in a while. Season with salt and pepper to taste. After about 30 minutes, use an immersion blender (or a food processor) to blend the sauce smooth.
While the sauce was simmering, prepare the chicken. I butterflied three chicken breasts, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and baked in a 375 F oven for about 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Then remove from the oven, shred, and mix in about 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce. Melt some shredded* cheese (I used Monterrey Jack and sharp cheddar) on your chips with the broiler in your oven and top with whatever you’d like. I used crumbled bacon, some of the reserved caramelized onions, chopped tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream. I drizzled more sauce over the top for extra flavor.
*Tip: If you are shredding your own cheese, throw it in the freezer for a little while to harden it and make it easier to shred! Especially for softer cheeses like Monterrey jack (which I used here), mozzarella, etc.
The flavors all balanced each other so well. The sweet and semi-spicy barbecue sauce was a perfect coating for the shredded chicken. The chips and the bacon added a salty crunch, and the tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream brought the dish all together to cool things off. This is such a crowd pleaser, and perfect for gameday or entertaining during the holiday season. I served the nachos with a Canada Dry® ginger ale and bourbon drink — because that’s what the holiday season is all about, right?! Comfort food and bourbon!? Are you hungry yet?
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pour 2 cups in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and reduce to 1 cup. Meanwhile, caramelize the 2 onions in a large saucepan for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Butterfly chicken and season with salt and pepper, and lay in a large baking dish. Cook in preheated oven 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
- When the onions are finished, add half to the reduced root beer sauce and keep half for topping. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients (vinegar, sugar, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco liquid smoke and seasonings) to the large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender or food processor to incorporate the onions.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and shred. Add 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce to the shredded chicken to lightly coat it.
- Spread a thin layer of tortilla chips on a plate, top with shredded cheese, and broil to melt the cheese.
- Top with chicken, caramelized onion, tomato, green onions, bacon and sour cream. Drizzle more sauce over the top. Serve and enjoy!
- *You may buy a rotisserie chicken and pull it off the bone instead of baking the chicken.
If you’d like to save on some A&W TEN®, a few offers are listed below:
From Nov. 16 – Dec. 11, enter the #BrighTENtheSeason sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 Target GiftCard™. A winner will be awarded each week. Must be 18 or older to enter. From Nov 16 – Dec 12, (5) $100 Target GiftCards™ will be given away each week to those who upload an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter photo showing how they #BrighTENtheSeasonSweepstakes. All winners must be at least 18 years old. #BrighTENtheSeason Sweepstakes
Want more inspiration with your favorite TEN drinks? Find more ideas from these perfect holiday moments.
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