Chili Garlic Marinated Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Chimichurri Sauce
Chunks of juicy chicken marinaded in chili, garlic, and lime top a plate of tortilla chips covered in melted cheese, caramelized onions, and brightly flavorful chimichurri sauce.
Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat a plate full of chips covered in cheese for dinner? Whether covered in queso or melted shredded cheese, nachos are one of those things that pretty much always sounds good to me.
You know what else pretty much always sounds good to me? Chimichurri sauce.
Chimichurri sauce just checks all the boxes for me during the summer: ✔︎ Quick ✔︎ Easy – no cooking! ✔︎ Fresh ✔︎ Flavorful ✔︎ Gorgeous! ✔︎ Versatile, i.e., pour it over anything (almost).
Literally toss all the chimichurri sauce ingredients into a food processor and press start. That’s it. You’re done. Most of the time, when I make chimichurri sauce, it’s to spoon over grilled flank steak. But it tastes pretty great over melted cheese and chicken covered chips as well. (Shocking, I know.)
*Note: A bag of tortilla chips can be used instead of making homemade chips. If you are making homemade chips, you’ll want approximately 12-16 chips per person. Since each corn tortilla makes 4 chips, you’ll need 12-16 tortillas for a family of four. BUT – I strongly suggest you make more than that because while you’re cooking them, your family will come along behind you and sneak a few. Who are we kidding? You will too.
Weekly Meal Plans that Include Chili Chicken Nachos with Chimichurri Sauce:Print
For the Marinaded Chili Garlic Chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; about 2 lbs total
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2–3 tsp crushed red pepper (start with 2 tsp, taste, and add more if you like)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
For the Caramelized Onions:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.
For Homemade Tortilla Chips:
- At least 12–16 corn tortillas
- About 1 1/2 cups corn oil
- Kosher or coarse ground sea salt
For the Nachos:
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese
Marinate and Bake the Chicken:
- Place the chicken breasts in a 9-inch baking dish.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a medium size bowl until well combined. Pour the marinade over the chicken, turning it to coat it completely in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24.
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, uncover the baking dish, and place it in the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through with no pink in the middle, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes then cut each breast into small bite-size pieces.
Make the Chimichurri Sauce:
- Add all ingredients to a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minute. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Make the Caramelized Onions:
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and a rich golden brown. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
Make the chips:
- Add the oil to a large, deep saucepan or frying pan and place over high heat. You want to heat the oil until a small piece of tortilla placed in the oil begins to sizzle immediately, about 350°F. Be careful to not allow the oil to get so hot that it smokes. If that happens, move the pan off the heat immediately and allow to cool down slightly before placing it back over the heat. Adjust the burner heat as necessary to maintain the temperature.
- While the oil is heating, cut each tortilla into 4 triangle shaped wedges.
- Line a baking sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels and have a small dish of salt near by.
- When the oil is hot, add a handful of tortilla wedges – enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not so many that they are laying on top of each other. Fry the chips for 2-4 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown.
- Using tongs, quickly remove the chips from the oil and onto the paper towel lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with some salt. Repeat with the remaining tortilla wedges.
Assemble the nachos:
- Add a handful of chips to 4 plates. Sprinkle each with about 3 ounces of cheese, a few caramelized onions, and a handful of chicken. Put each plate in the microwave for about 1 minute to melt the cheese and heat the onions and chicken. Serve with the chimichurri sauce, letting each person add however much they like.