Brining is a scientific process by which water/moisture is pulled into the fibers of the meat where it gets trapped. Some of the salt and other flavors in the brine are also pulled in.
During the cooking process, the heat tends to dry out the meat but because there is now more water trapped in the meat fibers, even after some drying, it ends up more juicy due to the extra water.
We often use plain water with salt (a 6% salt solution) but I like to use buttermilk with chicken.
Buttermilk and chicken go together so well! The buttermilk has enzymes that tenderize and flavor the chicken and if you mix salt into the mix, you can both brine and tenderize at the same time. It's a win-win for everyone!
This is a process that you can use on these chicken tenderloins but it also works equally well on chicken wings, whole chickens or even a whole turkey.
Pour one quart of buttermilk into a pitcher or plastic container.
Add ¼ cup of coarse kosher salt and stir until the salt is dissolved.
Just 2-3 of the tenderloins will be enough for about 24 scoops depending on how much chicken you use in each nacho.
I used 2 TBS of sauce for about 1.5 cups of shredded chicken but you can add more or less as desired.
Lay Out Scoops!®
In each bag of Scoops!® you'll find that some are broken so you may need to take a minute to pick out the best ones if presentation is important.
Lay the chips out onto a flat cookie sheet.
Meat and Melted Cheese
Spoon about a teaspoon of chicken into each chip then when all of the “tiny bowls” are filled, top them generously with the shredded cheese.
I used a mix of white cheddar and sharp yellow cheddar.
Turn on the broiler in your oven and place the pan of nachos under the broiler to let the cheese melt.
Make sure it does not burn.
Add the Toppings (optional)
Quickly add sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños, salsa, etc. onto the top of each nacho.
This process is best accomplished if you have some helpers.. kids love to help with things like this so enlist them and don't worry if a few pieces of this or that falls by the wayside.
I like using sliced jalapeños with the seeds still intact but if you have small eaters or those who don't like it very hot, you can use tame pickled jalapeños or leave out the peppers altogether.
Serve the Nachos
Lay the pan out and let the hands start grabbin'!
Smoked Chicken Nachos – Easy Method
If you are one of those that feels like these individual scoop nachos are just too much work.. you can do these the easy way by just laying down a bed of chips and sort of “dumping” everything on top. Meat first then the cheese. Melt that under the broiler for a minute or two then add the toppings.
Quick. Easy. No problem.
Order Jeff’s Rubs and Barbecue Sauce TODAY!
✅ My rubs and sauce will be the best thing you’ve ever tasted and it’s a great way to support what we do!
Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.
It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.