Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Food Styling: Adam Hickman; Prop Styling: Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Mins
Yield
Serves 4 (serving size: about 4 chips)

For a show-stopping appetizer, these unlikely nachos are just what you need. If you have a local market that butchers their own meat, they will likely be able to sell you chicken skins for cheap. You can use either the thigh skins or the breast skins here, both will work great. Drying the chicken skins with paper towels and sandwiching them between two pans is the key to getting them flat and crispy (without the second pan weighing them down, youe skins would shrivel up). Do note, after step 1 in the recipe below (i.e. cooking the skins for 35-40 minutes, they may very well be crisped and ready to go) which allows you to skip step 2 entirely. Continue to cook the skins uncovered only if they aren't quite browned and crisp, but keep a close eye on them so they do not burn. You can cook these in mulitple batches if you don’t have enough pans to make them in a single batch, but watch the second round of chicken skins closely because it will probably cook faster. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat chicken skins very dry with paper towels. Arrange half of chicken skins in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Arrange remaining half chicken skins in a single layer on a second parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle skins evenly with pepper, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Top each baking sheet with a second sheet of parchment, and cover each with a second rimmed baking sheet to press chicken skins flat. Bake in preheated oven until skins are well browned and crispy, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time.

Step 2

Remove top baking sheets and parchment, and return chicken skins to oven. Bake until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. (Do not let chicken skins burn.)

Step 3

Arrange crispy chicken skins on a serving platter. Top evenly with shredded chicken, queso fresco, pico de gallo, cilantro, guacamole, and jalapeño. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve with lime wedges.

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