Nachos & Hard Cider: Spicy Hot!


If you don’t like spicy, read my Feast at Home post instead. My wife and I love spicy food and almost everything we make gets a spicy adaptation. She even made a spicy green chili ice cream. This post fits that spicy food theme as we create a new American nachos variant.

For this nachos version, my wife converted a spicy American dish, Buffalo Hot Wings and reconstructed it into Spicy Buffalo Chicken Nachos. Oh, what a beautiful job she did! She had been exploring a number of vegetarian dishes and you can find our vegetarian nachos pairing here. For this version, it was hard to do Buffalo Chicken without the chicken. Also, this recipe has just a few core ingredients. My wife prepared her chicken and made her sauce from scratch but it highlights the need for quality ingredients. That is why we recommend and use organic whenever you can find it. Luckily, there are not many ingredients that we can’t find organic versions. Check out the results! It makes my mouth water just looking at it.

Side Bar: Since I am an apple geek, that little bowl in the corner is some of our homemade applesauce. It goes with anything.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Spicy Buffalo Chicken Nachos

My challenge was pairing a hard cider to this spicy and flavorful meal. It needed to compliment the flavor profile. This year, I embraced the world’s hottest pepper, Carolina Reaper. One of my recipes combined this with hops. When I started thinking about this meal, it seemed like the perfect pairing. Most Americans would think of Buffalo Chicken Wings and Beer, i.e. hops. Since we are reconstructing this into our version, a hard cider made with hops and spicy peppers seemed like the perfect combination. It’s called Flamin’ Hops and it packs some heat along with earthy hop aromas. Let’s tackle the nachos and then explore the hard cider in more detail.

Flamin’ Hops Cider: Bottle and glass.
Flamin’ Hops Cider: Bottle and glass.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Buffalo Chicken Nachos: Spicy
Buffalo Chicken Nachos: Spicy

Servings: 4-5 Serving

Ingredients: Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Steps: Rotisserie Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
  • Mix 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon seasoning mix
  • Bake for 20 minutes on foil line backing sheet
  • Remove and allow chicken to cool while preparing nachos

Ingredients: Nachos

2 cups rotisserie cooked chicken, shredded (see rotisserie recipe above)
1/2 cup jalapeño hot sauce (homemade or store bought)
9-12 oz. bag corn tortilla chips
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
3 tablespoons blue cheese dressing (homemade or store bought)
2 celery stalks diced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Steps: Nachos

  • Turn the oven to 400F (205C)
  • Place the chips on a large foil lined baking sheet
  • Sprinkle pepper jack cheese per the chips and heat until melted (5-7 minutes)
  • Shred the rotisserie chicken and mix with hot sauce in a bowl
  • Top nachos with chicken, drizzle with blue cheese dressing, and add diced celery and blue cheese crumbles
  • Serve Immediately

Flamin’ Hops Hard Cider

Making Flamin’ Hops Cider
Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

You can find my recipes for Flamin’ Hops on my Recipe Page. It goes into the details on how to make your own Flamin’ Hops hard cider. You can even download the PDF for easy reference. If you aren’t into making your own cider (WHAT??), you can also find some good substitutes in the market. My Flamin’ Hot is a bit more supercharged than these so if you prefer a milder heat, these might also be a better choice. Either way, they all make a great pairing for these scrumptious nachos!

The Alternatives:

Habanero by Finnriver

Habanero By Finnriver
Habanero By Finnriver

Plum Grenade by Cider Corps

Plum Grenade by Cider Corps
Plum Grenade by Cider Corps

Rialto Hot Pants by Bawker Bawker

Rialto Hot Pants By Bawker Bawker
Rialto Hot Pants By Bawker Bawker

Did you enjoy this article? Follow me so you can get more ides on pairing hard ciders with food as well as ideas and tips for making and experiencing hard cider. Also, if you want to learn more about making hard cider, get my book. It covers all things hard cider as well as food and cider pairings like above.

Want more wonderful food and hard cider pairing ideas, check these out!

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