Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken Pizzaiola

This recipe comes from one of my most favorite cookbooks - The Best 30-Minute Recipe (from the editors of Cook's Illustrated). I thought it sounded like an interesting take on your standard baked chicken recipe, so I wanted to try it out. Turned out pretty good, if I don't say so myself. And now for the recipe...

Chicken Pizzaiola

Almost any of your favorite pizza toppings can be substituted for the pepperoni. This dish is great served over pasta or with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

3 cups tomato sauce
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
20 slices pepperoni (2 ounces)

  1. Heat oven and prepare baking dish: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread tomato sauce into 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
  2. Coat chicken with parmesan: Spread parmesan into shallow dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one breast at a time, dredge in parmesan. Press on parmesan to make sure it adheres. Lay chicken in baking dish, smooth side facing up.
  3. Bake chicken: Place chicken in oven and bake 15 minutes.
  4. Increase oven temperature, add toppings, and finish: Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Mound 1/4 cup of mozzarella on top of each chicken breast, then shingle 5 slices pepperoni over cheese. Continue to bake until cheese melts and until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.