Baked chicken cutlets covered in parmesan bread crumbs and topped with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. If pizza and chicken Parmesan fell in love and had a baby together this is what it would look like. A delicious fusion of the two classics.
It’s served with spaghetti and a quick, homemade sauce that is a cinch to throw together. To save time you can skip the homemade sauce and use your favorite jarred. Doing that easily turns it into a 30-minute meal. A meal you can make in a hurry but with such an impressive outcome everyone will think you slaved over the stove all day.
I love that.
The pepperoni adds a spicy punch that kicks up the flavor a notch or two. That’s where the ‘pizza’ in the ‘pizzaiola’ comes in. Combined with the mozzarella and the tomato sauce your taste buds think you’re eating pizza, with the chicken acting as a stand-in for the crust.
If you’re craving pizza, this might not do the trick but if you’re looking to change-up your traditional chicken Parmesan routine or just need a quick dinner idea, then this is your answer.
It works like a charm.
Baked chicken cutlets covered in Parmesan bread crumbs and topped with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, served with spaghetti and an easy tomato sauce.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook until tender about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Mix in the crushed tomatoes, about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add about 1/4 cup water to the empty tomato can and slosh it around to mix with any remaining sauce and add it to the pan.
- Bring to a simmer and cook 25 - 30 minutes, stirring often. Taste halfway through and again at the end and season as needed.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides large enough to comfortably fit all the chicken.
- In a wide, shallow dish mix the Parmesan and bread crumbs together. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken one at a time with the crumbs patting them on with your hands - the chicken will be thinly covered - some of the chicken will show through - that's ok. Place them in the baking sheet at least an inch apart.
- Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling water according to package directions to al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and top with the pepperoni - dividing it up evenly between the chicken, then do the same with the mozzarella, piling it on top. Put them back in the oven about 5 minutes until cheese is completely melted. Chicken should measure internal temperature of 165 - 175 degrees F. If you want the cheese to be golden you can place them briefly under the broiler.
- Mix the sauce into the spaghetti over low heat, mixing in a little of the reserved starchy water from cooking the spaghetti. Serve with the chicken and extra Parmesan for garnish.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
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