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Baked Chicken Pizzaiola

2014-03-24
Baked-Pizzaiola-Chicken
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A delicious fusion of the two classics.

Baked-Pizzaiola-Chicken

Ingredients

Sauce {substitute 1 jar (24 ounce) premade sauce to save time}:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-ish yellow onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 + 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Chicken:
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
6 chicken cutletsĀ I like Bell & Evans
1 + 1/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 – 4 ounces sliced pepperoni
12 ounces spaghetti

Instructions

Make the sauce:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook 25 – 30 minutes, stirring often. Taste halfway through and again at the end and season as needed.
Meanwhile make the chicken:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
*To make this without the spaghetti bake it in a large casserole dish. Pour the sauce into the bottom and place the chicken on top. You will need to cook it longer – anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes.
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