How to cook pepperoni chicken: step-by-step instructions

By Jurassic JennJun 29, 2024 08:30 AMRecipes
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How to cook pepperoni chicken
How to cook pepperoni chicken. Source: www.smh.com.au

Chicken and pepperoni may seem like an unlikely combination, but trust us when we say it's a flavor explosion you don't want to miss out on. The dish can be enjoyed on its own or accompanied by a salad for a lighter option. For a heartier meal, serve the chicken pepperoni on a bed of rice or pasta. This recipe yields 4 servings, but with the addition of another chicken breast and more cheese, it can easily satisfy a party of 6, as there is enough sauce to go around.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt & coarse ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 5 ounces of sliced pepperoni circles, halved
  • 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 15 ounces of diced tomatoes (fire roasted, crushed, cherry - any variety will suffice)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or 4 large cloves
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup spicy tomato pesto or regular tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • Basil leaves and shredded Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:

  1. Begin by slicing the chicken breasts in half horizontally, then season one side with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat an oven-proof pan over medium heat, adding a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the chicken breasts until fully cooked on both sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add a touch more oil to the pan along with the diced red onions. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onions have softened.
  4. Introduce approximately 4 ounces of the sliced pepperoni (save the rest for topping) to the pan, stirring and separating the slices to allow the fat to render out. Cook for a couple more minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  6. Stir in the roasted red peppers, ensuring they are well incorporated with the mixture. Then, add the diced tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, spicy tomato pesto or tomato paste, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Nestle the cooked chicken breasts under the sauce in the pan. Top each piece of chicken with slices of mozzarella cheese and scatter the reserved pepperoni on top.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is bubbling and achieves a golden color, typically within 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and plate the chicken pepperoni. Garnish with torn basil leaves and shredded Parmesan cheese for a touch of freshness and added flavor.
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