Chicken Pizzaiola is a fun, easy-to-make dinner that the whole family is sure to love! It’s made from the ever-versatile chicken as the main ingredient and flavored with some of our favorite pizza-inspired toppings!
This dish has its origins from ‘carne alla pizzaiola’ which is roughly translated from Italian as “meat in pizza style.” Traditionally, pizzaiola is made with beef that is cooked until tender and served with a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and olive oil.
But our version changes things up by using chicken (we used skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts for the best flavor and juiciness) plus a generous topping of pepperoni, onions, sliced bell pepper (we used a combination of colors for variety), and sliced pepperoncini – giving this dish a wonderful zesty flavor.
Not only is this delicious, I think this Chicken Pizzaiola is gorgeous to look at too! We show it here served over pasta, but it’s equally good served simply on its own – with some crusty Italian bread so you can sop up the wonderful sauce!
This is also one of those dishes that is delicious right out of the oven – but it’s even more delicious the next day served cold or at room temperature after the flavors have had a chance to meld at bit!
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- 2½ pounds bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts (also known as split chicken breasts)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium or 2 very large garlic cloves peeled and smashed (but not chopped)
- 15 thin slices of pepperoni
- ½ pound yellow onion cut into thick half slices
- ¾ pound mixed bell peppers sliced into thick strips vertically (red, yellow, orange or green, any combination)
- ¼ cup stemmed and thickly sliced jarred pepperoncini, drained
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (we like Pastene or Cento kitchen ready San Marzano)
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound gemelli pasta, or your favorite pasta
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pat chicken breasts dry then coat both sides with the salt and pepper.
- In a heavy bottomed oven proof pan or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid, heat oil over medium high to smoking hot.
- Add chicken pieces skin side down about 3-4 minutes per side (three sides including standing on side). Cook in two batches so the chicken does not crowd the pan. Remove to a platter and hold.
- Keep the burner on medium high and add garlic and pepperoni slices. Cook only long enough for the garlic to start to turn brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Immediately add onions and peppers and sauté for three minutes. Add pepperoncini, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, crushed tomato and water. Stir, and add chicken. Spoon sace over breats, cover pot and place in preheated oven and cook untouched for 30 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, plan to have pasta ready when chicken comes out so start the water and place dry pasta in water at about the 15 minute mark.
- Remove pan from oven, stir and taste for salt and pepper and season if needed.
- Drain pasta.
- To serve, top cooked pasta with chicken and sauce and sprinkle chopped parsley over the top. Alternatively, if the breasts are very large (like ours were), remove bone and slice chicken breasts into thick slices before serving.
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