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