GINNA PARSONS: Pizza Chicken is a keeper

Ginna ParsonsLast week, I found a recipe online for a chicken dish I was interested in preparing. Because I knew there were multiple steps, I kept putting the recipe off, night after night. It was just too hot to spend any length of time in the kitchen.

Finally, on Thursday, I was determined to try it, but this time when I looked at the recipe, I looked at the reviews, too. It turned out that the 16 people who reviewed it said it wasn’t really that good – almost bland, in fact.

So I went searching online again, this time for something flavorful and guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. I came across a recipe for Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce, and looked at its 26 reviews. Almost everyone gave it five stars, and one woman said she would have given it even more, if that were possible.

After reading the reviews, I followed the suggestions of the folks who had tweaked it, made the adjustments when I cooked it and renamed it what others were calling it: Pizza Chicken.

This meal was quick – on the table in less than 30 minutes – and beautiful in the pan and delicious. My husband took leftovers to work the next day and sent this text: “This chicken pepp is outrageously good. Oh baby. Make it again tonight.”

Yep. It’s a keeper. (And so is he!)

<b>Pizza Chicken
</b>2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

20 slices turkey pepperoni, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

5 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked and drained

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and pepperoni; cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add oregano; cook 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning after 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

Serves 5.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.