Chicken: one of the most versatile and economical of the meats. So it’s only fitting the first post of ninety-nine of ninety-nine is chicken.
Pepperoni Pizza Chicken has tender chicken in the middle, coated by a tasty, crunchy crust made of crushed Cheez-it crackers, and topped with sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni to imbue an over-all amazing taste of pepperoni pizza. Look at this amazing, cheesy, goodness.
First, slice your chicken horizontally (or you can use chicken cutlets) and pound to your desired thickness. Prepare Cheez-it crumbs by processing them in a food processor or crushing them in a bag with a rolling pin. The finer you make your crumbs, the better they will stick to the chicken. I really wanted to use Pizza flavored Cheez-its for this recipe, but my store didn’t have them at the time (so disappointed!), so I used Pepper Jack, which still tasted amazing. Make an assembly line of the flour, egg, and cracker crumbs. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then dip in egg, then coat each side with the crushed Cheez-its. Let your chicken rest for a few minutes while heating the butter and olive oil in a cast iron pan (this will help the coating stick to the chicken). Here is my coated chicken resting – doesn’t it look beautiful?
This dish is best cooked in a cast iron skillet. Cast iron cooks the chicken evenly, makes a wonderful crunchy crust, and can be placed directly in the oven to broil the cheese. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can transfer the chicken to another pan to put under the broiler, or simply leave the cheese covered chicken in your pan for several minutes on low heat to melt the cheese.
I only added a small amount of sauce because I didn’t want it to over-take the rest of the taste. A light smear across the top of the chicken sprinkled with basil adds just the right amount of pizza taste.
Finally, the mozzarella and pepperoni are added and the whole thing is popped in the oven under the broiler to melt the cheese. My family loved this chicken dish and I hope yours will too.
Pepperoni Pizza Chicken
Tender chicken with a crunchy Cheez-it crust, topped with marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni.
Calories per serving = 453
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tb water
- salt & pepper
- 2 cups crushed Cheez-it crackers, pizza or pepper jack flavor
- 4 Tb spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1/4 ts basil
- 4 slices mozzarella
- 8 slices pepperoni
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- If using chicken breast, slice horizontally and flatten to desired thickness (if using chicken cutlets, skip this step). Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Next, dip the chicken in beaten egg mixed with 1 Tb of water. Finally, dip both sides of the chicken in the crushed Cheez-it cracker crumbs. Let coated chicken rest while preparing pan.
- Heat 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet. Cook chicken on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.
- Slather the top of each piece of chicken with 1 Tb of marinara sauce. Sprinkle basil on top. Lay one slice of mozzarella on each followed by two pieces of pepperoni, and a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella. Transfer the cast iron skillet to oven under broiler on high. Broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned, 2-3 minutes.