Every now and then you come across a recipe that is a real keeper and this is one of them. Two other recipes that are in my current, almost weekly, rotation are Cod Picatta and Lemon Chicken Breasts. Though as I looked back to get the links for those recipes, I spotted another amazing newbie that I need to make again soon – Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Spicy Corn.
This is another NYT Cooking daily recipe. The author calls this “pizza chicken” and makes references to similarities to chicken parmesan. I don’t get the pizza reference, but this is definitely a taste experience close to chicken parmesan.
- 3½ pounds bone-in chicken pieces
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces pancetta, diced (mine came in 4oz packages, so I ended up using all 8oz)
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 anchovy fillets
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, juice and all
- 1 large basil sprig, plus more chopped basil for serving – basil sprig? I’ve never seen a recipe calling for it this way. I threw in 4+ basil sprigs and used about 1 cup chopped basil for serving
- 8 ounces bocconcini, halved (or use mozzarella cut into ¾-inch pieces)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper
- In a large oven-proof skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate
- Add chicken to skillet. Sear, turning only ocassionally, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Pour off all but 1 TBL oil
- Add garlic, anchovy and red pepper flakes to skillet; fry for 1 minute on medium heat – don’t let garlic brown! Stir in tomatoes and basil. Cook, breaking up tomatoes with a spatula, until sauce thickens somewhat, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and cooke, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink, about 30 minutes
- Scatter bocconcini or mozzarella pieces over skillet. Adjust oven temperature to broil. Return skillet to oven and broil until chese is melted and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to see that it does not burn). Garnish with pancetta and chopped basil before serving.