skillet pizza chicken

Simple Skillet Pizza Chicken

Simple one pot, or in this case one skillet, recipes are perfect for hectic work and school nights. Check out this delicious pizza recipe for Skillet Pizza Chicken originally posted by our favorite food writer, Laura Lea Goldberg, on her recipe blog. Let us know if you make these for your crew this holiday season.

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Taking on a cookbook baby has made me a better recipe developer, writer and photographer, and I now realize that I am just scratching the surface of all three. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the blogs I discover through my culinary Insta-trolling, as well as reminded of what’s left to learn (recently I’ve been drooling over Cashew Kitchen). My passion for food photography has skyrocketed, and it now parallels my love for cooking. I am giddy to continue my education in both, so that I can help you become better, healthier, happier home-cooks.

Now, onto one such example….This SKILLET PIZZA CHICKEN.

I have no idea why I felt suddenly possessed to concoct a variation on this ubiquitous American dish. Perhaps it was the forlorn bag of Applegate Mini Pepperoni, or the almost-expired can of tomato paste…or both, or neither? Regardless, this turned out to be one of our all-time favorite dinners!

Simmering hallmark pizza spices with my creamy tomato “broth” creates a rich, flavorful sauce that rivals any classic ‘za. Taking time to sear the chicken tenders is also key. Not only does it golden-crustify the chicken; it yields delectable crunchy brown bits, just asking to be scraped up and mixed into the sauce.

I also adore the versatility of this dish. Throw it over rice, quinoa, boxed noodles, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash (or gently set atop, stuff’s hot!). If you have a good pizza crust recipe or frozen crust, you can treat it like a pizza topping. Or simply enjoy it as-is, with a simple green salad, or a side of roasted veggies or sweet potato fries.

You can also play with add ins and toppings. I’ve made this without cheese or pepperoni, and it was still absolutely delicious. Sautéed mushrooms would be fabulous, or handfuls of fresh spinach stirred in at the end. Sky’s the limit with this pie!

Skillet Pizza Chicken

TOTAL TIME : 60 minutes
4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon freshly minced rosemary (can omit, ideas for leftovers in post)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 cup full-fat or light canned coconut milk
1 15-oz can organic diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (sub honey or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon low-sodium Tamari (sub soy sauce)
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup yellow onion (approximately 1 medium-large onion)
5 cloves garlic
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (sub olive oil)
1 tablespoon arrowroot or corn starch
Optional: 2 ounces pepperoni slices, 2 ounces grated mozarella, fresh basil, red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

PREP
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together rosemary, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together coconut milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut sugar, tamari and chicken stock. Set aside.

Dice onion and garlic and set aside, keeping separate.

Trim chicken breasts of excess fat and slice into 1 inch thick strips. Place slices on a piece of saran wrap or aluminum foil near your stove, along with a dish towel and a baking sheet or large heat-proof bowl.

COOK
Heat a large skillet (something with sides that are at least a few inches high) to medium-high heat and add olive oil and butter (or all oil). When fat is bubbling, add half of your chicken strips to the pan, leaving a little space between each. Sprinkle strips with a pinch of salt. If you have a ventilator on your stove, turn it out.

Allow chicken to cook without stirring 3-4 minutes. Use dish towel to clean up any spatters of fat. Adjust heat slightly if it seems too “spattery”. Chicken will let you know it’s ready to be flipped when it no longer sticks to the pan. It should be golden brown underneath.

Flip chicken and cook another minute (it’s ok if this side isn’t golden), then add strips to the baking sheet or plate you’ve set aside. Repeat cooking/seasoning process with remaining chicken strips and add those to the sheet/plate as well.

Turn heat to medium-low and add onion and a splash of water. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any of the brown bits on the pan. Cook onions, stirring, until softened and translucent (3-4 minutes). Add garlic, spice mixture and another splash of water and cook, stirring constantly, another 30 seconds.

Add chicken back into pan in an even layer, then carefully pour tomato/stock mixture into the pan. It should fill almost completely up, but not enough to splash over the side. Gently stir to mix everything together (it’s ok if it’s not totally mixed, it will be easier in a few minutes).

Turn heat up a little to medium and bring to a “loud” simmer (between a simmer and a boil). Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until liquid/sauce has thickened and reduced by 1/3. Turn oven to broil setting.

In a small bowl, whisk arrowroot or cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water until dissolved. Pour into sauce (try not to pour right on chicken) and stir to incorporate. Sauce should thicken even more in about a minute.

Remove skillet from heat and top with pepperoni and cheese, if using. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes, watching, until cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately (be careful though, it’s hot!) with fresh basil and red pepper flakes, if using.

A Few Notes:

The ingredient list might look long, but most items are pantry staples, so don’t let yourself be daunted.

I am trying a new way of writing recipes, where I list all of the prep steps, instead of just saying “yellow onion, 1/4 dice”. This way (I hope), you don’t find yourself in the middle of cooking and you haven’t diced your onion. Let me know what you think!

If you have leftover rosemary: 1) mince and add to softened butter then refrigerate for a homemade compound butter 2) Steep whole sprigs in hot water with chamomile tea and lemon. You can also refrigerate this for a refreshing morning drink. Mince and toss with veggies or nuts before roasting. 3) Puree with garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt to use as a rub for meat and seafood. 4) Add to your favorite biscuit or homemade bread recipe like my Cashew Sandwich Bread

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