Cast Iron Skillet Pizza Chicken

I LOVE a one-pot meal. The fewer dishes to wash, clean and put away all the better. You'll need a 12 inch skillet or a little larger, cutting board, knife and spoon....that's it!

Skillet Pizza Chicken

Ingredients: 

4 chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper
salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces pancetta, diced (optional)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or the squeeze kind is fine too)
1 tablespoon capers, drained (I like about 2 tablespoons, adjust to your liking)
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional but I recommend using it)
1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
3 1/2 cups diced ripe tomatoes (in a pinch you can use 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes)
1 large sprig fresh basil, plus chopped basil leaves for serving
8 ounces bocconcini, halved (or fresh mozzarella)

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pat the chicken dry and season the pieces with salt and pepper.

Heat a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet (or oven safe pan) over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil.  When hot add the pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, until it’s browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Add the chicken to the skillet. Sear, turning the pieces only once until well browned on each side, the chicken will not be cooked thru. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from in the skillet.
Add the garlic, capers, and chili flakes to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly until fragrant. Stir in all the tomatoes (or cans, whichever you are using), the basil sprig, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and break up the tomatoes with a spatula, until the sauce thickens somewhat, about 10 minutes.

Return the chicken to the skillet and nestle in the tomato mixture, transfer the skillet to the oven, and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and scatter the bocconcini/mozzarella over the chicken.

Turn on the broiler, place the skillet directly under and broil until the cheese is bubbling, 1 to 3 minutes (watch it carefully). Garnish the chicken with the pancetta and basil before serving.

NOTES:

I like to serve this dish with a side of lemon angel hair pasta and some good crunchy bread.

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken

To change it up, sometimes I add mushrooms and/or black olives (just before you add the tomatoes). If you don't have pancetta you could substitute with chopped pepperoni or ham or leave it out.

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