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Pizza Chicken

They say necessity is the Mother of invention.

Being clueless as to what you’re going to do with the chicken you took out for dinner doesn’t hurt either.

Believe it or not, I don’t always plan out what I’m going to make for dinner.  Most of the time I have a good idea, but some days I come up with a big, fat…blank.  This was the case last week, as I looked at the boneless, skinless chicken breasts I’d taken out of the freezer and defrosted in the microwave because I wasn’t firing on all cylinders that morning as I got ready for work (no coffee will do that to you).  So, I began idly rummaging through the pantry and fridge, looking for inspiration.

And found it in a half-empty jar of pizza sauce and a handful of sliced pepperoni, leftovers from the pizza I made The Young One and his buddy Saturday night.  There was only a little mozzarella left, but plenty of cheddar and some bacon to boot.

Pizza Chicken was born.

What’s really cool is that you could use any pizza toppings you want or have on hand – mushrooms, olives, onions, peppers, anchovies (if that’s your thing – blech).  This was just the way I made it – it was great served with some Dreamfields spaghetti and some Ginger-Apricot Glazed Carrots (recipe coming soon).  The Young One inhaled it, and the leftovers were quite tasty the next day for lunch, too.

All in all, a very fun dish.

Pizza Chicken

Pizza Chicken

serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each

salt, pepper and garlic powder

1/2 jar pizza sauce (I use Mid’s – a local brand)

4 slices thick-sliced bacon, halved

2 ounces pepperoni, diced

1/4 bell pepper, diced

1 cup shredded cheese – I used a blend of mozzarella and cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Lightly oil an 8″ x 11″ baking dish with olive oil and lay the chicken breasts down flat.  Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and garlic powder, then spread the pizza sauce evenly over the chicken breasts and top with the slices of bacon.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the chicken is almost done and the bacon is getting crispy.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the bell pepper, pepperoni and cheese.

Return to the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the pepperoni is heated through and the cheese is melted.

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