This month's Culinary Throwdown Challenge is being sponsored by Kym
over at Kymical Reactions
and the theme is PEPPERONI. Kym will also do the judging, giving Moi
over at Bite the Apple
a well deserved rest and chance to really compete in the throwdown rather than making a dish (and hers are always serious plates of food) that will not be judged.
Pepperoni, well the obvious choices are pizza, stromboli or sandwiches. All of which seem BORING (my apologies in advance to those of you who made pizza, stromboli or sandwiches) . But then, in the nether regions of my oft abused brain, I recalled a movie that featured a pepperoni recipe. A quick spin on IMDB.com
jogged that memory to the present. The 1980 movie Seems Like Old Times staring Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase and Charles Grodin featured a minor subplot surrounding their Spanish speaking maid, Aurora (yeah, I know) and her locally famous Chicken Pepperoni. I remember seeing this movie several times on HBO back in the late 80s and thinking WTF when ever they mentioned this dish. So I looked up the recipe and found 3 significantly different versions (without really trying). I naturally took the easiest one. How authentic is this? It's a frigging movie so it's good enough for me. And I know I'm risking blogger jinx on this with Pam and probably Moi (but probably not Karl) but what the hell.
Before we get started and for extra bonus points, here's where the magic happens.
Flour for dredging
4 chicken breasts
1/4 pound pepperoni, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 red peppers, sliced
1 1/2 ounces chablis or other white wine
Pepper, parsley and oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cans artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 cup peas
1. If not boned already, bone chicken, remove skin, cut into eight pieces
2. Use cooking mallet to pound breast pieces flat
3. Dredge chicken in flour
4. In heated large skillet with olive oil, brown chicken on both sides and remove
5. In clean skillet with dash of oil, briefly sauté pepperoni, drain oil
6. Add chicken to pepperoni
7. Add onions, peppers and mushrooms and sauté three to four minutes
8. Stir in wine and pepper, parsley and oregano
9. Add tomato sauce and stir
10. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
11. Add artichokes and peas, heat through until bubbly and serve
Makes four to six servings. Courtesy of http://eatsathome.blogspot.com/2008/07/chicken-pepperoni.html.
Here's what I used.
Here are some mid cooking shots. Putting this together was pretty easy but I had to get a second frying pan going because I started running out of time. The chicken pieces took longer to fry up than I thought. The Pudge snuck an action shot of me that I decided to leave in (scary, huh).
Now I recall from the movie (which I haven't seen in many years) that Aurora served this in a casserole dish. The recipe didn't call for it but i decided to put it in a casserole dish and finish it in the oven. Also, the one cup of sauce didn't seem enough and I added about two more. I laid the chicken in the bottom and put the pepperoni sauce on top. I put it on low broil for 10 minutes while the Orecchiette pasta cooked. And here's the finished dish.
And the consensus was that it was good, but a little dry. It needed even more sauce but the spicy pepperoni flavor really tasted good. The Mrs and the Pudge could do without the artichokes, but I think they pulled the dish together. The peas really didn't do anything for the dish. So there you have it, Aurora's Chicken Pepperoni that Judge John Channing and the Governor (The Governor? OUR Governor? - I didn't ask him. He *looked* like our governor.) raved about. I didn't think it was all that, but I liked it.
As an aside, Sunday morning I used some of the leftover pepperoni with some sauce and mozzarella and made a really tasty omelet. I'm going to do that again.