Pizza Chicken

Pizza Chicken

AKA skillet-roasted chicken with pancetta, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes cooked down into a thick sauce and fresh basil leaves scattered over top.  But pizza is my favorite and I get to name stuff around here so that’s what we’re calling it.

This is a Melissa Clark recipe (um, only the amazing NYT food contributor and author of one of the best cookbooks ever…Dinner Changing the Game,* anyone?) so I knew it was going to be good, but it’s just so freaking easy too and comes together in a gloopy, cheesy, tomato-y mess that is so wonderful that you should probably make a plain pizza dough just to dip into that sauce.

I don’t have kids, but I’m pretty sure this would be a winner with just about any little human plus all the big humans will love it.  Don’t tell them there’s anchovies in it!  No one will know and it brings big flavor to your dinner game.  Don’t be scared!


Pizza Chicken

  • Author: Amanda
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Chicken


AKA skillet-roasted chicken with pancetta, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes cooked down into a sauce and fresh basil leaves scattered over top.


  • 3 to 3-1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
  • 5 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • Pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1 large sprig fresh basil, plus additional, for serving
  • 7 to 8 ounces bocconcini, halved or quartered, depending on the size of the balls OR fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.  
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the diced pancetta and cook until crispy, about 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pancetta.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
  4. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side-down, and sear the pieces until browned, turning occasionally.  This should take about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat.  
  5.  Add the garlic, anchovies, capers, and chile flakes and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.  Stir in the chopped tomatoes and basil sprig; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Break the tomatoes up with the back of your spoon as they cook to release their juices.
  6.  Return the chicken to the skillet, nestling the pieces into the tomato sauce.  Scatter the cherry tomatoes over top.  Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160°in the breast and 170° in the thighs and drumsticks, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place the mozzarella pieces and pancetta around the top of the chicken.
  7.  Preheat the broiler to high.  Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Garnish with torn fresh basil leaves and additional red pepper flakes, if desired.


Use the biggest skillet you have for this recipe.

Inspiration: Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes, Pancetta and Mozzarella on


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