After a week of it being what I can only refer to as negative fuckass degrees, it’s finally above zero, and accordingly, warm enough for me to be able to attempt to venture from my bedroom to the kitchen to cook again! And this is a fantastic way to warm up, and a cheap, hearty meal.
If you buy the components at this at the right time, this can be a very cheap meal – the chicken was bought from the meat counter of one of the grocery stores on sale and put in the freezer until it was needed, and the pillow packs of pepperoni went on sale for significantly cheaper this week. Go for fresh mozzarella on this, it’s absolutely worth it.
Also, this can be a little on the messy side, especially if you don’t have the kitchen space (like I don’t). I’ll be giving you tips in the recipe to make this a little bit less so. The recipe is a bit approximate, and is pretty much up to your best judgement in most cases.
Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken
Makes 2x however many chicken breasts you have
- chicken breasts (try to go for thick ones if you can; I got mine from a meat counter)
- 1 pre-sliced ball of mozzarella (6 to 8 oz)
- 1 package pepperoni
- 2 large eggs
- panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- vegetable oil
Take your chicken breasts and clean them (I just had them in a ziplock bag from thawing, so I filled the bag with cold water to clean it). Cut them in half diagonally, so you have two diamondish shapes (see pic 1). Then, cut a pocket into your chicken, right in the middle of the breast, but not all the way through. Pic 2 is the best illustration I could get of what your pocket should look like when you’re done cutting it; not all the way through the meat (at least a few cm left on the meat on all three sides), but deep enough to keep the fillings in.
Then, set up a station similar to that for tonkatsu; one bowl of flour, one bowl of beaten egg, and one of panko. Have your pepperoni and mozzarella slices on hand nearby. Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and then dunk it in the panko. Once the chicken has been coated in the panko, open the pocket and stuff a slice of the mozzarella and a few slices of the pepperoni in the center (see pic 3 for an example).
While you coat your first few chicken breasts, take a frying pan and coat it in vegetable oil, bringing the heat to medium high. Add the breasts to the heated oil, and fry on each side until the crumbs are golden brown on each side, usually three to five minutes each side (see pic 4 for a good example of the breasts in progress).
Once your breasts are golden brown, they need to go into a pan, as you’ll be baking them. If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, especially as you’re using the dunking stations. What I did to save space was to put the pan I was gonna bake the chicken in in the oven, and just transfer the chicken breasts, once golden brown, into the pan (see pic 6. The oven was then heated to 350 (325 because mine runs hot) once the last two pieces were in the pan, and by the time the last pieces were finished and in the pan, the oven was ready to go.
Once your stuffed chicken breasts are in the oven, bake them for 25 minutes to finish cooking them all the way through.
And then, enjoy the cheesy pepperoni stuffed breasts! (Hehe. Breasts.)