“The Chickeroni” Pepperoni-Marinated Chicken Pizza

“The Chickeroni” Pepperoni-Marinated Chicken Pizza
Recipe courtesy of John Gutekanst, Avalanche Pizza in Athens, Ohio
Recipe type: Pizza
  • 2 to 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 7 ounces natural casing pepperoni (The cupping kind is the best for this.)
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup dry white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon unroasted whole fennel seeds
  1. Place all ingredients into a pizza pan and cook in your pizza oven until the pepperoni just start to exude juices and the oil heats up. (It is important not to overcook the paprika and fennel seeds.)
  2. Stir, then pull the mix from the oven to cool. Once cool, use an immersion blender to mix a paste the thickness of hearty gravy. If it is too thick, thin it out with more vinegar and oil.
  3. Place the raw chicken breast on a cutting board with the back, or pointy end, toward you.
  4. Cut a horizontal slit down the right side starting at the thick notch at the top and butterfly the breast by carefully cutting until you can fold over the top flap to the left.
  5. Pull all the meat into a circle as best you can and top with parchment or plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet starting in the center and working out.
  6. Carefully turn the breast over and pound the other side until the thickness is less than a centimeter thick and the round is 8 to 9 inches.
  7. Coat the marinade on the bottom of a round glass pie pan and layer each breast so the marinade is soaking the meat from above and below.
  8. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. The next day, gently pull each breast out of the marinade and gently rinse with cold water to lose most of the marinade. (This step is up to you: more flavor of the marinade will be present the less you rinse.)
  10. Place the rounds on parchment and into your pizza oven at 475 F for 8 to 12 minutes until cooked through.
  11. Bring out and place aged mozzarella and provolone on the chicken pizza and then top with…what else, PEPPERONI!

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