Storified by Arya McLean· Sun, Apr 14 2013 18:29:27
Roughly translated to “meat in pizza style,” pizzaiola is a Neapolitan dish that features meat cooked with tomatoes, olive oil and other pizza flavor ingredients like capers, olives, oregano, basil, tomato paste, pesto, peppers, and so on. In this gourmet cooking recipe, boneless chicken breasts are fried until golden and simmered in a delicious tomato sauce flavored with garlic, oregano, parsley, and black pepper. This is a great idea for pizza lovers who are trying to cut down on carbohydrates.
The boneless chicken meat is sliced into two and pan-fried until golden brown in this recipe for chicken pizzaiola. To cook a beautiful golden brown chicken, the key is to fry the chicken in the correct temperature. Choose cooking oil that has a high smoke point for frying the chicken. Some of the best oils to use include vegetable shortening, peanut oil, and lard. It is also important to use a heavy-bottomed skillet like cast iron pan for even heat distribution and from keeping the skin of the chicken from burning. This kind of pan allows you to cook meats at very high temperature.
When cooking the chicken, the oil should be about an inch deep in the pan or skillet and about halfway the chicken when it is placed in the pan. Before adding the chicken, the oil or fat should be about 350 degrees F in temperature. In this case, it is ideal to use a kitchen thermometer to determine how hot the oil is. Use tongs to lower the chicken pieces into the oil with the skin side down. Work away from your self to avoid oil splattering to your direction. Start laying the chicken at the edge close to you. Do not overcrowd the pan or the chicken will cook unevenly. Overcrowding also lowers the temperature of the oil and results in greasy and soggy chicken.