Chicken Pizzaiola

I never realized Lidia Bastianich had a website, until I randomly came across her recipe online for Chicken Pizzaiola. The name certainly caught my attention! I mean, who doesn’t love pizza ingredients!

The website is Lidia’s Italy, which highlights her restaurants, her books, her cooking shows (she even has a YouTube channel), plus recipes, and much much more. Her latest cookbook is Felidia, which came out in October of 2021.

Of this recipe, she says, “This dish has quickly become one of our most popular at lunch. The chicken is so tender that you don’t need a knife to cut it. And the pizzaiola preparation is a favorite traditional of Italian American cuisine.”

The lunch she’s referring to is at Felidia, her flagship restaurant she opened in 1981 on Manhattan’s east side, although it now closed permanently.

Chicken  Pizzaiola

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds
Kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated grana padano
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian, on the branch
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil plus 1/4 cup leaves, and whole sprigs for garnish
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups prepared fresh tomato sauce
4 slices low-moisture mozzarella

Season the chicken breasts with salt, and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Pour in the buttermilk, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Drain the chicken, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss together the panko, grated Grana Padano, dried oregano, chopped parsley, chopped basil, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to incorporate everything fully into the crumbs.

Put the drained chicken breasts in the bowl with the seasoned breadcrumbs one at a time, and pat well on both sides so the crumbs cover the chicken on all sides. Set the breaded chicken breasts on the parchment paper, arranged so they don’t touch each other.

Bake the chicken until the coating is crisp and browned and the chicken is just cooked through, about 15 minutes.

While the chicken bakes, combine the tomato sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ¼ cup basil leaves in a blender, and purée until smooth. Season with salt.

Pour the purée into a small saucepan, and warm it over low heat.

When the chicken is just cooked through, top with the sliced mozzarella and bake until the cheese is just melted, about 2 minutes.

Spread the tomato emulsion on plates, top with the chicken, and serve.

I served this chicken with simply sautéed spinach.

Maybe it’s not like eating pizza, but wow this chicken dish really is fabulous. I would use grated mozzarella instead of a slice. I don’t like the look of that.

The crust is wonderful, and the cheeses make it so tasty, along with the herbs, and of course with the sauce…. divine.

By Published On: November 25th, 202140 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

40 Comments

  1. BERNADETTE November 25, 2021 at 6:41 AM - Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I was fortunate enough to eat at Felidia’s and it is truly a fabulous experience.

    • chef mimi November 26, 2021 at 4:36 PM - Reply

      Oh, I bet that was a great experience. Sad it closed.

  2. Charlie DeSando November 25, 2021 at 9:24 AM - Reply

    Looks great. Happy Thanksgiving

  3. Katherine | Love In My Oven November 25, 2021 at 3:00 PM - Reply

    What a terrific looking chicken dish. I’d love to serve this up with a glass of red for date night in!

    • chef mimi November 26, 2021 at 4:35 PM - Reply

      A fabulous pinot noir would be my pick, from Sonoma or the North Coast…

  4. 2pots2cook November 26, 2021 at 3:11 AM - Reply

    Love Lidia’s recipes so much ! Her winter salad recipe would be perfect to serve with !

    • chef mimi November 26, 2021 at 4:34 PM - Reply

      Oh, good to know!

  5. Cynthia M Woodman November 26, 2021 at 9:34 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious Mimi! Classic comfort food perfect for the winter!

    • chef mimi November 26, 2021 at 4:34 PM - Reply

      Very good flavors!

  6. ajeanneinthekitchen November 26, 2021 at 3:19 PM - Reply

    Looks yummy!

  7. Greg Henry November 26, 2021 at 4:21 PM - Reply

    I have a love of this kind of Italian-American cooking and between you and Lidia this is perfect. GREG

    • chef mimi November 26, 2021 at 4:34 PM - Reply

      Well, I usually don’t, actually, but this was good! Years ago I finally met my Italian-American relatives, and for dinner they opened a jar of Ragu. I was a bit disappointed and disillusioned…

  8. Frank Fariello November 27, 2021 at 9:15 AM - Reply

    Interesting. I know beef pizzaoiola but not the chicken. This dish is very different from the one I know, but it does look tasty.

    • chef mimi November 27, 2021 at 8:11 PM - Reply

      Well, who knows. I’m sure there are so many variations!

  9. Ann Coleman November 27, 2021 at 5:16 PM - Reply

    I’ve never tried either beef or chicken pizzaoiola, but that looks wonderful! And your recipe seems easy to follow.

    • chef mimi November 27, 2021 at 8:09 PM - Reply

      Oh, it’s very easy. And, actually Lidia’s recipe!

  10. sherry November 28, 2021 at 2:23 AM - Reply

    this sounds interesting but i’d have to leave out the tomato sauce. maybe i can use capsicum sauce instead.

    • chef mimi November 28, 2021 at 6:32 AM - Reply

      Oooooh that actually sounds really good!

  11. Valentina November 28, 2021 at 10:27 PM - Reply

    I can see why this is such a popular dish. I agree, who doesn’t love pizza flavors!? Great recipe, and a book I will check out. (The cover is beautiful.) :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi November 29, 2021 at 6:02 AM - Reply

      I will use a grated Mozzarella next time, but the dish is really pretty. Too bad the restaurant closed. An end of an era.

  12. neil@neilshealthymeals.com November 29, 2021 at 6:49 AM - Reply

    Hope you had a great and restful Thanksgiving Mimi. Lovely recipe. I think I’ve had something similar here at one of our Italian chain restaurants and it was delish! That’s sad her restaurant closed.

    • chef mimi November 29, 2021 at 8:59 AM - Reply

      I know, the restaurant was such an establishment. I don’t know if it was her business problems with partners or the pandemic.

  13. Ron November 29, 2021 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    Mimi, I’m betting Lidia would set right down at your table and totally enjoy your preparation of her recipe.
    I’m also a huge Lidia fan and use her recipes often. I love her old PBS cooking show, the one where her mother was often in. If you haven’t read her non-cookbook “My American Dream” and your a fan of hers, I do highly recommend the read. Take care…

    • chef mimi November 29, 2021 at 8:58 AM - Reply

      Oh interesting. I love books like that. Thanks for the heads up on that. Anymore you can just pay a few dollars and read a book on your iPad – I love that!

  14. Raymund November 30, 2021 at 3:20 PM - Reply

    Ohhh what a nice dish Mimi, I defitniely would love to serve that on my dining table. Happy Thanksgiving

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      It’s very tasty, with all of the pizza ingredients!

  15. Molly Pisula December 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM - Reply

    Yum! This looks so delicious. Love the combination of Italian ingredients in here!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:07 PM - Reply

      I’m not a fan of Italian American food in general, but this was a really nice recipe!

  16. Hannah Kaminsky December 1, 2021 at 6:45 PM - Reply

    You can’t go wrong with pizza flavors in any form. Brilliant!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2021 at 6:50 PM - Reply

      No, not at all. Except for that pesky meat and cheese…

  17. Abbe@This is How I Cook December 1, 2021 at 6:50 PM - Reply

    This could soon become one of my favorites. Who wouldn’t love this for lunch or dinner?

    • chef mimi January 9, 2022 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      I know! Very Italian American, but if you love all of the components…. Why not?!!

  18. David Scott Allen December 6, 2021 at 12:17 PM - Reply

    I have always loved her, and how could you not love this chicken? Scheduled for this weekend!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM - Reply

      It’s pretty darn good for Italian american fare!

  19. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons January 8, 2022 at 11:48 PM - Reply

    It’s amazing what a buttermilk marinade will do. This looks delicious and simple enough for a weeknight.

    • chef mimi January 9, 2022 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      I’m just now learning about buttermilk as a marinade. It’s extraordinary!

  20. Coleen Balch April 4, 2022 at 4:43 PM - Reply

    Made this for whole family Sunday dinner yesterday and got rave reviews! Used boneless thighs cuz most of the group won’t eat white meat so gave it a few extra cooking minutes. Kept the rest all the same. KEEPER!

    • Chef Mimi April 4, 2022 at 6:51 PM - Reply

      Yes, I agree! Such wonderful ingredients. thanks!

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