Hello and welcome to Pizza and a Movie. Just when we were enjoying cool mornings and beautifully sunny fall afternoons, we were hit with warm, humid rain showers. The song remains the same today, so we are making pizza in the kitchen oven. Which is ok, because what better thing to do on a stormy day than gather around the TV with a slice of pizza and a movie. Today’s movie is the eagerly awaited Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark. So let’s get right to it: Chicken Pepperoncini Pizza.
The chicken prep is simple, and you can use leftover chicken if you have some in the fridge. I have 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I seasoned with Kosher salt, granulated garlic, smoked paprika and black pepper. If you use a pizza steel, let the pizza steel heat in the oven and place the sheet tray of chicken directly on the steel to bake. Bake the seasoned chicken thighs on an unlined sheet tray for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. When the chicken comes out, turn the oven temp up to 450 degrees. Let the chicken thighs cool for about 5 minutes and then slice the chicken thighs width-wise, into 1/4-inch strips. Place the chicken strips back on the sheet tray and toss the strips in the pan juices.
Set the pan aside and prep the pepperoncinis: slice off the stems and slice each pepper in half lengthwise. Grate about 1 cup of smoked gouda cheese. I have a block of low moisture mozzarella that I pulled thin strips off of, like string cheese. (Just like yesterday’s Tortellini Bake.) From the 16-ounce block of mozzarella, I will use about 8 ounces.
Roll or stretch your prepared pizza dough out to about 12-inches round. Be sure there is an even dusting of flour under the dough when you lay it back on the pizza peel. Start with a layer of the mozzarella strips.
Top the mozzarella with the chicken thigh strips.
Sprinkle about 3/4 of the grated smoked gouda over the chicken, then top with the pepperoncini peppers. Finish with the remaining smoked gouda.
And we are ready for the oven!
Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden and the mozzarella is melted and begins to brown. Note that the gouda will not melt as smoothly as the mozzarella.
Chicken Pepperoncini Pizza
This pizza is so simple, and the flavors are really satisfying. The chicken pieces are tender and juicy – very nicely seasoned. Smoked gouda goes really well with the seasoned chicken, adding a really nice layer of complexity. The pepperonicinis add a little heat and their acidity tempers the rich cheese. A clear winner in my book, this pizza combination is unique; its flavors distinct and complex.
Movie Night: The Many Saints of Newark
We have our Chicken Pepperoncini Pizza ready, so let’s get to the movie! I don’t about y’all, but I really enjoyed the Sopranos, so I have been looking forward to this prequel as another entry-point to the Sopranos universe. Contrary to reviews I have read and heard about this movie, I don’t think it was “all over the place” but I do think that the main characters could have had more time spent on their individual stories. Rather than a movie, I think this would have been better as a limited series; to give each character a little more breathing room.
My favorite performance was by Vera Farmiga as Tony Soprano’s mother, Livia. The prosthetic nose she wears gives her an uncanny resemblance to Carmella, Tony’s wife in the series. Which had me thinking that, in the end, Tony basically married his mother. Lol. If you go back to the series, the relationship between Tony and his mother was a huge point, and so having a little more backstory on her and their relationship while he was young would have been interesting. But I suppose that leaves more to tell in a sequel to the prequel… The Many Saints of Newark is available to stream on HBO Max.
Thanks everyone for tuning in today for Pizza and a Movie! Were you a big Sopranos fan? If so, and you watched this prequel, what are your thoughts on this movie? Let me know in the comments below. Also, remember you can follow me on Instagram and Pinterest too! Take care and be well, everyone! xo Kelly
Chicken Pepperoncini Pizza
A fresh take on a chicken pizza: seasoned chicken, smoked gouda and pepperoncini peppers. A rich combo, with complex and distinct flavors.
- 1 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
- 8 oz. Low Moisture Mozzarella Cheese, pulled from the block, in thin strips
- 8 oz. Grated Smoked Gouda Cheese
- 10-12 Pepperoncini Peppers, stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Season both sides of the chicken thighs with Kosher salt, black pepper and paprika. Bake chicken thighs on an unlined sheet tray for 20 minutes.
When the chicken comes out of the oven, switch the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Let the chicken cool for about 5 minutes.
Then slice the chicken thighs width-wise, into 1/4-inch strips. Put the chicken slices back onto the sheet tray and toss the slices with the pan juices, set aside.
On a floured pizza peel, dust the dough with flour and create a crust around the perimeter of the dough and flatten down the center.
Stretch it out on the backs of your hands, left hand over right hand, until the dough is roughly 12-inches around.
Add more flour evenly on the peel and lay the dough on the peel.
First, layer the mozzarella cheese strips on the dough. Then top with the chicken slices.
Top the chicken slices with about 3/4 of the grated smoked gouda. Evenly place the pepperoncicni halves on top of the chicken and gouda.
Then top the pepperoncini peppers with the remaining smoked gouda.
Bake the pizza for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and puffy. The grated smoked gouda will not melt smoothly, but the mozzarella underneath should be melted, bubbly and browning where it's exposed.