Chicken Pepperoncini Pizza and The Many Saints of Newark

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 Prep

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

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Dinner, Main Course American/Italian
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cooking Time: 15-20 Minutes Total Time: ~50 Minutes

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
  • Paprika
  • 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.

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  • Terry
    October 8, 2021 at 9:47 am

    This pizza looks really good, I will be making this next week. This week I am making the mushroom pizza from last week. I found some mozzarella with truffles I can’t wait to try it I will Keep you posted. Right now I’m watching the Sopranos to catch up… have a great Friday ??Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      October 8, 2021 at 10:29 am

      Hey Mom, Yeah I started the series again after I watched the movie. Let me know how you like the movie and the mushroom pizza! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    October 8, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I wasn’t a Sopranos fan; when it came out because I was more interested in other things, and I have a habit of not wanting to watch what everyone else is watching or doing. I have to admit that this trailer grabbed my attention and made me want to see the movie. There was some great editing there, and it immediately pulled us right into the action from the first scene. Good use of music too, because it fit perfectly. This pizza looks sublime and I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying it. I like the idea of the two cheeses, each doing their own thing in their own time. Gouda has an interesting taste, and I miss it. I’m going to make a corner of the pizza with dairy free Gouda and mozzarella. It won’t be the same as the original, but it will be an homage to this lovely pizza, and it will make my stomach happy.

    Today’s episode of Stump The Chef is brought to you by not getting enough sleep, and entertaining crazy ideas! Imagine if you will, a bar in the middle of Nowhere. It is moody and atmospheric, and is owned by a very eccentric man named Alfred. Alfred is English, and has a drawling, somewhat effete and mysterious manner of speaking. He generally restricts his face to very bland expressions, but his eyes do the talking. Alfred’s bar is named MacGuffin. Alfred needs a day off ad he calls his young friend Alex to take over as bartender. Alex appreciates the oddities of life, so Alfred is convinced that he won’t take umbrage at what is about to ensue. It is a dark rainy day in the middle of Nowhere when Alex shows up at MacGuffin with Dante and Penny. Kelly is amused by Alfred, but knows odd things can happen around him, so she is sending reinforcements just in case. Sadie will have to stay home because she can be scatty and impulsive. Alex knows it’s going to be a strange day, when he opens the front door of their lovely home and walks straight into MacGuffin. He and the dogs are beginning to think that something beyond odd is on the horizon. Alex and the kids hop over the bar just as the door opens. Dashiell and Ellery, long time regulars, order two beers and go to their usual table, complaining about Agatha, who has the gall to be more successful than they are. Dante takes them a bowl of peanuts and a bag of pretzels on the house. The doors to the bar swing open. Darkness and mist have descended on the bar. It is so thick that no one can see anything. When the mist clears, Alex sees Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Alexander the Great – three military philosophers, who know a lot about planning and strategy. They are hungry and cross. Time travel can be difficult. Alexander demands to know what there is to eat. Alex decides to invite them to his home for pizza and a movie, and describes his wife’s culinary repertoire and how streaming works. This means nothing to our intrepid time travelers. They do not understand technology, but they like the sound of food. Kelly decides that three of the greatest strategists in history will watch The Manchurian Candidate and The Godfather, because those are all about strategy, misdirection, and the long game. She will make three fabulous pizzas that will be a nod to the man who inspired them, and the movies. Happy Friday to Alex, Terry and our long suffering chef Kelly, who is subjected to this game every Friday. Have a super day everyone, and enjoy the weekend. I’m hoping for sunshine and cool breezes. ??.

    • Kelly Djalali
      October 8, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Hello Mari! This is quite a story – I can picture it all so well! I might make the Asian-inspired Mushroom and Shishito Pepper Pizza from last week for Sun Tzu. Machiavelli would get a pizza with porcini mushrooms, black truffle, and fresh mozzarella. And of course only a Greek Pizza with artichoke hearts, olives and feta would do for Alexander the Great. This was a fun (and very creative) episode of Stump the Chef! Thank you so much for stopping by today, I know you’ve had quite a week, so I really appreciate you taking the time to check in with another great challenge! Take care, xo Kelly

  • Sylvia Espinoza
    October 8, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Strong finish to a super busy week, with fantastic writing and recipes! Today’s pizza sounds grown up and quite tasty. Might give it a try! Was one day late reading Alex’s 2-Burger Post but laughed so hard stress melted away. Not long ago during Covid drive-through only service, needed a Big-Mac-fix. It happens, even to senior citizens. Parked to watch the world go by as we ate. Opened my Big Mac box. Hmm. What is wrong with this picture? On top was a meat patty. Searched for the top bun…through the layers…ah, there it was…at the bottom…its top covered with sauce. Eating a Big Mac is one of life’s messy pleasures for me when it’s prepared in orderly fashion. THIS was a challenge. Hubby looked at it and gave thanks he’d ordered something different. Did my best to arrange it to look like a Big Mac, but the mess kept growing so I just went in and enjoyed it ala-finger-lickin’-good. Your fans out here are loving yours and Alex’s blogs to the max. Appreciate you both! Hugs~

    • Kelly Djalali
      October 8, 2021 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Sylvia! Thanks so much, I am really happy y’all are enjoying Alex’s posts and recipes. He is really having fun coming up with ideas, cooking and writing. Big Macs are typically messy affairs, and it sounds like you handled yours well! Have a wonderful weekend! xo Kelly