If you’re running out of ways to make chicken for dinner, you’re not alone. Many parents complain that making the same meal over and over again (think chicken nuggets or the classic cutlet) can get tiring. So if you’re looking for a new take on what some might consider the boring bird, all you need to do is turn to your TV for inspiration. And if you’re a child (or fan of) 80s films, you’re going to fall in love with Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni from the movie Seems Like Old Times.
Haven’t seen the flick? Well, it stars Chevy Chase as a writer who is wrongfully accused of robbing a bank. His ex-wife, (played by Goldie Hawn), is now remarried to Ira Parks, the future Attorney General of California (played by Charles Grodin). An attorney herself, Glenda tries to defend Nick, who has been staying in a guest room over the garage.
What does all of this have to do with Chicken Pepperoni. A lot, actually. The governor of California is coming to dinner at Glenda and Ira’s home, and all he wants to have is Chicken Pepperoni made by Aurora De La Hoya, the Parks’ sassy maid. Thing is, Aurora is having her feet scraped (yes, she is literally having her feet scraped) and can’t make the dish. Hilarity ensues as Glenda, Ira, Nick, and the Parks’ drunk chauffeur butler Chester try to pull off the dinner — and make the most delicious Chicken Pepperoni to please the governor, too.
Now, it’s never exactly explained how to make Chicken Pepperoni in the movie. At one point, Ira is on the phone in his office and appears to be repeating the ingredients for the recipe: “2 cans tomato paste, sliced green peppers, pimento, sausage, veal – there’s no veal in chicken pepperoni.” The good news is that you can really make Chicken Pepperoni any way you’d like. In this ode to the 80s rom-com, we created our own version of the dish, using sliced pepperoni to adorn breaded and fried chicken cutlets that are smothered in sauce and cheese. For picky eaters, you can simply remove the pepperoni and serve this dish as a take on chicken parmigiana.
But no matter how you make it, serving Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni will seem like old times.
Aurora's Chicken Pepperoni
- 4 chicken cutlets, sliced thin
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 8 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup sliced green peppers
- 6 oz. ground sausage
- 1 16 oz. jar of good quality tomato sauce
- 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
- 1 16 oz. package shredded mozzarella
- oil for frying
- basil for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice cutlets thin.
- Beat eggs.
- Dredge cutlets in breadcrumbs, then in beaten egg.
- Fry chicken cutlets on both sides until done. Set aside.
- In the same frying pan, crumble sausage and cook until done. Set aside.
- Add sliced green peppers and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Mix the peppers, pimento, and sausage together.
- In a medium-sized pot, add tomato sauce and paste. Stir well and cook through, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a baking dish, spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom.
- Add chicken cutlets and spoon peppers/pimento/sausage combination on top.
- Add the rest of the tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and the dish has heated through.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy.