I say this a lot – food doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. I also believe that some of the best recipes are simple variations of old family standards. This recipe is both of things. Chicken Parmesan is one of my family’s favorite meals. Everyone loves when it’s on the menu and I love cooking it. It’s real comfort food without all the work. My version is oven baked, not fried, making it much healthier, and faster than the original – so putting it on the menu is easy. But there comes a time after making the same recipe a few times where I start to get a little bored and start letting my mind wander to new possibilities. That’s when the pepperoni came in. Not that adding pepperoni to something is a revelation – it’s probably been done exactly this way by many people in lots of places. But my version was a natural outcome of one of my regular sessions of blankly staring into the refrigerator that I have each week. I was thinking about what I could do to perk up the same old chicken parmesan dish when I spied the pepperoni way in the back. It was a perfect marriage – the pepperoni adds just the right taste of spice to the chicken and tomato sauce as it cooks. So with a simple little tweak to one of our family favorites, we now have a new family favorite that everyone looks forward to all over again.
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