Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chicken Riggies - A Utica Favorite

This is a regional popular dish from my hometown. There is even a "Riggie Fest" here in the spring where restaurants compete for who has the best tasting riggie recipe! It is a benefit for the YWCA and very well attended. Several months ago, Rachael Ray even prepared and dished this up on one of her shows after her husband had played a gig here with his band and had tasted it at one of the restaurants.

So here is my favorite recipe. Some use heavy cream but I find that to be too laden with calories. You can make the sauce a couple days ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.

Or you can freeze it for later. Either way, this is a great crowd pleaser, and another great Super Bowl party recipe.
Chicken Riggies
This recipe serves 4-6

2 lbs. Boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 ½ sticks of butter
6-8 hot cherry peppers, seeded (in jar with juice)
2 sweet green or red peppers
½ cup white wine
1 cup romano cheese
4-5 tablespoons marinara sauce
1 large or 2 small cooking onions, chopped or thinly sliced
1 can chicken broth
Spices to taste (Basil, parsley, garlic powder or salt)
2 lbs rigatoni

Cube chicken into bite sized pieces. Toss with flour to coat. In a large skillet or pan, sauté butter until melted and add onions; brown until golden. Remove onions with slotted spoon and place onions in a dish, leaving butter in pan. Add floured chicken to the pan and cook until golden. Add back the onions. Add 1 can of chicken broth and the marinara sauce (the sauce should be pinkish in color, not red), the hot cherry peppers (as many as you like), and sweet red or green peppers. (Using both gives it a prettier look.)
Also, add some of the hot cherry pepper juice to really spice it up. Mix well. Add the wine and 1 cup of romano cheese. Mix well. Let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add spices as you wish. Boil the rigatoni and toss with the sauce. Add extra cheese over the top.


  1. Oh Linda...This looks yummy! So many good I'm starving! I've become a follower and I'll be back when I can really look...Debbie

  2. This looks yummy! I need to get me some Riggies!


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