Chicken Riggies

December 12, 2018
Recipe by: Carolyn Kuczynski

Everybody in Upstate New York has their own variation of this dish.  It is hometown comfort food celebrated annually at the “Utica Riggiefest.” The bulk of the work is in prepping the ingredients.  You want to get your chicken, mushrooms, green pepper, cherry peppers, onion, and parsley ready to go ahead of time and measure out your chicken stock, tomato sauce and cream. If you prep well, cooking this dish is easy.

The real character of “Riggies” lies in the sauce and let’s be honest, any sauce that starts out with butter has got to be good.  Simmering the chicken in the butter and layering on the flavors from the vegetables forms the base of the sauce.  The chicken stock, tomato sauce, cream, and paprika give the sauce body and its beautiful color. The black olives that finish the dish add even more texture and color as well as a bit of saltiness.

“Riggies” can be made with chicken or shrimp and there are many vodka variations out there as well.  This warm, hearty dish makes Central New York winters bearable but can be enjoyed year-round. Give it a try, put your own spin on it and enjoy!


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Yield: 8 Servings
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 6-7 Cherry Peppers, diced
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp. Paprika
  • ¼ Tsp. Salt
  • ¼ Tsp. Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Italian Parsley, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. Water
  • ½ Cup Sliced Black Olives
  • 1 Lb. Rigatoni
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
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Directions

  1. Fill a large Swiss Diamond stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Melt butter in a large Swiss Diamond nonstick sauteuse.
  3. Add chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add diced green pepper, diced cherry peppers, and diced onion.  Cook for 7 minutes.
  6. Add chicken stock, tomato sauce, cream, paprika, salt, pepper and parsley.
  7. Put your uncooked rigatoni in your boiling water at this time. (You may need to start this later.  It all depends on the size rigatoni you buy.  Follow the cooking time on your rigatoni’s package).
  8. Bring the chicken mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer covered for 20 minutes.
  9. Make a slurry of cornstarch and water and water in a small bowl.
  10. Uncover your chicken mixture and stir in your cornstarch slurry and allow to cook for another 5 minutes to thicken.
  11. Drain your rigatoni.
  12. Add sliced olives to your chicken mixture and allow to cook another 5 minutes.
  13. Add your cooked rigatoni to your chicken mixture and stir.
  14. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and grated pecorino romano cheese.