Chicken Riggies It's a Utica Thing

Sunday, July 19, 2009
Shown are Riggies all made with sweet cherry peppers and olives, another version is with mushrooms and in the back just plain only with peppers. Riggie fest is usually in Utica, New York and many different ways to fix chicken and rigatoni. Check it out.

This is a dish that actually comes from my home town in Utica NY. They have a Riggifest every year, and it usually is held at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Its a cream, tomato sauce over Rigatoni pasta. You can use Shrimp, Chicken or Sausage. Shown in this recipe is Chicken. If you would like to see more on this just google Chicken Riggies and you will see several articles written locally from the Upstate Region. This is my version of this delicious pasta dish. Here is the many variations click here


4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup butter

5 cloves garlic, minced

fresh basil leaves for garnish

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat cut up in chunks

salt and pepper to taste

1 (16 ounce) jar sweet or hot cherry red peppers, drained and julienned (rinsed very well under water and remove seeds use a colander)

1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes put through processor ( leave a few chunky pieces)

Add these spices to sauce

1/2 teaspoon each or garlic powder, oregano, black pepper

1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, salt, sugar

(Optional : if use you use favorite jar sauce you will need 28 oz of a marinara style.)

1/4 cup dry sherry make sure it isn't cooking sherry which is full of salt, buy this at a liquor store

1 pint heavy cream

1 package uncooked Rigatoni pasta


In a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and (shallots if you are using them in this recipe) and saute until soft, add chicken.

Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until halfway cooked.

In another pot boil your Rigatoni in salt water, drain and toss with olive oil so they won't stick together about 4 tablespoons,set aside.

Add the peppers and the sauce and all spices, reduce heat to low and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Add sherry and simmer for another 10 minutes, add cream, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Ladle the Riggie sauce over the hot cooked pasta and top with grating cheese and fresh basil. Double sauce recipe as this will make enough for only one pound.

for more versions click here


  1. I'm a Long Island girl from way back but I love Chicken Rigies! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. awesome dish! very hearty and sticks to your ribs meal.

  3. What a wonderful cool weather dish. This recipe would work perfectly to feed a large group of people.

  4. I think I saw this made on Rachael Ray one day. Looks amazing! The pictures make me hungry :)

  5. Have you ever eaten at The Franklin Hotel In Rome, NY? (next town over from Utica) ---I stopped there while in the Adirondacks over the summer. Family style Italian food in Upstate New York is hard to beat.

  6. Yes, the Franklin has so many Italian homemade foods, very delicious pastry husband is from Rome NY, thats where we stay every year with his family and go back and forth to mine in I am very familiar... wow, small world....thanks for sharing that also.


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