Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicken Riggies

I was home this past weekend and my husband and I went to Delmonico's in Syracuse with my brothers and their wives.  It was fun to get out without the kids and spend some time with family at the same time.  We ordered some wonderful appetizers, to include Utica Greens (which I will make and post at some point) and Italian nachos, my husband ordered gorgonzola crusted salmon which was outstanding, and I ordered Chicken Riggies.  Chicken Riggies is a dish that originated in upstate New York and is made with rigatoni, tender chicken pieces, mushrooms, peppers, onions, hot cherry peppers and a creamy red sauce.  Is your mouth watering yet?  The hot cherry peppers and some heat and the mix of flavors is amazing.  Like I said before, I love pasta!  Delmonico's version was delicious, but very rich and a little too hot for me.  So, even though I just had this on Friday, I decided to do my take on a classic upstate NY dish.  I apologize for the pictures.  Our camera is in need of replacing.  I promise it tastes better than it looks!

It is a flexible dish and every about every upstate NY Italian restaurant has it on their menu and about every one makes it differently.  So, I figured, why not?  My kids chowed this down, and my husband and I loved it.  Eli had 3 helpings, and it showed all over his face and hands!  I hope you try it!

  • 1 lb Rigitoni Pasta
  • 1 lb chicken boneless skinless breast
  • 1-2 TBSP E.V. Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 2-4 hot cherry peppers cut open or in half  (can use crushed red pepper flakes if can't find)
  • 6 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 jar roasted red peppers sliced or fresh sliced red peppers
  • 1/2 can black olives cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup cream (I used fat free half and half with couple tbsp cream to cut the fat)
  • splash vodka
  • 1 TBSP butter (for finishing)
  • 1/2 c. parm cheese
FOR SAUCE: In saucepan, saute crushed garlic in a little EVOO until fragrant.  Add splash vodka and then crushed tomatoes and cream.  Let simmer gently while doing the rest.  Just before adding to pasta, add butter and parm cheese.

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  Warm 2 tsp olive oil in nonstick skillet.  Season chicken with favorite seasonings (I used Bucks) and salt and pepper. Saute chicken browning on each side until done.  Deglaze pan with splash of white wine.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Put pasta on while doing the rest.

In another large skillet add some EVOO and a little butter.  Add onions, cherry peppers and peppers if using fresh.  Saute 3-5 min.  Add mushrooms and crushed garlic. Saute until mushrooms are tender deglazing with white wine when necessary.  Add olives and roasted red peppers if that is what you are using.  Let saute another 2-3 minutes.  Add pasta right in skillet and the sauce over that, tossing or stirring gently.  Let sit together for a few min. before serving to allow flavors to meld.    Top with fresh grated parm. cheese.

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