Chicken Riggies are native to the Central New York region, specifically the Utica-Rome area. It is a delicious concoction consisting of a variety of hearty ingredients. Chicken Riggies, which is essentially chicken, rigatoni, peppers, onions, in a spicy, cream and tomato sauce is unique to this region. Since this dish is so popular, there is always a debate as to who has the best Riggies. In 2005 a Riggiefest event was first held, and each year continues to be held, to decide who has the best Riggies and who wins the Riggie Cup.
Talk to anyone who is from the Utica-Rome, NY area and you will hear that there is a variety of places that have "the best Riggies". Whether you make them at home or venture out to one of the Riggie Cup winners' restaurants, this dish will definitely keep you warm during those blustery, Central New York winters.
Below is one of the many recipes for Chicken Riggies:
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 5 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 white onion, chopped
* 3 or 4 hot cherry peppers (from the jar), seeded and chopped
* 1 can tomato paste
* 2 cans (28 oz. or so) diced tomatoes
* 4 leaves freshly chopped basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
* 1/4 cup sherry (can use cooking sherry)
* 4 to 5 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into bite-size pieces*
* salt to taste
* freshly ground pepper to taste
* 1/2 to 2/3 cup light cream (depending on taste)
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (optional)
* 2 1-lb. boxes of penne rigati or rigatoni
# In olive oil, gently saute the garlic and onion until tender.
# Add the cherry peppers, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes.
# Cook on low for 20 to 25 minutes.
# Add the sherry and chicken breast pieces and continue to cook on low for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. # Add a little water if mixture is dry.
# Remove from heat. Add the light cream and Parmesan cheese, and stir in until lightly blended.
# Pour mixture over hot cooked pasta. Top with mozzarella cheese.
recipe taken from [http://newyorktraveler.blogspot.com/2006/08/chicken-riggies.html]
* [http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_66377,00.html Food Network recipe]
* [http://www.cityofutica.com/Home/ City of Utica homepage ]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UJdk-svZIo Chicken Riggies Video]
There are many variations of the chicken riggie recipe. Some include sherry, some people say that you must use a JAR of peppers, because "juice" adds to the sauce. I have heard that chicken riggies began when someone of importance came to the city of Utica. The restaurant was closing and the chef "threw together" some chicken, peppers, red sauce, white sauce, garlic, onions, olives, mushrooms. Through the years, people have added their own twists on the recipe to fit their taste.
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