I live in Central New York and there is an American Italian dish that is regional to this location that is my absolute favorite! CHICKEN RIGGIES!!!!!!! Until the last few years, this has mainly been a staple to this region, however, there are now all kinds of variations of this recipe on the internet for this dish including Food Network, All Recipes, etc… Now, I do not claim to be any kind of chef, nor do I want to be one. One of my other favorite things is photographing food so what better way to have a nice evening then making my favorite food and photographing it!
This dish is native to the Utica/Rome area of New York State. A complimentary dish to this, and often served together in the same meal, is Utica Greens. I will save that for another time. There are many variatons of this dish, however, my go to is the spicy cream sauce version.
As I am not a chef, I don’t know exact measurements. And maybe because I have made this so many times and the small Italian part of me comes out when I cook that I just “throw it together.” Just know…..you can’t really mess this up. You just need rigatoni pasta, boneless chicken (cubed), minced garlic (I love garlic so I use a ton), olive oil, tomato sauce (fresh home made is best, but in a pinch a couple 8 oz cans of tomato sauce will do), hot cherry peppers, red roasted peppers and heavy cream.
You start out heating the oil and garlic in a pan then add the chicken. Once cooked through, add the tomato sauce and simmer. After about 15 minutes, I add the hot cherry peppers and roasted red peppers and simmer some more. The more cherry peppers you add, the spicier it will be. A little does go along way here with the heat of the peppers so be warned.
It will look like this
And these are by far my favorite brand of peppers
After another 15-20 minutes (and while you are cooking the rigatoni pasta in salted boiling water) it should cook down some more. After you add the cooked rigatoni, it should look like this.
Now, if you want you can literally stop here, but my favorite version is with the heavy cream added in. You only want to add the heavy cream toward the end just before you serve the dish. I usually add about 1/4-1/2 cup of heavy cream.
After it is all mixed in, serve in some pasta bowls topped with some grated parmesan or romano cheese and you’re done! Chicken Riggies!!!!!!