Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chicken Riggies

Good morning everyone. I hope that you are all having a very wonderful time preparing for both Easter and continuing the celebration of Passover. This will be a very short post for me, because I to have to get ready for the holidays.

Like all areas of the country, our upstate New York area is known for a few culinary specialties, tomato pie, greens, and chicken riggies are a few. We finally had the headlines with the chicken riggies and a contest was held to find the best chicken riggies. Read the story in our local paper The Observer Dispatch.

Riggies are a nice dinner meal, once you eat a bowl of them, you don't need too much else to eat, add a salad and some garlic bread and you're done. Traditionally, they are served with hot peppers, some combine hot and sweet peppers, or you can make them with just sweet peppers.

If you'd like to try to make some, here is one of my favorite recipes. It comes from my dear friend Brenda Johnson. I'm sorry there are no pictures this time, but time is of the essence this week, so forgive me and have a very happy holiday!

Brenda Johnson

3 teaspoons minced garlic
Olive oil
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
8 medium boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1½ bottles of hot or mild cherry peppers (cut up in quarters with seeds)
Dash of red wine (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
½ pint heavy cream
1 red and 1 green bell pepper (quartered)
1½ pounds Rigatoni macaroni
Grated cheese (Optional)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add garlic and cook for one minute until golden, add the chicken pieces and cook until browned. Add the cherry peppers and the cherry pepper juice. Add red wine to taste. Add the bell peppers. Break up the 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, and add to the pan. Add the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add in basil and oregano. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour. Cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Just before serving, add the heavy cream to the sauce. Mix the sauce with the rigatoni and serve. You can top with grated cheese if you’d like.

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Chicken Riggies on Foodista


  1. Here is a recipe based from a Utica native: Included consultation with the chef at Joey's, listed in wikipedia as the birthplace!!!!

  2. Thank you so much for the great link to another wonderful chicken riggie recipe. I think the beauty of this dish is that everyone has their on way of maing it. Thanks for sharing, greatly appreciated!