Upstate NY Chicken Riggie Fest Roundup of Recipes

Here are several different recipes for Chicken Riggies

There had been a Riggie fest from 2009 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium,  it was done every year in Utica, New York with many versions of this great dish with chicken and rigatoni pasta in a delicious wine or vodka style sauce.

Everyone makes Riggies a little different, for instance back in the 1960s my mom never used the cream, and it wasn’t called chicken Riggies, there was just chicken broth with tomatoes and sherry or white wine and sometimes vodka in it with garlic.

Dad hated anything creamy, so she didn’t add cream to her.

Not sure how all these new versions got created but the ones with cream is surely popular in most Utica restaurants.

Mom just called her dish Rigatoni Chicken with Vodka, and then years past and all kinds of pasta dishes were created now called  Chicken Riggies, her recipe is at the end of this post.

During the local fest, many folks competed for prizes that won for their best dishes on Riggies.

Utica, New York in my hometown, has several local proprietors who have this dish on their menu there and the locals go crazy over these along with vacationers who visit these well-known establishments for this tasty creation.

They’re very popular and one taste and I am sure you will love some of these versions below to try whatever your taste buds prefer.

Check out the 5 versions below and find one you like and adapt away!

Also, check out another great roundup of recipes from a fellow blogger friend’s post,
Joanne of Apple Crumbles blog with her version of CNY Chicken Riggies and Cathi over at The Brooklyn Ragazza Chicken Riggies Recipe both from Utica!

is famous for not only for Chicken Riggies but also  Tomato Pie, Italian Greens, Italian Lemon Ice, Pizza Fritta,  Manny’s Cheesecake, Oscugnizzo Pizza, Pusties and Rosato Chocolate Cookies.

If you would like a printable version, scroll down to the bottom.

What is Chicken Riggies?

Well, we have established one thing, they are a delicious popular pasta dish!

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A Utica, New York, specialty dish indeed, that originated right there in my hometown.

Utica has so many unique foods created by so many talented cooks there.

It’s quite popular for the best Italian food and pastries, if you haven’t traveled there, put it on your bucket list of places to eat, you won’t want to miss Authentic Italian home cooking!

This particular dish is made with Rigatoni macaroni and is paired with chicken, spicy peppers in a creamy red/cream sauce, and some crushed or diced tomatoes, other additions sometimes include some roasted red peppers and always sweet or hot cherry peppers.

These are just a few recipes I have made and collected and all have been adapted to our taste.

The Sauce Ingredients for Chicken Riggies

(Note: My Favorite Chicken Riggie recipe and mom’s version is at the very end past the recipe card)

  • olive oil
  • butter
  • garlic, minced
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • skinless, boneless chicken breast meat cut up in chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sweet or hot cherry red peppers
  • 28 oz can of plum tomatoes
  • garlic powder, oregano, black pepper
  • cayenne pepper, salt, sugar
  • heavy cream
  • Rigatoni pasta
  • Vodka or Sherry

Amazing Taste

All the flavors blend together so well.

If you want a basic no cream recipe, you will find that in my favorite version by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Here are some listed that were the most popular at the fests.

Article post on: dinhthienbao.com

Chicken Riggies #1

Chicken Riggies Cajun Style

1 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 or 4 fresh or jarred hot cherry peppers 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
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 1-lb. boxes of penne rigate 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 chicken, sherry, low for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the light cream and Parmesan cheese, and stir in until lightly blended.
Pour mixture over hot cooked pasta. Top with mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Riggies #2

Chicken Riggies with Chopped Tomatoes

5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup grated Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
3 or 4 jarred or fresh  hot cherry peppers seeded and chopped
4 to 5 chicken breasts cubed in small pieces
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
2 cans (28 oz. or so) diced tomatoes
4 leaves freshly chopped basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
red pepper flakes

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In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until soft, around 1 minute then add chicken, season with salt & pepper to taste and saute for 10 minutes, or until halfway cooked. Add everything but sherry until chicken is cooked. Add sherry. Simmer 10 min.

Cook pasta and toss in the sauce. Sprinkle with more cheese. Also great with shredded mozzarella on top.

Chicken Riggies #3

Chicken Riggies Two Kinds of Peppers

Saute the following:
1 stick of real butter
1 red onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
24 oz. jar of roasted peppers in olive oil, sliced
5 sliced cherry peppers, mild or hot, depending on your taste
After those are sauteed, add:
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 can chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can Alfredo sauce
Cook on the stove for an hour or so, stirring so it won’t burn, then serve over Rigatoni.

Chicken Riggies #4

Chicken Riggies with Sherry Cream

(makes 8 servings)
2-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 sliced large shallots
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 oz jar) sweet red peppers, drained & julienned
1/2 cup Sherry
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (16oz box) Rigatoni pasta
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 8oz pk sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (2.5oz can) sliced black olives
1 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese
In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and saute until soft, then add chicken, season with salt & pepper to taste and saute for 10 minutes, or until halfway cooked. Add everything but sherry cook 10 min. Add sherry. Simmer 10 min.
Cook pasta toss.

Chicken Riggies #5

Source: dinhthienbao.com

Chicken Riggies on the Ranch

1 Bottle of State Farm BBQ Sauce
5 pounds chicken cut up in chunks
1/2 Cup of White Wine
Pint of Heavy Cream
16 oz of Grated Cheese
Large Can of Tomato Sauce
Large Can of Diced Tomatoes – Petite
8oz Can of Tomato Paste
5-6 cloves of Garlic
2 Medium Onions Chopped
4-5 Cherry Peppers

A small container of Mushrooms
2-3 Chopped Red or Green Peppers
1 Teaspoon each of Parsley, Oregano, and Basil
Olives to Taste at the end
Marinate the chicken in the BBQ sauce for at least three hours.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a pan and saute the chopped garlic and onions. Don’t burn! Add in, wine, Tomato sauce, diced, and paste. Include the dry spices. Cover and simmer. Add in peppers and mushrooms.

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Fry chicken but do not discard the BBQ sauce. Add cooked chicken to the red sauce.
In another pan mix BBQ sauce, cream, and grated cheese. Slowly bring to a boil until the sauce is thick-smooth.
Mix the two sauces together and cook together for a few minutes.

Pin for later

Try Some of My Other Pasta Recipes

15 Favorite Pasta Recipes
Mushroom Ricotta Pasta
Pasta Fagioli
Baked Ziti
Mom’s East End Sausage Sauce Pasta
Lemon Chicken and Pasta
Homemade Ravioli
Quick Lasagna

One More Version

CHICKEN RIGGIES Mom’s Recipe using Vodka Riggie Sauce

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

Via @: dinhthienbao.com

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup vodka or dry sherry make sure it isn’t cooking sherry which is full of salt, buy this at a liquor store

1 (16 ounces) jar sweet or hot cherry red peppers, drained and julienned (rinsed very well underwater and remove seeds using a colander)

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

1 cup chicken broth

Add these spices to the sauce:

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

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

Optional:

For Cream Vodka Sauce add 1 cup heavy cream at the end

1 package uncooked Rigatoni pasta

DIRECTIONS:

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 5 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink.

In another pot boil your Rigatoni in saltwater to your preference and package instructions, drain and toss with olive oil so they won’t stick together about 4 tablespoons, set aside.

Add the peppers and the broth plus tomato sauce with all spices, reduce heat to low, and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.

Add choice of vodka or wine and simmer for another 10 minutes, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes more.

If making a cream version add the 1 cup of heavy cream and stir until heated, do not boil.

Ladle the 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.

Pin for later Chicken Riggies

Disclosure: This recipe was originally posted to this blog 2011. It was edited and re-published in 2020.

Source: https://www.whatscookinitalianstylecuisine.com/2011/08/upstate-ny-chicken-riggie-fest-roundup.html

Article post on: dinhthienbao.com

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.