Chicken Riggies

Went to Syracuse over the weekend.  Mom’s FAVORITE meal is Chicken Riggies.  We went to Nestico’s, a restaurant in North Syracuse and she was able to get her Chicken Riggies.  Mom and I had a nice conversation and enjoyed our lunch together.  Kent and I got back yesterday.   I was loading up my photos and saw this one; img_4548Reminded me of our lunch together.  I took this photo to send to Eric while we were eating lunch.  She hates to have her picture taken but she sure looks smug about her Chicken Riggies!  I had a meatball sandwich.  I still can’t find a restaurant that makes meatballs as good as mine. 😉  I decided to make some Chicken Riggies for my lunch tomorrow. I updated my recipe and this one is a winner.  (By the way, I didn’t have any Rigatoni so I ended up using Mostaciolli.)  Martin and Sean had some tonight and really enjoyed this Central New York, local Italian pasta dish.  Hope you will give it a try!

Chicken Riggies




1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size pieces (I use chicken thighs)
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (you could use diced or crushed, too)
1/2 cup hot cherry peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell peppers, chopped 1 inch pieces
1 large roasted red pepper, chopped 1 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, crush
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano (or whatever Italian hard cheese you enjoy)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 # Rigatoni (cook the Rigatoni while you are simmering the sauce.  You can use another pasta too.)


  1. MARINATE CHICKEN Combine chicken, 3 tablespoons cherry pepper brine, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in zipper-lock bag and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add chicken. Cook until chicken is browned, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from  Dutch oven and set aside.
  3. In Dutch oven add 4 Tablespoons butter.  When butter is melted, add onions, roasted red and green bell peppers, 1 teaspoon salt and saute until onions are translucent, about 6-8 minutes  Add garlic and stir into vegetables.
  4. Add tomatoes, chicken, hot cherry peppers, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to boil. Crush the tomatoes. (You could crush with your hands before adding to pot). Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5.  Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  6. Add rigatoni to the sauce, add cheese and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Now is that Simple and Delicious?!  I would say so!!  Buon Appetito!!

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