Hungry Heart

Adventures in healthy living

A Utica Favorite


Apparently I was in denial about Daylight Savings Time.
The sun sets before 5pm.
Definitely not enough time to take Sadie for a walk after work.
So Jerry chased her around the backyard instead.

And then they settled in front of the fireplace for a nap.

They are seriously not normal.

I did manage to get my workout DVD in, and my abs are aware of it this morning.

And as promised, here is my version of a Utica favorite.
Chicken Riggies!

I am not claiming that this is the best riggie recipe out there. Its just how I make them. They are ever-so-slightly healthier than the cream and butter filled riggies you will find on any restaurant menu in Utica.

Chicken Riggies

  • 1 lb box of rigatoni pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, or whole tomatoes (hand crushed)
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, chopped
  • 2-8 hot pickled cherry peppers, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan, for serving

In a very large pot (I use my Dutch oven) saute the onions, garlic, and cubanelle peppers in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil until soft.
Cubanelles are sometimes called ‘Italian peppers’ or ‘Frying peppers’ in the store. They are long and pale green and have a very mild flavor.
Turn heat to medium and add chicken. After a few minutes add the wine.
Once the chicken is almost cooked through, add your tomatoes and chopped cherry peppers.
I find that each jar of pickled cherry peppers will vary in heat. Sometimes I add 3 peppers, but for this batch I added 6. Start out with 2 or 3, you can always add more.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.
Cook the rigatoni according to the directions.
Add cream and milk (or half and half, or all cream, whatever you like), and then add drained pasta.

You will end up with a mountain of food!

But that’s ok, because chicken riggies make excellent leftovers.

I served the riggies with a side of spring mix and roasted acorn squash.

Along with a Lucas Vineyards Vignoles.

And a drooling coonhound.

Tonight is date night again!
Jerry and I are having dinner out with his parents, and then are off to see Jerry Seinfeld perform at the Stanley Theater.

And it’s a Thursday that feels like a Friday :)


  1. yay riggies! I want to come over for leftovers. :)

  2. Ah, so this is the dish I’ve heard so much about over all these years. I think I may need to make it for a certain Uticain living in our Nation’s Capital :)

  3. Looks yum, any left for your Dad? :)

    No wonder Sadie is angry when you leave her! She is so happy when you are there!!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.