Hot cherry peppers are bae.

Chicken Riggies. If you grew up in the south, you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s alternatively called Utica Riggies and every Utica/Rome, New York chef lays claim to it. The best part about Chicken Riggies is a toss up between the hot cherry peppers and the 1-1/2 cups of white wine you dump into it.

I know what you’re thinking. I said I don’t do white wine, but this is tried and true and it is chicken, so we’ll do what we must. Besides, if you use that super salty and shitty Holland House cooking wine you won’t be tempted to drink it. You’ll have to crack open a nice bottle of red to hold you over.

This stuff was good. So good in fact the Biggin was heard saying, “yeah,” in response to me asking if it was any good.

Chicken Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsps olive oil (plus more for sauté)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced. (Just use the jarred, go on, it’s really fine.)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 lbs chicken tenderloins, cubed

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 hot cherry peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
  • 28 oz. can peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the good stuff, chopped.
  • 16 oz. rigatoni pasta

A lot of ingredients and a lot of chopping, but let’s be honest, that means time for a lot of wine. Rip out the tendons and dice the chicken up. Add all of the marinade ingredients and chicken to a ziplock bag and toss it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Chop your veg while you wait for the chicken to soak up that goodness. When it’s time, drain the marinade off of the chicken and sauté in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot until there isn’t any pink left. Remove to a plate and melt the butter in the same pot.

Sauté the veg over medium-low heat for ten minutes. Add the cup of white wine and bring to a boil. Scrape in the tomato paste, stir until combined, and add the canned tomatoes. Use the back of your spoon to crush the tomatoes a bit. Cook down on a simmer for around ten minutes.

While your sauce cooks down, boil the rigatoni. Cook the pasta the least amount of time recommended to keep it firm. Drain and keep covered when al dente.

When the sauce has thickened up some, add the cream cheese and heavy cream. Once the cream cheese incorporates, it’s Parmesan time. Give the Parmesan plenty of time to melt before adding the chicken and pasta back to the pot.

I crowded the pan with the chicken. Can’t even take my own advice.

This dish was so dang good and the recipe makes enough to feed an army. The kids thought it was good enough to eat (yeah…) and that’s a win in my book. Here’s to hoping it reheats well in the oven tomorrow with some mozzarella and parm on top!



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