Friday, August 23, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Riggies

I think my blog gives out the impression that "R" and I don't cook at home, which is not true. Okay, well, maybe "R" cooks at home and I watch, but you get my point. I want to start sharing some of this with you. I'll be posting recipes that we've made at home, and I hope that you enjoy them. First up? A nod to my home state of NY.

Chicken Riggies (From Wikipedia):
Chicken riggies or Utica riggies is an Italian-American pasta dish native to the Utica-Rome area of New York State. It is a pasta-based dish usually consisting of chicken, rigatoni and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce.
It was always a go-to dish when my family was dining at Italian restaurants, and "R" and I recently found a recipe in Light & Healthy 2012. We made it on Sunday, as our FIRST official meal in our new kitchen.

Chicken Riggies (serves 6)

4 (6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons jarred sliced hot cherry peppers, chopped fine, plus 2 tablespoons cherry pepper brine
2 tablespoons water
Salt and Pepper
10 ounces of white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (we only used 1)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 lb rigatoni
1 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

1. Combine chicken, 1 tablespoon cherry pepper brine, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a zipper-lock bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to an hour.
2. Combine mushrooms, bell peppers, and 1 teaspoon oil in Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium, and continue to cook until well-browned, 8 to 10 minutes longer (Note: You'll think you're burning them, but it's okay.).
Transfer vegetables to medium bowl and set aside.
3. Add onion and remaining 1 teaspoon oil to empty pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in cherry peppers, garlic, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half, then whisk into pot along with tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in chicken and reserved vegetables, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Off heat, add olives and remaining cherry pepper brine, cover to keep warm.
5. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water (We forgot this step!), then drain pasta and return it to the pot. Add sauce and Pecorino Romano cheese to pasta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, add reserved cooking water as necessary to adjust consistency.

There you have it, folks. Our first meal prepared in our new kitchen.
I'm not usually a fan of leftovers, but this dish reheats well and we've both been enjoying it for days. It brought back great memories of Chicken Riggies in NY, and "R" deemed it tasty enough to put on our rotation of recipes.


Crystal @EatDrinkClev said...

Oh my gosh ~ the kitchen is done! Woo hoo! We need a picture of that! This recipe looks and sounds fabulous - can't wait to try it.

Bite Buff said...

Just a few cosmetic things for the contractor to finish, and some final decorating to do....then I'll be sharing Before/After shots of the kitchen. :)