Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicken Riggies!

This is a specialty of Utica, NY. A few friends and I had a small dinner party a few days ago and Josh, who is from Utica, made this for us. It may have been how he made it and perhaps I couldn't reproduce how delicious it tasted to me that night, but I sure enjoyed it. The name is silly, as often names of regional dishes are; "riggies" comes from the use of rigatoni.

Chicken Riggies

1 pound rigatoni
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken meat; half white and half dark
black pepper
6 T extra-virgin olive oil, in total
1 large onion, chopped
7-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped, in total
2 large cubanelle peppers, seeded, chopped
3 roasted red peppers, chopped
6 pickled hot cherry peppers, seeded
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
about 1/2 c cream
1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Cook pasta al dente. Reserve 1 c of the cooking water. Cut chicken to bite size pieces, season with salt and pepper. Heat 3 T oil in a large skillet over med high to high heat. Add chicken; brown 7-8 minutes, remove. Add onions, about half the garlic, and cubanelle peppers; season with salt and pepper and cook 6-7 minutes to soften. Add roasted red peppers and cherry peppers. Stir in tomatoes and chicken. Simmer sauce and add about a cup of the pasta cooking water and up to half a cup of cream. Bring heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in cheese and pasta.

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