Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recipe #14: Chicken Riggies

This is the recipe that started my cooking obsession. Christmas season of '08, I watched Rachael Ray make this during her TV show, and I found myself drooling. It looked so easy to make (which it is!), so I scrounged up the recipe from foodnetwork.com, and the rest is history. The recipe is copied from the site, with my changes at the end. Here's a shot of my first attempt:

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3/4 pound chicken tenders, 1 package
  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 1 package
  • Black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 7 to 8 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, divided
  • 2 large or 3 small cubanelle peppers, seeded, chopped
  • 3 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 6 hot cherry peppers pickled in jar, in Italian section of grocery stores
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cream, eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to pass at table

Bring a pot of water to a boil for "riggies". Salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: you will need to reserve cup of cooking water just before you drain the pasta.

Trim up the thighs and chop all the chicken into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large high sided skillet over medium-high to high heat.

Add chicken to hot pan and brown all over, 7 to 8 minutes then remove. Add onions, 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, cubanelle peppers then season with salt and pepper and cook 6 to 7 minutes to soften then add roasted red peppers. Cut tops off the hot peppers and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon then chop the hot peppers and add them to the skillet. Stir in tomatoes and add chicken back to the sauce. Bring sauce to a bubble then stir in some starchy cooking water from the pasta - about a cup, then add the cream, twice around the pan, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer a couple of minutes. Add pasta and 1/2 cup cheese and toss to combine.


1. I use other types of short pasta (like penne, in the following picture) if I want.
2. I use roasted red peppers from a jar. You can find these in the same area as olives at the store.
3. I use sweet cherry peppers instead of hot.
4. I add green pepper if I can't find enough nice cubanelles.
5. I use 1.5lbs chicken tenders instead of half thigh meat.

Here's a version using penne:

I'm sure if you want to spice this up, any hot peppers added to the recipe will turn out great.

1 comment:

  1. I went grocery shopping, and this was one of 10 possible meals for tonight, so I asked Nick what he wanted me to make. As predicted, he picked chicken riggies! It's so good and hearty, and the blend of different peppers is perfect.