One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies

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A few years ago, my then-roommate and good friend, Allison, asked me to make her something “spicy with chicken” for her birthday dinner.  I wanted to make something that she’d never had before, and after scouring the web for inspiration, I became smitten with the idea of making Chicken Riggies.  I’d never heard of them before stumbling across the delicious-sounding recipe, but they’re the signature dish of Utica, New York, and I’ve gotta tell you, those people know their stuff.  Why this isn’t common all over the country, I’ll never understand.
 
One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.
 
I wound up making the dish, which features chicken breast, rigatoni, and a hot cherry pepper and tomato cream sauce, and no one could get enough of it.  My roommate loved it, my boyfriend loved it, and to say that I loved it might just be an understatement.  I promised to make it again soon, and I really did want to, but cooking the chicken, boiling the pasta, and making the sauce just required so many dishes and too much time to do it on the regular.  So I didn’t.  Not for a long time.
 
One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.
 
Finally, after 2 years, I decided that I had to give it a go again, but this time I’d make it easier… by doing everything in one pot.  That’s right, one pot, without removing anything and “setting it aside”.  I even cooked the pasta right in the sauce.  I was expecting the worst, but guess what?  It was even better this way.  I know you don’t believe me, but just try it.  Just do it.  You’ll be amazed.

The Spicy Chicken Riggies wound up being  one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made.  Honestly.  It was flavorful, filling, and it was so easy to make and clean up.  My mom and brother were in love with the dish– my mom even said that it might be her favorite recipe that I’ve ever made and that I had to add it to our rotation.  I froze leftovers for James who finally got around to trying them yesterday, and he agreed that they were “spectacular” after practically inhaling the entire Tupperware container I had stored them in.   That’s after reheating the Chicken Riggies in the microwave, by the way.  You know something is delicious after you can freeze it and reheat it in the microwave and it still tastes amazing.
 
It’s not debatable; it’s a fact.
 
One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.
 
I think one of the coolest things about this recipe is that the starch from cooking the pasta in the sauce acts almost like flour or cornstarch would, thickening the tomato and wine base and helping it reach the perfect consistency.  The pasta doesn’t get mushy or stay hard either, but it does slightly absorb some of the flavors of the sauce, which makes it even tastier.  I’m going to start experimenting with cooking noodles into sauces much more often after this major success!
 
One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies.  That's right, this delicious meal is made in just one pot, from cooking the chicken to making the sauce, to boiling the pasta!  And you won't believe how insanely delicious it turns out.  One of my favorite recipes of all time.
 
Serve this meal to a crowd or whip it up on a busy weeknight for your family.  It’s so impressive and delicious that no one will believe that you made it all in just one pot.
 
And since we’re on the subject, do you have a favorite one pot recipe?  Let me know in the comments!
 

One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 2 large roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • 6 hot cherry peppers, chopped and deseeded
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooking sherry or white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb Rigatoni
  • 1 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Directions
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the garlic and chicken. Sauté the chicken until it is just browned on the outside but not cooked through.
  2. Stir in the roasted red peppers and hot cherry peppers, and sauté for a minute. Add in the crushed tomatoes and sherry or wine. Add in the water and pasta and bring to a low boil. (If there isn't enough liquid, add a bit more water.) Continue to cook, stirring often, until the pasta has cooked to al dente, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Reduce to low heat and add in the butter, basil, and salt. When the butter completely melts into the pasta, add in the cream and cheese. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with additional cheese, basil, and red pepper flakes if you really like a lot of heat!
  4. Serve warm.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Michelle says

    I made this for dinner last night and both my Husband and I enjoyed it immensely. I was a bit worried that it was going to be overly spicy, but once the cream and butter was added, the spiciness mellowed out considerably.
    This is a decadent meal for sure with the cream, butter and cheese but it was delicious and I’ll just have to get in an extra workout this week!
    Thanks for this recipe!

  2. Kitty says

    The spicy chicken riggies sounds yummy, definitely want to try it, but not sure what amount is 1/2 stick butter? Thanks.

  3. Shereen Moloney says

    I always cook pasta and sauce separately, but I’m keen to start combining them in one pot, for the convience. This looks delicious! But for those who don’t live in areas where butter comes in sticks (New Zealand in my case), could you say how much volume or weight a ‘half stick of butter’ is?

  4. Jamie Miller says

    I made this last night and this is CRAZY delicious!!!!! My family and I thank you for sharing this recipe. And, you are right. The leftovers taste even better!

  5. Nicole P says

    I just made this tonight – it was extremely tasty and reminded me of some of my favourite Italian restaurant dishes. It was also very easy, which was nice. I reduced some of the ingredients a little, though I was only cooking for two+night of leftovers. I couldn’t find hot cherry peppers here, so I used a small bag of mixed peppers recommended for pasta, which worked. I think that I will use less butter and cream next time, or maybe I will only use one of them, since it was a bit rich.

  6. Deez says

    My fiance made this tonight and it was really, really good. We don’t care for rigatoni, though, so we used rotini and some elbow noodles, and couldn’t find canned roasted peppers, so we used some pimientos tied up in some cheesecloth. Overall, a really good dinner for as few dishes as possible. Be careful, though, b/c some of ours stuck and burned to the pot pretty quickly.

    Next time, though, I think I’m going to try it with milk and a tiny bit of butter instead of cream to cut some calories and fat. Has anyone tried that?

  7. Freddie says

    Hi,
    I was wondering if it would be fine to add spinach to this delicious looking one pot meal?
    Thanks!
    Freddie

  8. Priyasha says

    I made this last night and IT IS SOOOO GOOD!! I forgot to get basil when I was at the supermarket, though, so I replaced it with rosemary and thyme and it still tasted really yummy. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • says

      Great to hear, Priyasha! Glad you could get creative when you realized you were missing an ingredient and that it worked out well =)

  9. Caity says

    This turned out DELICIOUS! Best one-pot pasta dish I’ve tried so far. I even like the cheesiness, and I am not a cheese lover by any means. Instead of chicken breast, I sliced up three chicken Italian sausages from a local deli, which added even more good flavor. And I have enough roasted peppers and cherry peppers left to make this again sometime soon.

  10. Keri says

    This looks so amazing and I can’t wait to try it!
    Question – did you use fresh or jarred hot cherry peppers?
    Thank you!

  11. Shanana says

    This looks great! I would love to make it for my dad’s 50th. Is there a substitute for the white wine since my dad doesn’t drink alcohol?

    • says

      You could use chicken stock instead of white wine and then just add a tiny splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice for the added acidity! =) It won’t be exactly the same, but it will work fine!

  12. Courtnet says

    Ha, I am from the town next door to Utica,Ny. :) Lots of Italians around, I married one in fact. They are like born knowing how to cook delicious food. 18 years later and I finally am starting to learn how to cook a bit like one. :)
    Definately gonna try this. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Alison says

    Can’t wait to try this! The only thing I couldn’t find was the hot cherry peppers (searched 2 different grocery stores.) Any decent substitutions you can think of? Thank you!

    • says

      Alison, they’re usually available jarred. If you just rinse them off in a colander they’ll work fine. If you still can’t find them, try subbing pepperoncini.

      • Alison says

        I ended up just omitting any other peppers except the roasted peppers and it was still FABULOUS. Next time (because there WILL BE a next time), I’ll try the pepperoncini because I did see that the grocery store carried those jarred. (They only had SWEET cherry peppers otherwise, boo.) We also apparently don’t have fresh basil around here, so I subbed basil flakes and it was still great. I also ended up adding an extra half-cup of water so the noodles could cook better and was worried that it would affect the flavor but it did not. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  14. Trevor says

    Made this one last night. It was incredible! My girlfriend was very pleased and insisted that I include this in the regular lineup, thanks for the amazing recipe :) I had never thought to cook pasta in sauce before, but it was fantastic. I’ve got the ingredients for two more of your recipes that I shall attempt this week, still super excited! Thanks again!

  15. Lindsey says

    I’m a native Utican so I have practically been raised on riggies. There are so many variations that there is really no single way to cook it so when someone showed me this recipe, I decided to give it a shot. That being said, this was waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too spicy to be considered “authentic” riggies…just way too spicy. Using 6 hot cherry peppers is too much – most recipes, including the one I always use, call for 1 hot cherry pepper…6 is “WTF?!?” crazy. I even added extra cream, served it with a side of bread, AND added extra cheese on top to cut the spice on the tongue and it was just too much. Riggies should always have a hint of spice with the option of adding red pepper flakes or hot sauce to kick it up a notch if desired…this spice practically knocked me over. I’m going to make a 2nd batch without the cherry peppers and mix it into the spicy batch to even it out a little.

    That being said, the actual sauce is delicious! And cooking the rigatoni in the same pot is genius…it does thicken the sauce so you don’t have to wait until the next day to have that nice, thick sauce that just sticks to the riggies. For those who don’t like peppers and onions, this is great…all the flavor without having to sort through chunks of pepper and onion. If the amount of cherry peppers is cut down to 1, 2, or possibly even 3, I give this 5 stars.

  16. Lynn says

    I also live in Utica. I also only use 1-3 cherry peppers in my riggies, but am REALLY excited to try it as a one-pot meal.

    When I’ve had difficulty finding the cherry peppers, I have substituted an Italian frying pepper.

  17. says

    This is SUCH a great recipe. I used jarred peppers (4) AND jarred roasted bells (from Trader Joe’s) with great success. I also used only about 1# chicken, 1.5 cups of wine/broth (half of each), 2 Tbs. of butter and 1/4 C. half & half. I also went very light on the Romano (maybe 1/2-3/4 C.) without feeling like we compromised on flavor. It was so delicious. The texture of the noodles was perfect and the flavor was fabulous. I’ll happily add this to the rotation. Next time, instead of using only 4 peppers, I’ll use the 6 the recipe calls for; It wasn’t at all too spicy. I added red pepper flakes and was happy, but my husband, who didn’t, wanted it a bit kickier. It all came together so quickly and made a lot, so I’ll keep this in mind for doubling for a casual crowd. So tasty!

  18. Shruti Jordan says

    I loved it! I was sceptical about cooking the pasta in the sauce but since I saw so many good reviews I guessed it must be good and my oh my wasnt it. I made my own grilled bell pepper.. And added just chilli flakes.. Substituted milk with cream as I didnt have any cream. A guilty pleasure. A weeks worth of workout gone but worth it!

  19. Veronica says

    Morgan – (may I call you Morgan? Haha!) this is the first of your recipes I’ve tried and I must say its the best pasta I think I’ve ever had. I, like many others, was skeptical about how the one pot thing was going to turn out but wow. It’s perfect and I want to feed it to everyone I know! I disagree with the “wtf crazy” from the 6 cherry peppers… I think it wouldn’t have been spicy ENOUGH with any fewer. I’ll be sure to make more of your other recipes in the future. Thank you, from a fellow greater Philadelphia resident!

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