Utica's Chicken Riggies Recipe

Updated on February 19, 2020
Kemet Musiq profile image

I love making delicious recipes and sharing them with others.

The Finished Product.
The Finished Product. | Source

Chicken riggies is a dish that is native to Central New York. It's not a common dish, so preparing it can look quite impressive to your friends. Here is the recipe for this local cuisine.


  • 3 to 4 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed or in strips
  • 12 Medium-sized mushrooms, sliced
  • Regular sized bag Green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 clove Garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3/4 stick Real butter, melted in pan
  • 1 to 2 lbs Various peppers of your choiced, Cut however your heart desires
  • 1 to 2 lbs High-quality rigatoni pasta
  • 2 large cans Crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 White onion, preferably in rings
  • A handful Italian seasonings, pepper and salt, tossed in
  • 1 quart Heavy cream
  • Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: Serves 6 to 10


  1. Chop up all your veggies, place the mushrooms and scallions in one bowl, and have all your peppers in another bowl. Cut up your chicken and leave it on the chopping block.
  2. Put the crushed tomatoes in a medium sauce pan. Put on a low heat, adding white onion and all the seasonings. Base amounts on your liking. Periodically stir.
  3. Heat butter and garlic in a large high sided frying pan on a medium heat. Once garlic smell comes off the pan, immediately add mushrooms and scallions. Saute until lightly browned, roughly 10 minutes. Get your pasta water started on the heat. Add olive oil to water.
  4. Add chicken to frying pan. Increase heat slightly. Let chicken cook about 5 to 10 minutes sitting on top of mushrooms and scallions, then stir continuously. Cook almost all the way through. Don't forget to stir the red sauce! Add pasta to water when it's ready
  5. Once chicken appears almost fully cooked, add your peppers. Keep heat close to high. Let cook for about 10 more minutes. Your pasta is done.
  6. Add heavy cream in with chicken and peppers. Let cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Combine everything...Boom!
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chicken cooking with cherry peppers, garlic, scallions and mushrooms.Another Good shot of the chicken and first phase of vegetables.Orange and green Bell peppers. Anaheim, Cubanero and Long HotsA close up of the peppersCrushed tomatoes cooking with garlic salt, Italian seasonings, pepper and white onions.Another nice shot with different camera settings. Look at the color!All the peppers and chicken mixed together simmering for mixing flavors.
Chicken cooking with cherry peppers, garlic, scallions and mushrooms.
Chicken cooking with cherry peppers, garlic, scallions and mushrooms. | Source
Another Good shot of the chicken and first phase of vegetables.
Another Good shot of the chicken and first phase of vegetables. | Source
Orange and green Bell peppers. Anaheim, Cubanero and Long Hots
Orange and green Bell peppers. Anaheim, Cubanero and Long Hots | Source
A close up of the peppers
A close up of the peppers | Source
Crushed tomatoes cooking with garlic salt, Italian seasonings, pepper and white onions.
Crushed tomatoes cooking with garlic salt, Italian seasonings, pepper and white onions. | Source
Another nice shot with different camera settings. Look at the color!
Another nice shot with different camera settings. Look at the color! | Source
All the peppers and chicken mixed together simmering for mixing flavors.
All the peppers and chicken mixed together simmering for mixing flavors. | Source

Video Tutorial

The Most Important Part

I can't just give you a recipe without giving you the reason behind the madness. So here is an artistic point of view that will accent the video's recipe. This is a local recipe, straight from the heart of New York. Nine times out of ten, if you ask someone outside of New York about chicken riggies, they're gonna look at you crazy. My mother made them, her friend made them, and her friend stole the recipe from an unnamed restaurant. Every time she cooked them, I watched her. I dreamed about chicken riggies. I couldn't comprehend how a dish could be so perfect. The flavors, the smell, the colors!

Almost every Italian restaurant in the area cooks them, and they all have their own twist on it. Bella Mia, Chesterfield's, Delmonico's. All the fine culinary hot spots of this area do this good dish justice. But deep underground, in the less atmospheric dining areas of the indigenous, is a cult movement of simple men and women who all believe they make the absolute best chicken riggies in the universe. So who's right? Is there a best? Well, I believe there is one of them who is correct in his assumption. There is a best, and it is made by yours truly.

But instead of hoarding my tasteful treasure all to myself, only giving you a glimpse into the greatness at family get-togethers, I've decided to share my wealth of simple culinary knowledge with the world at large.

It's one thing to explain this dish empirically. It's another to take you on a journey of sorts. A journey that will help you understand the beauty of the process and have a rooted respect for my dish and for me.

You must season all parts of this dish as if it were the only thing you were eating, The pasta, the red sauce and the chicken, peppers and heavy cream. All should be treated as individuals that make a trio of perfection. Season them, care for them, tell them how much you love them. Taking it a little to far is what good cooking is all about.

The peppers are what make the dish. Throw in all the peppers your heart desires! Throw in the juice from the jar of pickled peppers. Use banana peppers, sweet peppers, cherry peppers. Whatever, the flavors of the peppers season the dish, play around with how you cut the peppers. Cut them all different, throw them in at different times to get a range of bites. It may not seem like it matters, but take it from me, I make the best riggies in the universe!

Follow my steps to the teeth. No skipping and throwing everything all together, you will ruin the dish, I promise you. If you're going change anything, add more steps!

Buy local. The heavy cream, the vegetables, the chicken. The more the better. Strengthen the community, save money, and eat healthier!

And don't worry about having leftovers. Riggies taste great the next day.

One more thing! This recipe can easily be halved or doubled with no trouble. Just make sure you use bigger pans when needed.

Rate this dish!

3.4 stars from 138 ratings of Chicken Riggies (Central New York style)

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Julie—central New Yorker 

        4 weeks ago

        You’ve got to have sherry in it. Adds so much flavor!

      • profile image

        Cat Pace 

        4 weeks ago

        Recipe is very vague in regard to amounts etc it is kind of confusing

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        5 weeks ago

        I'm from CNY. Riggies are like stew; a million versions and someone thinks the riggies they make are the right way.. 8) I don't use mushrooms in mine, but I know people who do. However...every rigggies recipe I ever had...(and that number is substantial), roasted red and cherry peppers are it... your mixture for your heat. Banana peppers are for sandwiches.

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        2 months ago

        i would like to see what your cooking. just talking about it doesnt tell you how it looks

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        2 years ago

        What memories of my life in Utica this dish brings back. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks for posting the recipe!

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        2 years ago

        This recipe is he BEST ive found. This dish melts everyone I serve it to thank you for sharing!!!

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        3 years ago

        I just want to say that I am from central new York ,the Mohawk valley and have always LOVED chicken Riggies! I now live out of state and miss it very much, when I mention it to others here in the south, they give me some funny looks ! Thank you for this amazing recipe! I've had it at delmonicos' and theirs doesn't hold a candle to this recipe! Thanks !

      • profile image

        Jenny Lynn 

        7 years ago

        I love chicken riggies. Luckily for me I live in CNY where the dish originated. That being said, I've tried riggies from several resturants known for their riggies and I have not found one dish that compares to this recipe. Whether you're making them for yourself or for guests, whether you want spicy or mild riggies, this is the recipe to use. You can substitute whatever peppers you like best. I like more banana peppers and I add some of the pepper juice too. Try the recipe and see for yourself. Best Riggies Ever!


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