Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Yutica Classic

 My dear fellow music therapy intern Erica introduced me and Michael to a Yutica, New York classic the other night before Michael moved back to Utah. She had described it to us for quite some time so we were so happy to finally try it. Apparently all the restaurants out there have their own version of Chicken "Riggies" and you have to know which ones to go to get the BEST.

So where does the term "riggies" come from? It's a nickname for rigatoni, the pasta that this dish is predominately made with. As you can see in the pictures, I made the recipe with bowtie pasta. A fair substitute as I was unable to locate rigatoni in the brand of pasta that was on AMAZING sale recently. So, bowtie it was...and I think it turned out splendidly!

 This is a very simple pasta with hints of sweetness and heat from the varying pepper flavors. It's quite refreshing actually, all that pepper flavor. I used pimento peppers because that was all I could locate, but I hear that roasted red peppers and cherry peppers are good also. 

If you want a healthier version, use milk instead of cream or remove the butter. Otherwise, I believe you will love this incredibly easy and quick recipe to add to your arsenal of weeknight meals. It's what I like to call a "pantry meal" and I need to come up with a good excuse to make it again in the very near future. Any ideas?

Chicken "Riggies"
(adapted from All Recipes)

1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta (I used bowtie)
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 can mushrooms, sliced
1 can sweet peppers (pimento or roasted red)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Parsley, chopped

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain and keep warm.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and chicken into the pan. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cook until chicken is lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, canned peppers, tomato sauce, and butter. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the heavy cream. Simmer 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in the pasta and parmesan cheese. Top with chopped parsley and enjoy!

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