Or at least that's how I think of her anyway. We're only two months apart in age, share a lot of the same interests, and our moms happen to be identical twins. I love having a Twin Cousin!
A few years ago, my TC and her family moved to New York State for a brief time. Because she's just as food-obsessed as I am, she raved about many of the new dishes she discovered while they were there.
One of them happened to be this thoroughly revolting-sounding dish called chicken riggies. I don't even want to tell you what went through my mind when I saw "riggie." I can say it was something to the effect of: what on earth are riggies and which part of the chicken did they come from??
Thankfully I've been educated! Now I know that "riggies" is just another term for rigatoni pasta. And after finding this One Pot Wonder Recipe of this favored regional dish, I can see why it's so popular!
One Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies
Recipe adapted from Host the Toast
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes
2 tbsp EVOO
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (14.5oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
3/4lb rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)
1 tsp dried basil (or 2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/4 cup half & half
1 cup grated Parmesan
1. Preheat the EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until just browned, but not cooked through. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
|I diced the chicken kinda small. I don't always like biting into big chunks of chicken.|
2. OPTIONAL "ROASTING" STEP: If you'd like to add a little flavor-depth to the jalapenos, and you have a gas stove, turn on one of the burners to medium low. Spear one end of a jalapeno with a fork and hold it over the flame. As the skin blisters and blackens (this will make popping sounds too), rotate it to roast all sides. Place the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. After a few minutes to steam, the peels will easily slide off. Seed and chop the peppers.
|Watch your fingers|
|I should have let these blacken a bit more, but they were still good!|
3. Add chopped, roasted peppers to the chicken, and saute for a minute. Add the diced tomatoes, wine, and water and stir to combine.
|Mmmmmmmmmmmm...chicken and peppers and garlic...mmmmmmmm.|
|I know, this looks like soup. Don't panic! The pasta will soak up a lot of this.|
4. Add the dry pasta to the pot and bring to a low boil. If the liquid looks low, add a bit more water. Continue to boil, stirring often, until the pasta is cooked to al dente, about 15-20 minutes.
|I heart One-Pot Meals|
|My almost 7 year-old is obsessed with butter now.|
Apparently having the word "butt" in it makes it fabulously funny.
5. Reduce heat to low and add in the butter, basil, salt, and some red pepper flakes, if using. When the butter completely melts into the pasta, add in the half & half and Parmesan, and heat through.
|Oh Dairy State. I heart you too!|
Now, before any Heat Lovers out there start piling on the red pepper flakes, taste this first!! I used what I though were fairly mild jalapenos. They weren't that mild. And there were three of them. I can honestly say that I LOVED this dish, but truth-be-told my eyeballs were sweating about halfway through it. It had some zing!
I think the heat is what makes it so fantastic though. Here is this wonderfully creamy, cheesy, pasta-y, tomato-y, chicken-y hot dish of comfort that is totally warming on it's own. But then you add this slow building heat from the peppers and suddenly you realize that no, it really is getting warm in here and WOW my sinuses are suddenly very clear!
I absolutely cannot WAIT to make this one again.
p.s. This makes a TON. Enough that I will be freezing half of this the next time around.