Utica Chicken Riggies

"This local favorite is almost impossible to find anywhere outside a 20-mile vicinity of Utica, NY. It is a creamy, spicy chicken and pasta dish that is sure to please anyone's taste buds. Enjoy!"
photo by Ane Caroline D. photo by Ane Caroline D.
photo by Ane Caroline D.
photo by egibson92405 photo by egibson92405
photo by Cheyenne S. photo by Cheyenne S.
photo by bgant03 photo by bgant03
photo by amanda.nicole.corey photo by amanda.nicole.corey
Ready In:




  • In a large pot melt butter and then add chicken.
  • Cook chicken over medium heat just until they begin to turn white.
  • Add mushrooms to chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add peppers and onions cook 5-7 minutes (I usually season the veggies and chicken with salt and pepper at this point).
  • Add water, bullion, tomato sauce, heavy cream, and spices.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 min, stirring occasionally.
  • Add olives and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl mix corn starch with 2-3 tbsp cold water until dissolved.
  • Add corn starch to sauce, stirring continuously until it thickens.
  • If it is very runny just let stand to thicken.
  • Stir in cooked pasta and serve immediately, sprinkling each serving with grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Timothy T.
    If we have a salad and desert with this recipe, how many people will it serve ? Also, shouldn’t mushrooms be part of chicken Riggies. If mushrooms are added, when would they be put in ? Thanks
  2. AnnMarie A.
    How much cornstarch? Also at what point do we cut the chicken ?
  3. Tj V.
    How much cornstarch do we add? It's not listed in the ingredients table.


  1. Debbie R.
    Did you notice there is NO cornstarch in the ingredient list? Don't bother with it, you don't need it. It is ***essential** you salt your pasta water before cooking, or this dish will be too bland. How much salt to add to the water? The water should be as salty as ocean water. This recipe is PERFECT. You can leave out the olives if you wish and it's still amazing.
  2. Samantha P.
    This is my go to chicken riggies recipe! Sooo delicious! However this time I made it in two pot (1/2 recipe in each) made one chicken riggies and the other shrimp riggies! Yum
  3. Loves nature
    I'm from the Utica berb of Whitesboro & these are this recipe is the closest & tastiest I have found to what is claimed to be the original. Yes, I personalized it but love this recipe as the basis the best & I've tried several. Thanks for posting Adria 82!
  4. mefovel
    I am happy people like this!! I just wanted to say that this is not a traditional Utica Riggies recipe. I live in the Utica area and have had LOTS of riggies, from lots of places. I’ve not heard of any places putting several of these ingredients in riggies. With that said, I know places want to put their own spin on recipes. If you like it, make it however you like it. Personally, I prefer them less creamy, and more red sauce, like the original recipe from The Chesterfield (now Tavolo). Some people like them pink (more cream). You can really change it up to your preference (at times, we’ve added different veggies - zucchini, roasted red peppers, etc). Enjoy!
  5. Mfwishart
    This IS the recipe I got from my sister! After following it to the letter the first time, I had to tweak it just a little! First, I use chicken broth to replace the water! Second, I also used crushed tomatoes AND tomatoes sauce! I used lots of fresh green & red sweet peppers cut big so they do not get mushy! And I do thicken mine with a little corn starch mixture too! I use only cherry peppers, without the seeds, for the spice of the dish! Usually only 1 or 2 because my husband and I only like them mild! Whenever there is a family function that we are asked to bring a dish to pass... I can always count on this for the go to dish that EVERYONE requests from me! Yes, they are that GOOD! And YES, I am patting myself on the back! My Riggies are the most, all time favorite of anyone's, that has ever had mine!


  1. Kathy C.
    I use half & half instead of heavy cream and add parmesan cheese as a thickening agent. Never needed the corn starch.
  2. Rachel W.
    Awesome recipe - I add 4 cloves of garlic and substitute the heavy cream with sour cream. This recipe is always the perfect cure for homesickness when I'm away at school and missing Utica.
  3. Laurie M.
    This was outstanding! The only changes I made to the recipe were adding crushed garlic and I thickened it with a few spoonfuls of tomato paste instead of corn starch. I also added a red bell pepper to add more color. I doubled the recipe which really made a ton. It filled my large turkey roasting pan! This is even better than the large pan of riggies I bought at our local restaurant on Christmas eve.Remember to have a loaf of italian bread on hand to soak up all of the extra sauce. I will definitely be making this when company comes! Simply amazing!



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