Utica’s legendary Chicken Riggies dish is a ‘one of a kind’ and it’s getting more and more popular across Upstate New York and around the country. Today, there are all different variations of the classic Utica dish; but, there’s only one original recipe. So, if you’re goal is to make an authentic version at home, you’ll need the original recipe in this story and you’ll also need to avoid five key mistakes.

(Photo by Bill Keeler / WIBX)
(Photo by Bill Keeler / WIBX)


The first mistake people make is overcooking the rigatoni. Pasta is meant to be served al dente’ and Utica’s Chicken Riggies calls for the rigatoni to be folded into the dish while the sauce is still being cooked. So, the last thing you want to do is overcook the pasta and then cook it more when it’s added into the frying pan. When cooking the pasta, slightly

There is one ingredient that you should never use if you're making original Utica Chicken Riggies

back off on the time it takes to cook and taste-test to make sure it’s perfectly al dente’. Remember it will cook a little more once you add the pasta into the sauce.



The second mistake is obvious: undercooking the chicken. Undercooked chicken can actually be dangerous, let alone disgusting. It’s actually pretty simple. Cut the chicken into cubes and then properly cook it according to the recipe. Raw or uncooked chicken can make you sick. You should always cut one of the cubes to make sure it's cooked all the way through.


Mistake number three is all about personal taste. If you mince the hot cherry peppers and/or fail to seed them properly, the sauce could be much hotter than expected. The original dish calls for the cherry peppers to be chopped into medium or larger pieces. It's almost as if you're quartering the peppers, depending on the size of the pepper. The smaller pieces the peppers are chopped in to, the more chance you’ll get hot cherry peppers in every bite. By cutting the peppers into larger pieces, the sauce still takes on the flavor and those who don't enjoy the heat, can avoid the peppers.

(Photo by Bill Keeler/WIBX)
(Photo by Bill Keeler/WIBX)


The fourth biggest mistake is making the decision to avoid the butter. Stop pretending this is a healthy dish! Add the butter and enjoy. If you must, cut back to one half of a stick of butter instead of the full stick called for in the original recipe.


The biggest mistake when making Utica’s original Chicken Riggies is, and I don’t mean to offend people; but, it’s a simple fact, the use of heavy cream. Original Utica Chicken Riggies does not call for heavy cream under any circumstances. The original Chicken Riggies dish gets its creaminess from a healthy portion of Pecorino Romano cheese that’s added towards the end of the recipe. In the Greater Utica area, there are great restaurants and home cooks that do use heavy cream in their version of the dish and that’s not to say that's bad; it simply means they’re not making the original dish.

Looking for the First Utica Chicken Riggies Recipe?

Click here for the original Utica Chicken Riggies recipe

Click here to watch the Chicken Riggies dish being made at one of Utica’s legendary restaurants, The Chesterfield.

If you would like to make Chicken Riggies the easy way, It's a Utica Thing, which ships Utica products all over America, has a canned version of Chicken Riggies sauce that can be purchased here.

What's the real story behind Chicken Riggies?  Click here to get the real story behind the creation of Utica Chicken Riggies.

Who Created the Chicken Riggies Dish??? A guy by the name of Mike Schulz. Watch the Video Below.

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