Chicken riggies

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Chicken riggies
Chicken Riggies.jpg
Type Pasta
Place of origin New York State
Main ingredients chicken, peppers, rigatoni, tomato sauce
Cookbook:Chicken riggies  Chicken riggies

Chicken riggies is a re-named "localized" Italian-American pasta dish claimed by natives to have originated in the Utica-Rome area of New York State, however it is simply a very common chicken Rigatoni variant. It is a pasta-based dish usually consisting of chicken, rigatoni and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce. It should be noted that the dish as stated is in no way "original" or different to dozens of Chicken Rigatoni recipes.

Supposed Beginnings[edit]

The "origins" of renaming Chicken Rigatoni "riggies" have been disputed and lost in time and seems to be dependent upon local Uticans' braggadocios love of "fame" and notoriety, mixed with a gutteral local dialect that tends to shorten whole words for "hip" effect. Most of the chefs from the Utica area seem to have a claim to the dish, yet there seems to be no clear idea who was the originator.[1]

In one version of the origin, Bobby Hazelton came up with chicken riggies when he and Richie Scamardo owned the Clinton House restaurant in the strip mall in Clinton. In another version, a chef from Dominique’s Chesterfield Restaurant in Utica invented riggies in the 80s.[1] Despite ALL versions of the story not predating "chicken rigatoni"... nor similar Chicago variants by decades... the claims of local origin continue.


The first annual Riggiefest, a Not-For-Profit, was held in Utica, NY, in 2005 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Riggiefest is a contest which determines what restaurant makes the best riggies in the area. The best riggies will win its creator the prestigious "Riggie Cup", with no actual value. All money made during the fest is donated directly to the YWCA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kahler, Colleen Passalacqua (22 April 2009). "Controversy surrounds chicken riggies' origin". Utica Daily News. Retrieved 18 December 2009. [dead link]

Further reading[edit]