Creamy Chicken Riggies a Utica, New York specialty, made with spicy peppers, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Made with dry sherry, it is reminiscent of a vodka cream sauce. An indulgent and very comforting pasta recipe! This recipe I am sharing with you today is an adaptation of Rachael Ray’s recipe.

The first bite you take of a rigatoni noodle coated in the spicy cream sauce will be like heavenly comfort food in your mouth. Then, you will go back for another, and yet another bite! This creamy, toothsome, spicy chicken pasta dish is a recipe you will want to make over and over again!

Creamy Chicken Riggies in a big stock pot

Creamy Chicken Riggies origins

Would you believe that I have lived in New York State pretty much all my life and never, until I moved to Albany, did I know that a delicious recipe such as this one existed?  Man, I was missing some great comfort food all my life, but not any longer!

When we first moved to Albany, we went to a neighbor’s house for a birthday party.  They had chicken riggies that they brought to home from Utica just for that party.  I remember asking myself what on earth was so fabulous that someone had to drive almost 2 hours just to get some?

A serving of riggies on a gold rimmed plate.

Then, I tried the riggies and realized that one day I would have to figure out how it was made.  This is a recipe that is definitely made for comfort. With heavy cream in the sauce and combining with the carb laden pasta, it is definite comfort food at its finest.

This recipe turned out to be a take on Rachael Ray’s recipe. I like how she roasted the peppers. And, I felt that roasted peppers would be tolerated by Grumpy’s sensitive tummy far better than not roasting them!

Creamy Chicken Riggies pinnable image

Adapting Creamy Chicken Riggies to suit our taste style

I decided to marinate the chicken pieces in a sherry, oregano and garlic sauce before cooking it.  I wanted to infuse some flavor into the chicken first. I really liked the idea of the roasted peppers as I saw in Rachael Ray’s recipe. So, I decided that I would marinate the chicken and then instead of cooking the peppers on the stove, I would roast them as Rachel Ray suggested.

If you haven’t had Chicken Riggies before then it is a definite must try.  You will not regret it.  Yes, it’s a lot of calories, but make it a special occasion dish.  Everyone will love you for it!

Comfort Food recipes you may like

Creamy Chicken Riggies
Yield: 12 servings

Creamy Chicken Riggies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Creamy Chicken Riggies a Utica, NY specialty, paired with spicy peppers, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Made with dry sherry, it is reminiscent of a vodka cream sauce. An indulgent and comforting pasta recipe!


Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1//2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 cherry peppers, roasted
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz rigatoni, cooked according to package
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Mix together 1/2 cup sherry, garlic, and oregano. Place chopped chicken in Ziploc bag and pour marinade over top. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Place peppers on a large baking sheet lined with tinfoil. Spray peppers with cooking spray and place under broiler on high. Roast peppers until they begin to char. Turn peppers over and continue to roast until charred. Remove from oven and immediately place in a Ziploc bag. Let cool.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to hot skillet. Remove chicken from marinade and add with onion to skillet and cook until no longer pink.
  4. In a large stock pot, while chicken is cooking, cook your macaroni according to directions. Drain and place back in stockpot.
  5. Remove peppers from Ziploc bag and remove skin and seeds. Slice peppers into bite sized strips.
  6. Add peppers to chicken mixture along with tomato sauce, sherry, water, salt and pepper.
  7. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine heavy cream and cream cheese and simmer and stir until cream cheese has melted into cream.
  8. Add heavy cream mixture to chicken mixture and stir to combine well.
  9. Pour chicken mixture over top of rigatoni and toss to coat. Serve.


Fat 18g, Carbs 48g, Fiber 5g, Protein 23g

Nutrition information calculated using myfitnesspal is provided as a courtesy, but will vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients you use. Please consult with your doctor regarding specific health needs.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433