October 3, 2011

Chicken Riggies

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Have you ever had Chicken Riggies? It’s a delicious chicken and pasta dish in a spicy tomato cream sauce. I’ve been craving it lately, so when ShopRite sent me samples of their new imported organic pasta, I knew that I would have to share my favorite recipe.

The dish starts with your favorite marinara sauce – I like to use one made locally. Simmering the sauce with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cherry peppers infuses it with tons of fresh flavor. A drizzle of fat free half and half and som freshly grated cheese just before serving enriches the sauce and really makes it something special.

Cherry peppers give the sauce a really unique flavor, but they’re pretty spicy! Be sure to remove all of the seeds and white veins for the peppers to cut down on the heat. I like it pretty hot so I use about 2 cherry peppers per serving, but you can use more or less to suit your own tastes. If you don’t like much spice at all, substitute the cherry peppers for additional green peppers. Either way, your leftovers will make you the envy of the office lunchroom.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on how impressed I am with the new line of ShopRite Imported Organic Specialty Pasta. I wasn’t expecting anything special, but I really liked this a lot! The flavor of the plain pasta was clean and neutral and it has a great thickness to it (you can see in the photo below how thick it is) which makes it nice and chewy – it’s almost impossible to cook it past “al dente.” It also comes in lots of fun shapes – check out the cute little radiatore pasta that I used in the Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese that I made recently too!

Chicken Riggies
Serves 8

16 ounces (1 package) Shop Rite Organic Rigatoni
1 tablespoon butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
10-16 cherry peppers, seeded and sliced
4 cups (1 32-ounce jar) marinara sauce
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce: Melt the butter in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to sizzle, add the chicken. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the cherry peppers and browned chicken. Pour in the sauce and stir in the half and half. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Stir in the cheese.

Toss the pasta with the sauce. Enjoy!

Important Note: As a PotluckTM blogger, I received the ShopRite Imported, Organic Rigatoni for free.