Gameday Grub: Prepare thy pasta — Chicken Riggles

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Updated: October 27, 2012
Don't let the winter chill settle into your bones. Let Chef Aaron Bowers teach you how to prepare this tasty Chicken Riggies and banish the cold!

Don’t let the winter chill settle into your bones. Let Chef Aaron Bowers teach you how to prepare this tasty Chicken Riggies and banish the cold!

Chicken Riggies

With the cold grip of winter descending upon us, we probably won’t be seeing the sun for weeks on end. It’s easy to feel a little blue every now and then. Today we are going to be cooking a fun little dish that is sure to lighten your mood. Not only is it delicious, its name is really fun to say. Most people would call this chicken rigatoni, but I call it Chicken Riggies instead, because, well, I can’t get enough of saying it.

Now please don’t get the notion that this is a traditional Italian dish (it’s about as Italian as apple pie), but it is a very tasty Italian inspired dish.

So grab your biggest skillet and your biggest pot, and let’s get cooking..

What you need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 oz spicy Italian sausage (one link, casing removed)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup Marsala (adds a bit of sweetness to sauce) or any white wine of choice
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2cup chopped hot/or sweet peppers (any jarred peppers are good but cherry peppers are a great choice here)
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or shredded
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water as needed 

To the kitchen!

Chop chicken thighs into small bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Over medium heat, cook olive oil and Italian sausage in a skillet. Add your onions and mushrooms and cook until onions soften and mushrooms brown slightly.

Raise heat to medium high and add chicken. Allow to cook for five minutes. Add your wine and cook for two or three minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Chop peppers and olives; add then to your sauce along with the garlic. (Adding garlic now instead of earlier prevents it from browning.) Rinse out the tomato can with 1/2 cup water and add to sauce to prevent sauce from reducing too much. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for 30 minutes. Add water as necessary if sauce begins to look too dry.

In another pot, bring water to a boil and add rigatoni. I’m about to teach you the chef’s secret to making perfect pasta: Undercook the noodles by one or two minutes according to the directions; leave them just a bit crunchy. Add parsley and stir. Sir in sauce and parmigiano-reggiano cheese, replace lid and let sit two to five minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. You don’t need to leave the pot over a burner, as there is plenty of heat left in the pasta and sauce to finish the cooking process.

Serve in a bowl or on a plate and sprinkle with more cheese.

About the author(s)

Born and raised in Ashland, Wisconsin, where he still lives today after 29 years, Chef Aaron Bowers serves as the culinary correspondent for the Water Cooler Sports Network. Surrounded by Green Bay Packers fans his whole life, he by default became a Packers fan — just in time, too, as his first football memory was the game in which quarterback Don Majkowski injured his ankle and was replaced by a young backup named Brett Favre. When not watching football, he enjoys cooking, having made his living in the food industry for about six years, before moving on to a more comfortable day job. He also enjoys other sports such as mixed martial arts and major league baseball. He is the brains behind our weekly Gameday Grub feature and can be reached with questions, comments or suggestions for future recipes at .

23 comments
Childerz...
Childerz...

Looks delicious... but before I go get hammered tonight... Gophers just got done pounding the FUCK out of Purdue!! big game for them!

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq.

Damn, Oregon.

44 rushing attempts for 402 yards and 7 TDs through 3 quarters.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

Look at Kent St beating up on a ranked team today.

Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

So I figured, I'd hop on here while I can. Probably won't have power by this time tomorrow. 

People are losing their fucking minds around here. 

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

You have good taste, Bowers. I make variations of this dish quite often. So damn good. I can even satisfy the veggies too so i often make two dishes. One for the carnivores one for the herbivores. 

Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

holy hell this looks delicious

Rourke
Rourke

Holy crap! This article was in Google in less than 10 minutes.

Rourke
Rourke

Except for the suggestion of Marsala, which positively sets my teeth on edge, this recipe looks damn tasty and I intend to make it!

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

 They are playing amazing ball right now. They were up 56-0 at the half and then pulled most their starters.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

 I got stormed out of our house at least 4 times in the 12 years i lived in Sarasota. Usually the hype is worse than the actual storm by a fair amount. But it can get a bit scary at times. We sat out every hurricane and sometimes illegally rowed boats back to the island we were on to protect our home from looters.

Rourke
Rourke

 Italian-inspired food.

Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

 Just use a different wine. Marsala will add a touch of woody-ness. Sauv blanc if you want a kick of citrus, Chardonnay for a oaky or buttery note.