Friday, July 5, 2013

Chicken Riggies - 2 ways

* 1/4 cup chicken broth
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1 lb chicken, cubed
* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 red pepper, chopped
* a few pickled hot pepper rings, chopped (more or less depending on your affinity for heat)
* 1/2 medium onion, chopped
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* 1 can (29 oz) tomato puree
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp pepper
* 1 box rigatoni
* 3 oz cream cheese (optional)
* 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

1.  Combine the first 4 ingredients, then add the chicken.  Marinate the chicken for an hour in the fridge.
2. Drain the chicken and discard the marinade.   Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink.  Remove the chicken and set aside.
3. Cook the pasta as directed on the package.
4. In the dutch oven melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add peppers, onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in the tomato puree, salt and pepper.  Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the chicken and heat through.
5. If you want to make this a creamy dish, in a small sauce pan combine the cream cheese and cream over medium heat.  Cook and stir until blended.
6.  Drain the cooked pasta. 
7.  For a straightforward dish, pour the sauce over the pasta.  For a creamy dish, add the cream sauce to the tomato sauce, and then pour that over the pasta.  Either way, stir the pasta and the sauce and serve.  Enjoy!

I reserved some of the sauce before the cream and cream cheese addition to try it that way.  I actually preferred it that way, though it was a bit spicier because the cream wasn't there to tone down the heat.  If you are concerned about the heat, just leave out the pepper rings, or only add one or two.  Everyone tried it both ways, and with the exception of me, no one had a clear favorite style.  Given that, I think I will save myself a pot to wash, a few minutes at the stove, and many calories, and serve this without the cream and cream cheese.  This dish was very tasty, and you should bookmark to make this fall or winter.  

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