Friday, November 2, 2012

Healthy Chicken Riggies...My Absolute Favorite Pasta Dish

I grew up in the birthplace of chicken riggies...Rome, NY. It's a spaghetti sauce/cream dish. There's this restaurant called Teddy's that is famous for it's riggies; there is a riggie competition every year and I believe they have won several times. Actually, the last meal I had back home (summer 2010...) was Teddys' chicken riggies >.<
My brother has a delicious recipe he makes for the whole fam every once in a while. My hubby fell in love with it, I think it's the only pasta dish he really likes. BUT my husband is also much more health-conscious than I we had to health-ify the recipe a lot. So our version is still good, but much healthier than the original (think 2 sticks of butter and lots of heavy cream!).

Delicious Mush.

It should be a nice medium orange color

Just takin' a peek

Healthy Chicken Riggies

  • ·         1lb. rigatoni pasta (the commissary doesn’t have it so sometimes I use penne)
  • ·         1T butter
  • ·         ½ large onion
  • ·         1 can black olives
  • ·         5 large white mushrooms
  • ·         6oz. jalapeno slices, reserve juice (jalapenos opt.)
  • ·         1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ·         1tsp. Dried Oregano
  • ·         1tsp. Dried basil
  • ·         1tsp. Salt
  • ·         1tsp. pepper
  • ·         2-2 ½ lb. spaghetti sauce (You can use your favorite but try not to use one that will interfere with the flavors in the dish. Traditional works, or I’ve used Del Monte Mushroom and Classico Italian Sausage. Do NOT use Del Monte Meat)
  • ·         ½ cup fat free half & half
  • 1/4 cup  low-fat grated Parmesan cheese

Boil the pasta.
Roughly chop the onion into 1-in. pieces and pulse them in a food processor just until they are diced (don’t go too long or you will end up with a bunch of onion water). Do the same with the olives, then the mushrooms, then the jalapenos.
In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Pour in the veggies and the spices and fry them for about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook on medium-high heat until done.
Once the chicken is cooked, pour in the spaghetti sauce and simmer a few minutes. Then add the half & half and simmer a few more minutes. Pour in a bit of jalapeno juice (2-3T) and stir in the cheese. Taste, and add more spices if desired.  Done!

**The hubby loves jalapenos so I always put those in, along with jalapeno juice. I'm not the biggest fan, so if it were me I would leave that all out.

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