Rigatoni with Chicken and Marinara Sauce (Chicken Riggies)
Food - Drink
How Chicken Riggies Became An Utica, New York Favorite
Cassidy's Diner in Richfield Springs, New York, doesn’t serve dinner, except on Fridays, during which they offer chicken riggies — and nothing else. With a name like "chicken riggies," you might be picturing a basket of breaded tenders or dino nuggets, but "riggies" is short for "rigatoni," as chicken riggies is a pasta dish.
Chicken riggies is rigatoni pasta with creamy tomato sauce, peppers, chicken, and cheese. Ingredients can vary from there, but as Mary Kiernan, a New York native and associate professor in the Food Studies Program at Syracuse University, says, "You need to stay true to what the recipe is."
The now-closed Chesterfield restaurant credited itself with inventing chicken riggies in 1989, but chef Michael Geno says it happened a full decade before that, in 1979. Geno claims to have created the dish at the Italian restaurant Clinton House for a group of "doctors, lawyers and union guys [who] would come in on Monday nights to play cards."