Friday, February 21, 2014

Baked Chicken Parmesan Riggies

Have you ever heard of a dish that really interests you, but just never seem to get around to making it?

Maybe because you can't find a recipe for it that really grabs you, maybe you put it off for fear of failure? 

The later has been me on several occasions.

I don't know why I am that way.

I will come up with new recipes of my own, combing all sorts of things, and just cook my little brains out.

But hand me someone elses recipe and all of a sudden I get nervous that I won't do it justice.


Yes I know.

I have wanted to make Chicken Riggies ever since I saw them on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives of all places.

But I haven't been able to find a recipe that really spoke to me.

I know, fear of failure issues, recipes talking to me, sometimes I think I should really seek help. 

You should hear me talk to myself in the kitchen.

When Kevin catches me I just tell him I am practicing for my own cooking show.

He seems to believe me.

Sssshhh don't tell him, it is our little secret!

Since I couldn't find a recipe to work with, I decided to go out on my own and make something that sounded good to me.

Once I told everyone else my idea and started getting requests to come over to try it, I knew I was on to something. They all said it sounded fabulous. 

Or maybe they just wanted a free meal?

Naaaa they really liked the sound of it.

Well I can tell you that the final product did not disappoint anyone!

It had all of the wonderful flavors of that classic Italian dish all wrapped up in a big bowl of YUM!

I had to hide a serving just so I could have some the next day for lunch.

Hehe I am so bad!

Baked Chicken Parmesan Riggies  

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (Recommended San Marzano)
2 6 ounce cans of tomatoes paste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
A handful of fresh basil, chopped or shredded

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until no pink remains. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in half of minced garlic and cook one more minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomatoes paste, water,oregano, and the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Remove lid from the marinara sauce and add the cooked chicken and Parmesan cheese. Carefully stir in the cooked pasta and top with the mozzarella cheese.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with shredded basil.

Serves 6 to 8


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