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Locals react as Rachael Ray teaches nation how to cook chicken riggies

By Dave Dellecese

Television chef, Rachael Ray cooked up a hometown favorite in her kitchen today - chicken riggies!

NEWSChannel 2's Kristen Copeland sat with a number of local restaurant owners today, some of whom were uneasy about the way Rachael Ray debuted the dish, while others were thrilled at the national attention.

"Im working on my version of a dish that was made famous out in Utica, New York...chicken riggies," Ray said during the broadcast.

"It's a gourmet pasta," said Salvatore Borruso of Chesterfield's Restaurant. "The first gourmet pasta that Utica was introduced to...that's where it got a lot of notoriety."

Such a popular dish, Ray showed an entire nation how to make them..and here in Utica, it's so popular that the city holds a Riggiefest to figure out who makes the best dish.

"There is a right way to make them and then everyone has their own variation," Borruso said.

Most local restaurant owners agree that it is the most popular dish on the menu.

"It's just such a unique blend of flavors," said Larry Larrabee, a riggie lover. "A little spicy, it's smooth on your pallette. It's wonderful."

Of course, everyone makes their riggies a little different.

"We have sweet peppers and hot peppers," said Jason Gotthart of Babe's Macaroni Grill and Bar. "It gives it a little bit of a kick to it."

"East Utica is known for its finest Italian food in the country," said Jeanne Castronovo of Grimaldi's.

"Ooooooooooooo," Ray exclaimed on her show, 30 Minute Meals. "Does that look good or what! Thank you, Utica Italian-American community for giving us that one!"

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