The new year is often a time for new beginnings and changes in our lives. Choose a post from your archives in which you wrote about change. Maybe you wrote about a change that you chose to make or one that happened without warning or intention. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.From the very beginning this blog has been all about and my attempts to cope with change (half-baked is, by nature, something in process), but the one that its feeling most important for me these days is a post I'd written back in 2011, in which I submit my letter of resignation.
I had struggled for months, composing that letter in my head, as conditions became untenable for me at work. I worried about what it would mean to give up a 12 year career, in which I had won accolades from my supervisors and earned the respect of literally hundreds of people. I worried whether I'd ever be employed again. Leaving my job was both a change I initiated and something that happened without much warning.
I chose this post because I've needed to remind myself, especially lately, about how proud I felt, taking that step into the unknown, risking my career to maintain my sanity and integrity. As busy stay-at-home-parent life took over, and as the economy continued to lag, the job opportunities evaporated. Now, nearly two years since my daughter was born, and over a year and a half since I left my job, I'm still not employed outside the home. I've questioned my decision to resign more times than I can count. I've questioned my credentials, my intelligence, the fabulousness of my resume, my network. It's hard going some days.
But sometimes even when we initiate change, life takes us in directions that we didn't anticipate. We create the catalyst, we set things in motion, but there's a world out there to contend with, much of which is beyond our control. Our choice is to find acceptance, to be more like water, flowing with change, rather than trying to work against it.
And, like cooking sometimes, change is slow. I need to keep reminding myself that worthwhile changes can take time.
The first time I read through this recipe I was a little reluctant to try it. After all, isn't the whole point of the slow cooker to minimize your cooking time, rather than requiring that you essentially cook something twice?
But for someone who doesn't eat all that much meat, I have to say: cooking the chicken this way made it practically melt in your mouth. Slow and steady for the win.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
based on the original at tasty kitchen
9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T. coriander
1 T. cumin
1 t. kosher salt
1 c. yogurt
4 T. butter
for the sauce
4 T. butter
1 large onion, peeled/diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. kosher salt
3 T. garam masala
2-3" piece fresh ginger, peeled/grated
4 c. crushed tomatoes
2 t. agave nectar
2 t. cornstarch
1-½ c. evaporated milk (or cream)
cilantro (optional for garnish)
Cut the chicken into 1" pieces, place them into a bowl, and sprinkle with with spices. Stir in the yogurt to coat the chicken thoroughly. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Melt 1 T. butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Brown the chicken in four batches, using one tablespoon of butter with each batch, and transfer the browned chicken to the slow cooker.
For the sauce, melt 4 T. butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt, and stir. Saute until the onions just begin to brown around the edges.
Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook about 1 minute before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and agave. Scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce into the slow-cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the chicken is so tender that it falls apart on your fork.
Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch into the evaporated milk until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the color is even. Cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges; the original recipe suggested that you re-cover the slow cooker, but I found it worked better without re-covering (perhaps because I used evaporated milk).
Serve with rice (tasty kitchen suggested rice with peas), and whatever else you like!