March 31, 2012

Roasted Chicken: The Secret to Moist Breasts Every Time

There is nothing quite like the aroma of a chicken roasting in the oven.  It's a weekend treat in our house.  The secret to having the breasts turn out moist each and every time is to roast the chicken upside down.  It's as easy as that.  Gravity works its magic, allowing the natural juices to travel down to the breasts, keeping them moist during the cooking process.  Remember this when it's time to roast your Thanksgiving turkey.  Thanks, Andrew (and your sister-in-law), for the tip! 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove giblets.  Rinse bird with cold water and pat dry using paper towels.  Place UPSIDE DOWN in roasting pan (TIP:  line pan with aluminum foil and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray for easier cleanup).  Use your fingers to coat chicken with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a combination of your favorite seasonings.  This is not an exact science.  Just use what you like and have handy.  Today I tried a combination of sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, rosemary, thyme, parsley, celery seed, chili pepper and turmeric.  I first combined the seasonings in a bowl, then sprinkled generously atop chicken.  Roast for 15 minutes for each pound, plus an extra 15 minutes just for the heck of it (internal temperature needs to be 180 degrees).  Cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.  This step is important in order to prevent the juices from running out when you cut it.

Carve and enjoy!  If you try this and you like it, please let me know! 


March 29, 2012

My Favorite Things: Kaffir Lime Tree

I was first introduced to kaffir lime leaves during a Thai cooking class where we used them to prepare Tom Kha Gai, my favorite soup EVER!  I returned home and quickly set out to replicate the recipe.  I was able to locate all of the ingredients on my list, with the exception of kaffir lime leaves.  These particular leaves are a key ingredient in Thai cooking, particularly Tom Kha Gai, so I couldn't leave them out.

Martha Stewart purchased her Meyer lemon trees from a local grower (local to her), and that was good enough for me.  I gave Martha+Meyer lemon trees a google and came up with Logee's in Danielson, CT.  Logee's conveniently carries kaffir lime trees, so I placed an order (HERE) and in a little over a week my miniature tree arrived.  Now, Tom Kha Gai soup is mine with very little notice. 

I also use kaffir lime leaves in my over the top scrumptious Thai Green Curry Chicken (recipe found HERE), and my Panang Curry (recipe found HERE).

If your tree doesn't seem to grow, be patient.  It took over a year for mine to show movement.

HERE are helpful pointers from Apartment Therapy's blog on growing citrus trees indoors.  I am going to try a few.

Happy growing (and cooking)!


© 2012 All photography, graphics, text and copy are the property of Ivy Lane Designs, LLC.

March 26, 2012

Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese

Recently I made mushroom risotto (recipe found HERE) that was lick-the-plate scrumptious!  

This time I went for a different flavor profile.  My beloved adores pumpkin.  I am gaga for goat cheese.  I combined both of our faves for a pumpkin risotto with goat cheese that was deeeelish!

I especially enjoy recipes that don't require a bazillion ingredients.


4 c. chicken broth
1 c. canned pumpkin
4 slices smoked turkey bacon, chopped (TIP:  I use scissors to cut bacon)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 leek (white and pale green part), thinly sliced
2 t. salt
1 t. chopped fresh thyme, or ½ t. dried thyme
1 ½ c. Arborio rice
2/3 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan (I used the grater found HERE)
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 ½ c. coarsely crumbled goat cheese (about 6 oz.)


Stir together broth and pumpkin in a medium-sized pot and simmer over medium heat. Cover pot and reduce heat to low to keep the pumpkin broth warm.

Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel and set aside (the bacon is a garnish and will not be mixed in).

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced leek and 1 teaspoon of the salt.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until almost tender.

 Mix in thyme. Add rice and stir for 1 minute.

Add wine and stir constantly until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice.  Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each 1/2 cup to absorb before adding the next. Cook until rice is al dente, and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes, adding additional warm broth 1/4 cupful at a time.

Mix in Parmesan (nifty zester info HERE) and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.

Add remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat. 

Divide evenly on plates.  Sprinkle each serving with bacon, goat cheese and remaining parsley.  Enjoy! 


March 24, 2012

Creativity: Easter Crayons ~ Bunnies & Duckies

I have been working fast and furiously creating Easter crayons for Ivy Lane Designs from discarded broken bits and pieces.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting an Easter basket when I was a kid (read about anticipation HERE), and would look forward to the arrival of the bunny for weeks.  We would wake up super early Easter morning, tiptoe to the backdoor and let out a WHOOP of delight when we saw our beautifully wrapped Easter baskets filled with all sorts of wonderful treats!  Thanks, Mom, um, I mean Easter Bunny.

This year I wanted to make something fun and colorful that would entertain kids long after the destruction of their baskets - and, not give them cavities.  Hence the birth of the bunny and ducky crayons.  Available in sets of six (6), with a FREE gift box included, by clicking HERE, or in fill-your-Easter-eggs packs of 20 Bunnies HERE and Duckies HERE.  I will happily make a combo for you.  Just let me know what strikes your fancy.


This is my handy dandy work surface.  It's a paper (natch!) grocery bag after I slit down the side and cut off the bottom.  Perfect for my purpose, and it looks super funky fresh!


March 23, 2012

My Favorite Things: Surprise Flowers!

I have come to the realization that, for the most part, I do not like surprises (or finding a hair in my mouth, or fellow motorists who turn without signaling, or when folks say *that* instead of *who* when referring to a person, just to name a few).  I think it is because surprises rob me of that giddy feeling of anticipation.  Anticipation is beautiful!

There are exceptions to every rule, one being when I receive flowers from my beloved.  Yesterday, my husband returned from an out-of-town conference and presented me with a bouquet of handpicked daffodils (and, no, I didn't ask whose yard <winkie face>).  Surprise flowers are beautiful, and so is my beloved!

March 22, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

We recently returned from a glorious fun-filled family vacation in sunny Mexico (read about it HERE) and I am already missing Mexican cuisine (and the beach, weather, silly frozen drinks, pampering, etc...Who am I kidding?).  I thought I would try to conquer my Mexican food craving by whipping up a batch of chicken fajitas in the Crock-Pot.  Yum!

I took the most flavorful bits and pieces from our favorite Mexican recipes and combined them to make Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas; a marriage made in heaven.  This recipe is on our regular dinner rotation schedule, it is THAT delicious!  And, it's super easy.

  • 2.5 to 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use breasts...personal preference)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese (don't use fat-free, ever)
  • 1 (15 oz) can Rotel or diced tomatoes with green chilies (whichever is on sale), drained
  • 1 (7 oz) can diced green chilies, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz frozen corn (or one 15 oz. can of corn, drained) 
  • 1 large white onion, cut in half and then each half sliced thinly
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut in half, seeded, and then each half sliced thinly
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced, seeds removed (you can leave it out, but it mellows after six hours of cooking and adds really great flavor - go for it!
  • Flour tortillas for serving (these do not go in the Crock-Pot)

In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano and salt.  Place chicken in a large dish or bowl and coat with oil/spice mixture (it's okay to use your's therapeutic!).  Add chicken to Crock-Pot.  

Top chicken with cream cheese, drained Rotel (or canned diced tomatoes), drained green chilies, drained and rinsed black beans, (there's a theme here...if it's in a can, drain it - beans are rinsed and drained) - corn, sliced onion and green pepper, and finely diced jalapeno with seeds removed.

Set the Crock-Pot on low and let it work its magic for six hours.  If you're home, you can give it a stir occasionally, but it really isn't necessary.  After six hours, shred the chicken using two forks (you can do this while the chicken's still in the Crock-Pot...less dishes).


Use tongs to place healthy helpings atop flour tortillas.  Add shredded romaine lettuce, salsa, sour cream (not fat-free, ever) and shredded sharp cheddar cheese (anything other than sharp isn't worth the calories).  Oh, and guacamole.  Yum!  Include rice as a side dish (loooove Goya yellow rice, comes in a box - Mmm...) 

This recipe should provide most families with plenty of lip-smacking leftovers, which are even better the next day.  Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!  

© 2012 All photography, graphics, text and copy are the property of Ivy Lane Designs, LLC. 

March 19, 2012

Tuna Noodle Casserole for 100

Last month was my first time cooking a Pottstown Cluster Community Meal for those in need.  You can read about my adventures with Shepherd's Pie for 100, and get the recipe, HERE.  This time around I tried my hand at tuna noodle casserole.  Truth be told, I had not had any dealings with tuna noodle casserole since the early 90s.  That said, when I saw that a case of tuna and five pounds of pasta were available to me, I knew that the casserole and I were to be reunited.

My brilliant daughter did the math and determined that I would need 42 five ounce cans of tuna.  I am grateful that, once again, my beloved was happy to come to my aid. ♥  He helped me open cans and more cans, chop, stir, stir and stir some more, drain, name it.  And, he WASHED ALL OF THE DISHES! <swoon>  If you should decide to take on the Tuna Noodle Casserole for 100 challenge and have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.


5 lb. dry noodles, egg noodles are ideal (I used penne as that was what was available)
1 lb. butter or margarine
2 lb. celery, chopped
2 lb. onion, chopped
3 ½ c. flour
2 gal. milk
2 gal. chicken stock (I used ¾ c. Better Than Bouillon that I bought at Costco)
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 c. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
4 lb. mild cheese (American, mild cheddar, jack, Colby, any combination)
13 lb. canned tuna, water packed, drained and flaked
1 ½ c. lemon juice
3 lb. frozen peas


Because I did not have a bathtub-sized pot, I divided the recipe in half and made it twice.  This took a loooong time, but was worth it.
  • Heat salted water to rolling boil.  TIP:  Add salt to pasta water, but never add oil.  Oil prevents sauce from adhering to pasta.
  • Slowly add noodles.  Stir constantly until water boils again.  Cook for 6 minutes.  Drain well.  Do not overcook.  Set aside.
  • Melt margarine or butter.  Add celery and onions.  Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add flour and stir until smooth.
  • Add milk, chicken stock, pepper, parsley and salt. 
  • Stir in cheese, a bit at a time.  Cook for 30 minutes, or until thickened, stirring and scraping the bottom continuously.  Stir, stir, stir!
  • Stir in peas. 
  • Add cooked noodles, tuna and lemon juice.  Stir gently to combine.  Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
Pour into 6 medium half steam table pans, or 3 full steam table pans.  I used 3 full sized ones that I bought at, you guessed it, Costco.

At this point, I covered the pans with foil and refrigerated until the next day.  From a refrigerated (cold) point, I baked the filled pans at 400 degrees for 3 hours, removing foil the last 30 minutes.

Many, many thanks to our wonderful volunteers for whom the Community Meal Program would not be possible.   And, a big thank you to Christ Episcopal Church.  Christ Episcopal will also be hosting the homeless overnight, every night, for the month of April.  This gives me goosebumps.  What an amazingly wonderful thing to do. For information on how you can help with the overnight stays, check out The Ministries at Main Street HERE.

Hunger is the No. 1 health risk.  It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.  Staggering. In addition to providing a hot meal five days a week to those in need in my very own community, the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities also has a Food Pantry.  The Food Pantry provides groceries for those in need.  Sadly, the Cluster's Food Pantry shelves are bare.  They are in dire need of the following:

Drop off your donations at the Pottstown Cluster, located at 57 N. Franklin Street.  Enter through the rear of the building between the hours of 8:30 and noon.  Thank you!

In addition, The Pottstown Mercury and the Community Lab, of which I am proud to be a member, are sponsoring a Fill the Media Lab Food Drive with the goal of collecting 20,000 food items and 1,000 bottles of laundry detergent.  It is my understanding that you can label your donations specifically for the Pottstown Cluster.  Click HERE for a list of drop-off locations.  Thank you again!

© 2012 All photography, graphics, text and copy are the property of Ivy Lane Designs, LLC.  

March 18, 2012

Another Friends of the Library Book Sale Success, and Pottsgrove High School's NHS Rocks!

Led by the intrepid Cherie Makowski, The Friends of the Pottstown Public Library held another hugely successful backdoor book sale this past Friday and Saturday, where books ranged in price from $.25 to $1.00.

Many thanks to all of our wonderful community volunteers (my beloved, for one).  We could not have done it without you! 

Gather a group of smart, civic-minded teens together, along with one enthusiastic teacher advisor, and look what can be done!  This past December, Pottsgrove High School's National Honor Society decided that their next philanthropy project would involve something that did not cost money, since the community had already been so incredibly generous during the Pink Out in October.  According to Lindsey Stock, the students' teacher, they figured that everyone has books lying around that they no longer need or want so they focused their energies there.  They collected gently used books from the high school students, staff and community members for three weeks and were able to amass over 2,000 books.  It took five cars to transport all of the books from the high school to the library.  Thank you, Pottsgrove High School's NHS!  You rock!  

The books that were so generously donated by Pottsgrove's NHS are being sold by the Friends of the Library to raise funds to support our library. 

Donations of used books are accepted during library hours.  And, don't miss our next book sale.


March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Round-Up: Think Green

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, this morning I prepared green [gluten-free] pancakes for my son, Justin.  I added a bit of green food coloring to the batter, then topped the finished cakes with whipped cream and green sprinkles.  He loved them!

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.



March 16, 2012

Our Fun-Filled Spring Break Family Vacation

We recently returned from a sun and fun-filled week in Mexico, where we took an off-the-grid (no cell phones or internet) vacation from the rest of the world to give each other time; time to chat, time to laugh, time to relax. 

I can't wait to plan our next adventure!


March 15, 2012

Thai Green Curry Chicken (or, Kaeng Khiao Wan Kai)

Kaeng Khiao Wan Kai:  Sweet Green Curry with Chicken

Thai green curry with chicken is one of Thailand's signature dishes (and, one of my favorites!).  It's easy to make and not terribly spicy.  If you want to bump up the heat a notch or two, add more green curry paste. 

True confession:  The first time I made this recipe I added 8 tablespoons of green curry paste because I LIKE IT HOT!  Well, not quite THAT hot.  I am pretty sure I was breathing fire for the rest of the night.  So, 1 tablespoon is quite a safe and tasty amount.  Enjoy!

NPR reported HERE that eating spicy foods is known to cut triglycerides (a certain fat).  Check out the Penn State study HERE.


  • 2 t. vegetable oil  
  • 1 Tbsp. green curry paste (more if you like yours hot - I do!)
  • 5 Kaffir lime leaves (I couldn't find Kaffir lime leaves locally so I bought a tree HERE).
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 c. eggplant, peeled and cubed into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 chicken thighs, cut into cubes, marinated in fish sauce for 1 hour
  • 1 can straw mushrooms, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup basil, chiffonade (chiffonade is a cooking technique in which herbs, such as spinach and basil, are cut into long, thin strips) 
  • 2 t. fish sauce (I am brand loyal to Squid Brand)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar


  • Heat oil in pan
  • Add green curry paste and cook 3 or 4 minutes over medium heat (this toasts the spices and brings out a wonderful aroma)
  • Bruise Kaffir lime leaves and add to pan
  • Add coconut milk and water and cook for 3 or 4 minutes minutes, stirring intermittently
  • Add cubed eggplant
  • Add cut chicken, cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes
  • Add straw mushrooms and fresh basil (TIP:  always add fresh herbs at the very end of cooking)
  • Add fish sauce and sugar, cooking while stirring for 3 or 4 minutes
  • Remove the lime leaves before serving


Serve atop your favorite steamed rice or with round rice noodles.  I serve mine with rice and use a rice cooker.  Rice cookers are inexpensive and produce perfect rice every time.  Mine has a timer so I can set it and forget it.   

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.   Enjoy!

© 2012 All photography, graphics, text and copy are the property of Ivy Lane Designs, LLC. 

March 14, 2012

My Favorite Things: Awesome Handmade Beaded Bracelet

I make gifts for others all of the time.  It makes me happy!  When I receive one that someone has made specifically for me, I am over the moon! :)

Via Facebook, I reconnected with a high school friend, Tami.  You know that friend with whom you can share anything and everything?  That is my Tami.  The 1,000 mile physical distance can't stop us from laughing out loud and sharing our love of all things pink (click HERE), gnomes, Mexican food and handmade bracelets.

I stumbled upon a bracelet online that I LOVED!  Unfortunately, the price ($299) was outside the realm of realistic impulse buying, so I emailed the photo to Tami (natch!).  Imagine my surprise and delight when a package arrived in the mail containing an elaborately wrapped bracelet handcrafted by my gal pal, Tami.  She told me that she had studied the photo carefully and set out to complete the task.  She picked the beads especially for me.  The entire project took her three hours to complete.  I LOVE my new handmade bracelet, and my wonderful friend, Tami.  XO


March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday: Mushroom Risotto

Ri·sot·to:  An Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with other ingredients.

You know a recipe is a winner when you don't want to share the end result.  This was the case with my mushroom risotto.  I finally caved and divided it evenly between four plates.  Note to self:  Next time double the recipe in hope of having leftovers. 


Making risotto is not difficult.  It just requires time and constant attention as hot liquid is added to the pot 1/2 cup at a time. 

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms 
  • 1 c. chicken stock, boiling (you'll need 4 c. total)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (you'll need 3 Tbsp. total)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (a mixture of cremini, shiitake and oyster is great...portobellas will work nicely, too, if your access to fancy mushrooms is limited)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped (I use jarred garlic...actually, the big vat from Costco)
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme (or 1 t. fresh thyme) 
  • 1 c. arborio rice 
  • 1/2 c. white wine 
  • 3 c. chicken stock, warm
  • 1 Tbsp. butter 
  • 1/2 c. fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (Don't use the canned stuff.  Really).  Click HERE for the 4-1-1 on my awesome grater.
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/3 c. fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

  • Cover the dried porcini mushrooms in 1 c. of chicken stock that has been brought to a boil, and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the fresh sliced mushrooms and saute until tender for 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and saute for 1 minute.
  • Remove the soaking (previously dried) mushrooms from the stock and squeeze to drain, reserving all of the liquid.
  • Chop the soaked mushrooms and add them to the pot.
  • Add the rice and toast until translucent, 1-3 minutes (this cooks the starchy coating and prevents the rice from sticking).
  • Add the white wine, cook while stirring until the wine has disappeared.
  • Mix the stock that the mushrooms were soaked in with the remaining stock and heat to simmer, not boiling (in a pot separate from the rice).
  • With a ladle or measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of warm stock to the pot while stirring until it has absorbed.  Add the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time.  (DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE POT - Keep stirring). 
  • Taste test - risotto should be tender, not crunchy.
  • Stir in remaining butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano and cook briefly until melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with chopped parsley before serving.  

For the side dish, I sauteed one chopped onion with two small zucchinis for about five minutes in olive oil.  Then I added one chopped tomato, a sprinkle of oregano and salt and pepper and cooked for about two more minutes.  Yum!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! 

 Click HERE to check out all of my yummy Meatless Monday recipes. 


© 2012 All photography, graphics, text and copy are the property of Ivy Lane Designs, LLC.

March 11, 2012

My Favorite Things: Microplane Zester

Kitchen gadgets can make life so much easier.  This is the case with the handy dandy Microplane zester.      

Tonight I will be preparing a delicious mushroom risotto (recipe HERE) and will be using my Microplane zester to grate the requisite 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano.  It also comes in handy when zesting citrus and grating ginger.  The ginger photo below is from my adventures with Tikka Masala (recipe found HERE).  A word of caution:  Please pay attention while you are using the zester as the teeth are very sharp.  The Microplane zester is available HERE or HERE.  


March 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken tikka masala is, hands down, our absolute favorite slow cooker recipe.  Not only is it in our regular rotation of dinner recipes, it tops the list!  Eating at an Indian restaurant can be expensive.  Not so if you create the dishes at home. 

If you are unfamiliar with Indian cuisine, or cooking Indian food, this recipe is a great introduction.  It calls for garam masala, a combination of cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, black cardamom and nutmeg.  In India, each family has their own recipe for making garam masala.  It is fragrant and adds wonderful flavor to the dish.  If you don't have it, buy it (it's with the dried spices) as it is a necessary ingredient in this recipe.  There is no need to make children a separate dish as this is not spicy.  I have always believed that it's a good idea to acclimate children to distinctive flavors.

ma·sa·la/məˈsälə/:  Any of a number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking.




  • 9 whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 t. salt
  • 12 oz. plain yogurt (I use two 6-oz. containers of plain fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 whole jalapeño pepper, stem removed - pierce pepper several times with sharp knife [Fear not!  The jalapeño will add a bit of flavor as the dish cooks.  It is removed before serving]
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 whole large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (I use the stuff that comes in a jar - actually, I buy the huge container at Costco)
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2-3 inches long, peeled and grated
  • 4 c. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 t. cornstarch
  • 1-½ c. heavy cream
  • Hot rice (I use a rice cooker)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  • Cut the chicken thighs into 1½-inch pieces.  Put cut up chicken pieces in a large bowl.  
  • In a separate small bowl, mix together coriander, cumin and salt.  Sprinkle over chicken.
  • Top chicken with yogurt and mix thoroughly.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes. 
  • [While the chicken is doing its quick marinate, peel and grate the ginger.  I use a microplane which also comes in handy when grating parmesan, coconut or zesting citrus.  You can see the one I have by clicking HERE.  Set the ginger aside]
  • [If you have a huge 15" saute pan like mine, you can cook all of the chicken in one batch, as instructed.  If not, you will need to cook it in 2 batches so that the chicken pieces are in a single layer].  
  • Melt the butter over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker.  Top the chicken with the pierced jalapeno.
  • Prepare the sauce. Wash the pan.  Melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the onions, garlic and salt. Cook stirring frequently until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.
  • Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.
  • Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow cooker and stir gently until the color is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.  Discard the jalapeño. 
  • Serve over hot rice, topped with generous amounts of chopped cilantro. 

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!  


© 2012 All photography, graphics, text and copy are the property of Ivy Lane Designs, LLC.