I’ve already said I’m a food safety nut. I’m also pretty into fire safety. I don’t want to get into it because it’s sad and this is not the place for it, but there was a fire in my old neighborhood that killed some people in an apartment building and it stuck with me. No, I don’t have an escape plan, but thank you so so so much for putting that into my head. Guess what you’re doing tonight instead of watching TV, D? I digress… Because of this fear of fire, I’m nervous about leaving my slow cooker on all day. (I can hear your eyes rolling.) My slow cooker has a big warning in the manual about making sure the slow cooker is filled at least halfway. I suppose they are trying to say that you shouldn’t put a single pork chop into the cooker, crank it to high, and leave it for several hours and expect it to work out. My fear is that a less than half-full slow cooker would cook down, start to smolder, burst into flames that climb up the kitchen cabinets, reach the walls, and engulf the apartment and my kittens in smoke and fire. All this was running through my head as I rushed to get the dinner into the slow cooker and out the door to go to work. I didn’t leave myself enough time, so I was frantically carving the super cold bird and chucking pieces into the cooker, all the while gauging the crock for whether it had reached the magic halfway mark. I finished loading the carrots and chicken and it was only (ominous music here) 1/3 full. So I did what any sensible person would do, I panicked. I grabbed a pound of carrots from the fridge, washed them and hacked them into long pieces. I stuffed the carrots under the chicken pieces to raise the food up to the halfway mark. Then I turned the cooker on and dashed out the door, 15 minutes late to work.
That moment of panic turned out to be doubly awesome. First, the house didn’t burn down. Second, those carrots were completely delicious. I mean they were the best part of the entire dish. I’m not just saying that to justify what I did. The lack of a house fire was justification enough for me. I mean that the onions, garlic, and rendered chicken fat all turned those carrots into sweet and savory little flavor bombs. I highly recommend adding carrots to this recipe, even if you’re already at the halfway mark on your crock or if it never occurred to you to worry about such a thing, you foolhardy, devil-may-care, ne’er-do-well, you.
Actually, it was triply awesome. Baby J loved those carrots.
Panic carrots: one. Fire: zero.