Written December 30, 2022
I’m dangling; my fingers grip the few remaining crags of 2022 as I tentatively swing my leg out, searching for a foothold on the new year. As I inch my way towards 2023, I take a long look over my shoulder at the past 365 days to measure my progress, measure the length of winding paths I’ve negotiated – and there is nothing there. Zip, zilch, nada. In 2022, I accomplished nothing – unless you call staying alive an accomplishment, waking up to face each morning an achievement, doing my best at my job a success, keeping the weave of relationships together an accomplishment. No, no, I’m not soliciting you to provide me with a list of my achievements. I’m sure, if I concentrate, if I was forced to produce an annual self-review of 2022 for my merit increase, I’m sure I could think of triumphs, but as I take this moment to pause and reflect, nothing substantial bubbles up…and that’s alright.
Next year, just a few short days away, I begin navigating my way towards retirement. Next year, I’m cutting back work hours to focus on my passions and my pleasures – and my head is overflowing with fresh ideas and long-lingering projects. At the end of 2023, I will glance over my shoulder and say, “Ah, yes, I’ve traveled far.”
Before I move on to my recipe, however, I wanted to take a moment to thank the executives that I’ve worked with who allowed my dream of semi-retirement at 55 to come to fruition. I understand my situation is unique; I know these are untested waters and this initial ride may be a bit bumpy. I appreciate you taking the chance. This same flexibility allowed me, in 2009, to go to Culinary School by day (a life-long dream) and work nights and again, in 2017, when I became an “Implementation Consultant” and returned to the fold when my reporting situation became untenable. I know you’ll never read this post, but I would be remiss if I didn’t voice my gratitude. 20 years and counting.
Chicken Tinga Sandwich
I created this sandwich in 2013, after I made Chicken Tinga in a Phoenix cooking class. I’ve taken my original complicated recipe and simplified it into a 30-45 minute meal.
- 1 onion, ½ thinly sliced and ½ chopped
- ½ cup vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ – 1 cup boiling water
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 15 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes (OK if the tomatoes include garlic or chilies)
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped with 2 Tablespoon adobo sauce, divided
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano (Mexican oregano preferred), divided
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
- ½ cup chicken broth or water
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 6 rolls (I used Mexican Bolillos)
- cilantro (optional)
- guacamole or sliced avocados
- Cotija cheese
- Make Pickled Onions: In a small bowl, combine sliced onions, vinegar, sugar, orange juice, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour boiling water over onions to just cover and let sit for about 30 minutes.
- Make Chicken Tinga: Sauté chopped onions in oil in a large sauté pan until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add tomatoes, chipotle chile and 1 Tablespoon adobo, oregano, bay, cumin, cinnamon, chicken, and broth or water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook about 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
- Make Chipotle Mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise with remaining 1 Tablespoon adobo.
- Make Sandwiches: Toast rolls, spread with Chipotle mayonnaise, guacamole, chicken tinga, pickled onions, cilantro and cotija cheese.