Moroccan Pulled Chicken ~ To Catch a Truant

THE DAY: Tuesday
THE TIME: Morning
THE PLACE: The Boiler Room of Adolescent Purgatory (aka, ‘High School.’)

Sister Madly had been sleeping her way through another Biology lecture when she and her classmates were summoned to the gym- immediately.

Typically these meetings were called to impress upon students the importance of the dress code, to find out who vandalized what, or simply to remind them that card games* were taboo. But this assembly deviated from the usual lectures of teenage impurity: a classmate of Sister Madly’s had walked out of class, and left the building.

* Card games = gambling, which was most ungodly. Even solitaire.

No doubt you are imagining a lovely day in May, an Alpine meadow, and a free-spirited blonde frolicking through the flowers as though she were in an ad for honey butter. But this was not the case; it was early February, and the weather was pure Michigan.

Upon learning of the truancy, the Principal did what any sane, responsible administrator would do: send out a search party consisting of the most responsible and trustworthy individuals…


The Principal went on to inform Team Truancy that the search was not to extend beyond the sidewalk to the south, the Beltline a block to the east, the Highway a block to the west, and the orchard that bordered the school property to the north. They were Freshmen, after all, and it was important to set boundaries.

Clearly the Principal had never been a teenager, not if he believed the Truant would play hooky so close to school; that’s like running away from home by hiding in the garden. No doubt he expected to find the girl under the bleachers, abusing a pair of prescription sunglasses.

However, being the dutiful, sometimes dress-code abiding Freshman that she was, Sister Madly braved the Michigan tundra in a Search for the Wayward Truant- as far as the Diner next door, that is.

It was a dismal greasy spoon, and it was here that Sister Madly spent the next 2 hours, drinking a cup of what could only be described as “I-Can’t-Believe-This-Is-Cocoa.” It was also here where she watched her fellow classmates scatter willy-nilly, each one not so much slipping along the icy sidewalks as display a general unwillingness to fall on their bums. Sister Madly wanted to believe that she rubbed shoulders with the intellectually elite, but her classmates behaved as though they, too, believed that the Truant would be found somewhere on the property, making angels in the snow.

Face it, Sister Madly- your reality is a bad teen novel written in a spiral-bound notebook, which fell into a puddle and was promptly run over by a bus; no doubt you will find a fabulous disco inside your locker first thing tomorrow morning. The day was fast approaching a level of absurdity normally reserved for fairytales, and would have achieved said status had it contained the trademark moral for which such tales are renown.*

* Such as ‘Don’t eat the old lady’s house;’ or ‘Never trust a spinning wheel.’

But what if this was more than a simple case of truancy? What if the school was behind this? Recently, the psychology class took it upon themselves to convince a boy that he had the flu, making certain suggestions about his appearance and behavior until the boy said he felt sick and went home.* Perhaps this was another such experiment, which is why the science should never be taught by an English teacher… and is that a cop over there?

* The boy later admitted that he took advantage of the situation and spent the day at the movies.

Of course he’s a cop, Sister Madly- what did you think he was? The Maytag Repairman? He isn’t going to believe that you are skipping school because the Principle ordered you to do so… unless you show him The Library Card.

Indeed, here is proof that Sister Madly is the victim of a faulty educational system! She would show her Library Card, which she’s had since kindergarten; she would show him her signature, and how she took certain liberties with the letter ‘E’, averaging 5 or 6 horizontal lines instead of the standard 3. Perhaps if some gentle disciplinarian had told Sister Madly back in the day that she did not have the authority to slaughter the alphabet simply because she wanted to, she would’ve turned out to be an oboe-playing, cheerleading, non-truant poster-child of academia instead of an anti-social little moppet playing hooky from a group sent out to find a girl who was playing hooky.

Her ‘E’ was better than your ‘E’ because hers had more lines.

But before she could execute this most excellent tale of tragic woe, Officer Maytag drew his own conclusions on his way out the door:

“You’ve got to be mental to be out there on a day like this, Luv.”


  •  butter/oil/ghee
  •  2 sweet onions, sliced
  •  6 boneless chicken thighs, whole
  •  1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken broth
  •  3 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1 tbsp ginger, minced -OR- 1 tsp ground
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  2 tsp ground coriander
  •  1 tsp ground cumin
  •  1 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  1 lg pinch saffron, ground
  •  1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  •  1/4 tsp black pepper
  • tortillas/naan/lettuce, to serve

Melt butter/oil in dutch oven
Add onions, stirring to coat
Lower heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally
Continue until onions are caramelized (30-45 min)
Mix in spices, garlic, broth and chicken; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked (25 min)
With 2 forks, shred chicken in the sauce
Simmer to reduce and thicken (if needed)
Remove bay leaves before serving

THEME SONG: School’s Out, Alice Cooper

Lighthouse Photo by Thomas Zakowski


34 responses

  1. Mmmmmm…..

    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2017 at 5:24 AM

  2. I have never trusted spinning wheels. You are a wise woman Sister Madly.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2017 at 6:46 AM

    • It is good to know that Spinning Wheel Awareness is catching on. It will, indeed, make this world a better place.

      Liked by 2 people

      April 9, 2017 at 12:59 PM

  3. Sweet always looking for new ways to spice up chicken… Moroccan style is something I’ve never done before, thankyouuu for posting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2017 at 9:14 AM

    • I’m becoming a bit addict to Moroccan cuisine- thankfully chicken is so versatile!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      April 9, 2017 at 12:50 PM

  4. Quite the tale of misadventure Ms Moppet. Well for everyone but you. Little known fact about them first class joints, the cocoa is always bad but if you ask for tea in the porcelain tea pot….. 😉

    Freshmen; much akin to first year apprentices. On a scale of 1 – 10, they are 9’s. Having been both, I know that of which I speak.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    • Mushroom Tea?

      Also, first year apprentices to what, may I ask?

      Liked by 1 person

      April 9, 2017 at 1:10 PM

      • ~ ~ ~ she looked good, she looked fine, she had on love potion # 9, #9, #9 ~ ~ ~

        Yes and I’ll have a second cup please.

        Apprenticed to what doesn’t matter. 1st year, you’re a 9 out of 10. You know there are some 2nd years that actually fall to being an 8.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 9, 2017 at 1:21 PM

  5. lostintransalation79


    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2017 at 9:26 AM

  6. Curiously enough, that’s exactly what happened to my teen novel, and those spiral thingies never ever go properly round once they’ve been squashed flat.

    As for my reality… well I refer you to those spiral thingies previously alluded to, and let you scribble your own conclusions.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 9, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    • It was also frustrating when the spiral thingies starts to unravel and you have to re-thread them through the paper.

      And somehow I believe your reality is much more interesting than anything that can be written in a spiral notebook.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 9, 2017 at 1:15 PM

  7. You had me scratching my head for a while there (which for a Raven involves standing on one leg) wondering where the 5 came from… certainly it has been 5, and remained so for quite some time, yet about a year ago I made it 6 out of 7, by touching down in the land of the barbecued prawn. So either we’re counting differently (and I accept that the existence of 7 continents is a matter of opinion, currently in favour in the Nordic regions, whilst other cultures recognize 5 or 6… if you meet anyone with a map to the 8th, please forward it to me) or by some time warp I commented on your blog more than a year ago, or, and this is most likely, I may have referred to a certain pair of boots, which didn’t join my travels until after Africa, and have therefore only set sole on 5 of the 7.
    Apparently, current domicile is not on any continent at all, which frankly does not surprise me at all.
    I do apologize if this led to any confusion, aside of course from that experienced by myself.
    And you are correct – no notebook has survived the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 11, 2017 at 4:03 AM

  8. I was that boy at the movies…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    April 11, 2017 at 1:41 PM

  9. I played hooky once in high school. I was a junior and, since Michigan winters are so unpleasant, I decided not to actually leave the school. And since I didn’t want anyone calling my mother or sending freshman out into the fields to search for me, I told my teachers I was playing hooky. I spent the day in the library reading by the window and the amount of concern from my teachers was astonishing. One even brought me a forbidden Coke and they all asked if they could help.

    Liked by 2 people

    April 12, 2017 at 2:18 AM

    • I never thought to ask to play hooky, much less tell them I was going to do so- had I been doing it wrong the whole time? Would I’ve have gotten a Coke too?

      But then, I have a feeling that my school would have been much less sympathetic than yours- unless that is why they sent us out that day, figuring that if one freshmen was going to play hooky, then all freshmen get to do so.

      But I doubt it.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 12, 2017 at 12:15 PM

      • Highly unlikely. Schools generally aren’t as happy-go-lucky as to declare a class wide hooky day.
        I only got the sympathy and Coke because I was boringly good in school. Class President and willing participant in every extra curricular activity I could squeeze in. I even fractured my pelvis as a cheerleader. That was a step to far in the taking-one-for-the-team thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        April 12, 2017 at 2:58 PM

        • Ouch! I personally believe you can claim Veteran benefits with an injury like that! Cheering against another team IS combat, after all.

          One might say ‘boring good in school’ while others might say ‘laying a proper foundation to get away with much more interesting things later in life’… and I do recall hearing a tale of sneaking out of the house late at night…

          Liked by 1 person

          April 12, 2017 at 5:10 PM

        • Ah, yes. My late night wanderings with the magical, mystical gate!

          Liked by 1 person

          April 12, 2017 at 9:40 PM

  10. Fuzzy paws would have helped: both for warmth and good grip on snow.
    Good for shredding chicken too – no forks.

    I’ll admit to skim reading the recipe, and missing the words “boneless” and “thighs”.
    And reducing the cooking time a bit… a big bit… OK, I can burn an onion in less than 2 minutes, all right?

    You didn’t mention how many this was supposed to serve… 1, if that one is a Bear. Going for a nap now…

    Liked by 1 person

    April 12, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    • I’m sure you could burn an onion in 2 minutes, I never tried it. The 45 min it takes to caramelize the onion is also how long it takes for me to stop crying after having cut said onion and regain my sight…

      Definitely serves 1- over several days. Rough guess, 6-8?

      Liked by 1 person

      April 12, 2017 at 12:35 PM

  11. locksley2010

    See you as a blonde in the sunshine? No, no, no, Moppet, I’ve always seen you with brown curls (don’t know why, just do). Michigan weather sounds exactly like British weather, the sun merely taunts…..

    Liked by 1 person

    April 14, 2017 at 6:06 AM

    • Brown Curls… I KNEW there was a camera hidden somewhere in my apartment! It’s in my sock drawer, isn’t it?

      Tell me, what is this ‘sun’ thing that you speak of?

      Liked by 1 person

      April 14, 2017 at 10:26 AM

      • locksley2010

        Spider-bot camera units, withdraw, withdraw! We have been detected-

        Errrm…. The Sun? It is this mythical thing in our sky which brings light and warmth at flitting intervals. Legend says that it can hear every word we say and should we point it out on a clear day (another myth) it becomes shy and hides!

        Liked by 1 person

        April 14, 2017 at 12:05 PM

        • Light, warmth, clear skies- I remember a legend of this sort, when I was but a little girl.

          On a completely unrelated note, a bunch of my socks just jumped up and marched out the door as if they had been summoned…

          Liked by 1 person

          April 14, 2017 at 2:35 PM

        • locksley2010

          In that case, you know as much as I do! I remember once a day with NO CLOUD. Aye! It was a day with blue skies…. I shit thee not.

          What’s that? Walking socks? Funny that, eh? Must be the stash of JD you have in there….

          Spider-bots: codeword activated: LEGGIT!

          Liked by 1 person

          April 14, 2017 at 3:54 PM


          (Pardon me, I must retrieve it…)

          Liked by 1 person

          April 14, 2017 at 7:01 PM

        • locksley2010

          Pardoned with ease! Apologies, they weren’t supposed to do that…..

          Liked by 1 person

          April 15, 2017 at 12:44 AM

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