Pulled Chicken Parmesan ~ The Magical, Mystical Repo-Man
Sister Madly was closing down the pub the other night when she overheard a nearby patron speaking about Soul Retrieval.
Now, there’s a fine profession she hadn’t considered when just a wee little Moppet! Which is most unfortunate, as Sister Madly clearly fits the criteria required of a Reaper: she works well independently, has mastered the art of being grim, and can put together a rather fetching uniform at a moment’s notice- her Renaissance Faire days has left Sister Madly with an eclectic array of costumes and bits of weaponry that is often difficult to explain.
Why, just think of all the joy she could bring to commuters simply by strolling along the boulevard in uniform; no doubt the ruffian who just ran that red light will be pleased to find that photo ticket in the mail. Sister Madly would downright giddy to receive a picture of the intrepid Itty Bitty flirting with the speed limit and a Reaper in the foreground- she might even go so far as to make that moment happen. She would hang it on the refrigerator next to the bold You-Didn’t-Vote-Enough! Shame Campaign Card she received in the mail before the last elections.*
* Apparently, Sister Madly is a very naughty citizen because she did not cast a vote for nor against the unopposed, incumbent Drain Commissioner.
For centuries, the Netherworld has employed Reapers as an eco-friendly alternative to leaving Souls littered about the Multiverse like candy wrappers on Halloween- but what does one do with the Souls after tidying up? Does Sister Madly, as a Reaper, decide into which afterlife the Soul is dispensed? Does she decide which ones to recycle, and which to reuse? Zero waste is clearly a concern of the Netherworld and, according to the Ancients, has been recycling Souls through an ecological process known as Reincarnation for centuries.
* Confirmed: Reincarnation is a fact, as evidenced by the bench at her local Marketplace made entirely out of recycled milk jugs.
Yet as with earthly rubbish, not all Souls can be recycled; but that does not mean the surplus is stuffed down the spiritual garbage disposal. As Souls are not compostable, it is most trendy to use the debris for DIY projects around the home- just think of the masterpieces one could make with the leftovers! Surely Sister Madly can find a board on Pinterest addressing this very topic. Hashtag TrendyMoppet.
In fact, a career as a Reaper might even benefit her current engagement as a Vendor.* She could make haunted relics by cramming leftover Souls into certain artifacts willy-nilly, and enlist the most interesting of Psyches (and hopefully, with the most colorful language) to be the spirit behind the Writing Planchette.
* Whose goods are mostly purchased by psychologists, teenage girls, and tourists from Montana. Apparently, Sister Madly has cracked the code on how to cater to this particularly niche market.
As it turns out, the retrieval of Souls is not the same as reaping them. Retrieval, he said, is all about the living…
Living… So, does the Soul just wander off? Or is more like retrieving property- such as when one sells one’s Soul to the Devil and the Devil doesn’t deliver on his end of the bargain- like some sort of mystical Repo-Man? If so, Sister Madly may wish to retain these services: having sold her Soul years ago, Sister Madly is certain that the purchaser of said Soul is the Snitch behind her not voting for nor against the unopposed, incumbent Drain Commissioner, which is in direct violation of their nonexistent contract.
The Repo-Man politely declined.
PULLED CHICKEN PARMESAN
- 2 sweet onions, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup red wine, divided (¼+¼)
- 6 boneless chicken thighs, whole
- 3 TBSP tomato paste
- 1½-2 cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan, or to taste
- 1 TBSP basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp marjoram
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- salt, to taste
Heat oil in Dutch oven
Add onions, stirring to coat
Lower heat, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized; 30-45 min
Add garlic; sauté 3-5 min
Add spices; sauté 30 sec
Deglaze ¼ cup wine; simmer to reduce; 2 min
Add stock, paste, chicken, and remaining wine; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked (25 min)
Shred chicken in sauce
Simmer to reduce and thicken
Add cheese; stir until melted and remove from heat
THEME SONG: Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
Image 1) Chris Clor