January is the Monday of Months

January is the Monday of Months
I read that somewhere recently and boy does it feel true. I miss the light! The weather isn't cold enough for snow and I never know what to wear that day. All I want to do is go home eat pizza smoosh my face on the hubs and go to bed under piles of blankets. But I've done that for the past 2 days and I'm pretty sure that regiment isn't helping with our blues in any way.

I have a list of things I want to work on and bake but really my apartment is lucky I even unpacked from being home. I have a bunch of new leather tools I got for Christmas that I really want to give a try but I pull it out look at it all and put it back away and grab a month old Christmas cookie and tea instead.

But I'm working on it, we've rock climbed, ran to the beach, worked on planning in a brewery instead of our couch : baby steps. Mostly though I've been working through it cooking some comfort food that I wanted to make before it gets to warm. And it's almost February!

First up gourmet chicken and dumplings:

For Broth:
2 leeks; cut lengthwise
1 red onion; quartered
3 carrots; cut lengthwise
3 parsnips; cut lengthwise
3 cloves garlic minced
1.5 lb chicken wings
handful parsley
handful thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
8 whole allspice
3 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
1/2 cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1   combine all except the chicken breast into a large pot and bring to a simmer
2   add the breasts in skin side down and stir regularly. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Then remove the chicken and let cool, continue to let pot simmer for another hour
3    pull skin off of chicken breasts and discard, pull meat from bones and put into container and store in fridge, put bones back into pot
4   once the broth is done simmering strain out all the vegetables, wings, and spices and discard. Set the broth pot back on stove on low and stir in cayenne and salt
For Veggies:
1 tbs oil
3 carrots; diced
2 parsnips; diced
3 celery stalks; diced
1 white onion; diced
1 clove garlic; minced
1   in a large pan heat oil and add in all vegetables
2   sauté for 5-7 minutes, remove from heat
For Dumplings:
2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
2 tsp
handful of chopped parsley
2 tsp of rosemary
2 tsp of thyme
1   in a large bowl mix flour, salt, and baking powder with herbs
2   make a hole in the middle of the flour and slowly add the water and oil, mix until incorporated
2   turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times, add additional flour if necessary to keep dough together
3   roll out dough to about 1/4 " thick and cut into about 1" strips by 1 1/2"
4   bring broth back to a boil and drop in all the dumplings, use a wooden spoon to make more room around the dumplings so you can drop them all into the broth. Cook dumplings for about 6-8 minutes, feel free to pull one out and cut in half to check that they are done
Finish Up:
1   add vegetables and chicken pieces back into broth with the dumplings and cook for a few minutes to get it all warm
2   spoon heaps into giant bowls and sip away January 

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