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Tule Fog Chicken and Dumplings

Tule fog is that thick wet fog that creeps along the ground into Modesto and most of central California. It appears after the first big rainfall of the winter, and sometimes we have it for days on end.  During those bleak and clammy days, few things are as comforting as chicken and dumplings. Tule fog chicken and dumpling!

But this year our weather was historically warm and dry. And lacking in fog…ergo, (I realized yesterday) lacking in chicken and dumplings.

Spring is getting ready to spring, and we’ve moved to daylight savings time, but yesterday brought one of those long lost rainfalls.  I celebrated our surprise winter day by building a fire in the fireplace and making Tule Fog Chicken and Dumplings for dinner.

Chicken broth recipe

1/3 cup olive oil

1 large onion diced

½ cup chopped celery

6 plump chicken thighs, skin removed but with the bone in.

2 tablespoons chicken base or bouillon (I use organic “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base – available at Costco)

fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice

¼ cup fresh parsley, snipped finely

Sauté onion and celery in olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven until they are transparent.

Add chicken, and brown on all sides.

Cover with about 8 cups of water.

Add bouillon

Simmer for one hour.

Add frozen or fresh vegetables.

Add parsley.

Bring the broth to a low regular boil.

Now it’s time to add the dumplings.

Dumpling Recipe

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons melted butter

Sift the dry ingredients together.

Stir the milk and butter together and add to dry ingredients.

Stir completely, but as little as possible – stir just until it is mixed.  The less you handle the dough, the lighter and fluffier your dumplings will be.

Drop dough into the boiling broth by tablespoonfuls.  Then lower heat to a simmer.

Cover tightly and DO NOT LIFT THE LID for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Mmmm….delicious! Now bring on that tule fog!

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