1. Marinate chicken legs for a few hours in your favourite oil and white balsamic vinegar 3:1 and a little Dijon mustard. No salt or pepper.
  2. Dredge lightly in flour, dip in beaten egg, and then roll in freshly made loose (not fine) breadcrumbs. Use your preferred seasoning. I like a generous pinch of dried thyme and a little salt and pepper in the crumbs, but just plain is fine, too. (Panko flakes work if you prefer.)
  3. Brown in hot oil on the stovetop in a deep skillet, turning to seal all sides, for a few minutes. Remove from the skillet and place upright in a baking pan, sized to accommodate all the pieces.
  4. Cover tightly with heavy tinfoil (shiny side in); poke a couple of steam release small holes in the tinfoil and bake at medium high heat (350-375 F) for about a half hour.
  5. Remove the tinfoil and use it to make an open tent to cover while the chicken rests.
    These fabulous chicken legs can be served immediately or counter cooled and refrigerated to serve at room temperature or cool the next day. Amazing finger food.
  6. Serve with your favourite salad.

These chicken legs are super picnic fare or great to take along to a potluck meal. You likely will never want to eat chicken legs prepared any other way again.

A variation: try doing a large turkey leg using this recipe. Gauge your cooking time according to the size, as you normally would.

Always test poultry to make sure it is completely cooked – but absolutely not overdone, as poultry will get chewy and tough.

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Coleslaw extraordinaire

Cabbage is touted as a natural healer food, often recommended to keep a liver healthy. It’s often said to heal a stomach disorder. A bowl of this dish can make a whole meal in all seasons. Served with a buttered roll, it makes a delightful lunch. It’s also an ideal picnic food.

As a side dish, accompanying any meal, it’s wonderful, but fish and chips are just not complete without coleslaw.

It’s best to always make your own coleslaw and it can be done in no time. Keep some on hand for a go-to favourite. For those who grow their own vegetables, this will be a fabulous standby to have on hand.

  1. Shred cabbage and very fresh, sweet, raw carrots, very fine; almost minced. A mandolin works well, set to fine, but be extra careful. The blades are very sharp.
  2. Marinate shredded cabbage and just a little bit of carrot for a few hours in white balsamic vinegar and white sugar mix, 3:1. Keep the marinade on hand in fridge, but let it come to room temperature prior to using.
  3. Shake to emulsify. Use enough to completely cover the cabbage and carrots. Cover the bowl while the vegetables marinate with a fresh tea towel and let rest. Keep the air out.
  4. Drain completely, wrapped and squeezed in cheesecloth. Add your favourite mayonnaise, the real thing, ideally homemade, that you keep on hand in the fridge. Some people like less sauce, others more.
  5. Sprinkle with a little salt and just a tiny bit of fresh cracked pepper. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve once the mayo is added.

Never let anything containing mayonnaise sit on the counter indefinitely –  and certainly never let it sit in the sun, if serving outside in hot weather.

Keep food that is to be served outside in a travel cooler until ready to serve. Keep covered, preferably in a glass container. You don’t want a chemical reaction between plastic and vinegar. Likewise, never store any food that has vinegar in it in plastic containers.

Eggs can go bad in hot or humid air. And mayo typically has eggs or egg yolks.

Homemade mayo will keep, covered airtight in a glass bottle, in the fridge, for at least six months.

For a little change up for your friends or family expecting a little gourmet extra, at the last minute, stir in a smidgen of freshly grated horseradish. Or a minuscule bit of Dijon mustard. Not much of either, because you don’t want to overpower the already wonderful taste.

Make lots because someone will want a take-home serving, no doubt.

Another keeper recipe – even for those who say they don’t cook.

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


  1. Fennel Coleslaw – a take-off of my original recipe. (See below.)

    Using your mandolin again, or a very sharp thin blade knife if you have knife skills, finely shred paper thin a raw fresh fennel bulb using tiny threads or crosscut. Save the fronds chopped separately. The fronds look a little like dill. And simply follow the coleslaw recipe below.

    In preparing the fennel coleslaw, use kosher salt and fresh ground pink peppercorns. Add a little Petite Maison white truffle Dijon to the homemade mayonnaise.

    Just when ready to serve indoors or out, put a bit of Amagansett Hamptons Atlantic Ocean hand-cultivated sea salt between your fingers and add a whisper to the fennel coleslaw individual servings. Don’t stir.

    You want to feel the delicate crunch as you enjoy the magical eloquent symphony of liquorice flavour fennel enhanced by this special hand-cultivated salt.

    Serve this fennel coleslaw alongside any seafood or “shell-a-brate” meal for a rustic yet elegant enhancement highlighting the special ocean shellfish flavours.

    Want to serve it in an upscale dinner party presentation, simply serve the fennel slaw in an old-fashioned wide-mouth no longer used for champagne since flutes are en vogue, stem crystal champagne glass. Pull the glasses out of the storage cupboard and reinvent your elegant table setting.

    It you have see-through glass plates, place a paper doily beneath the stemware on the little plate positioned as a charger. If you have salad forks,(pie forks) tines cut on an angle or even a grapefruit fork, this is an opportunity to use them.

    Green chartreuse is a delightful pairing served perhaps in a stemmed matching crystal shot glass if you have.

    Mostly gourmet is about presentation. It isn’t only the Japanese who say we first eat with our eyes. And one by one the palate senses awaken. The insides of our mouths have different receptors that recognize and differentiate salt, sweet, tart/sour, and tangy. Enjoy them all.

    When we chew our saliva mixes with our food and the digestive system begins. Be sure to enjoy every point of contact as well as the visuals, bringing your enjoyment to its maximum. And you’ve become an instant gourmet appreciator. It’s all really so simple.

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”
    Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience

  2. ADD-ON to my picnic article – MAY 2018

    Add to coleslaw recipe:

    It’s simply summer – and often even REALTORS(r) go on picnics; this ideal addition to my coleslaw, of course can be enjoyed all year round whether at a private picnic or made in multiples for large get-together group picnics. Think about taking this recipe group off to the cottage perhaps, or even enjoy it on board your boat.

    Or, just serve at home alongside those wonderful chicken legs like none you’ve enjoyed before.

    For another coleslaw gourmet touch, using a box grater, grate green apple, unpeeled and fold into my creamy coleslaw. And, over the top entirely, grate a small fennel bulb into the slaw. Sprinkle both the grated green apple and the grated fennel with salt and just a tiny bit of granulated sugar, before folding into the slaw.

    For a different addition, shred nearly to a mince, a little raw red cabbage. Salt, sprinkle just a pinch of granulated sugar, and fold into slaw. Pack it all up, and enjoy wherever you go.

    Maybe make a few separate variations of my coleslaw and serve them in individual containers. If travelling, be sure to pack a frozen gel-bag, in a closed container to help stabilize the cooler box temperature. And of course be careful not to toss away the gel-bag. They are totally reusable. But keep the gel-bags away from direct food contact. Pack in separate light-weight covered plastic container. Then in a plastic zip bag.

    Coleslaw is also a perfect side dish with deep-fried fish and chips to make the meal complete. Perhaps deep-fry your next fish dish using beer batter. Remarkable! Enjoy!

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”
    Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience
    = = =
    Eating alfresco could become a most enjoyable habit that’s sure to entice the neighbours. It’s okay to talk real estate while you share your food.

    Here’s a link to a terrific foodie article picnic read, as you maybe recline after eating, maybe even lying in an old-fashioned hammock, or on the porch, or on deck aboard the waves.


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