An Easter in PJs
Kysha Harris | 4/13/2012, 2:53 p.m.
What a glorious Easter weekend it was: hanging, laughing, playing the dozens and eating with the family. It was what it was, and we all had a hand in the planning.
My sister and I set it off with a food shopping spree that started at the local grocery store, but five minutes in and a mention of a better deal on salad greens at Costco, we set off for big box land. Four hours later, having eaten at least 20 food samples each and spending way more money than we planned, we headed home, but not without stopping back at the local grocery store for items that would have been ridiculous to buy in bulk--e.g., onions, mustard, garlic--plus a pop in at the liquor store for some weekend libations!
My mother's contribution came from her favorite butcher, Esposito's (354 W. 38th St., (212) 868-4142, www.espositosausage.com). She raves about their sausage. For Easter, she bought a ham, a boneless leg of lamb and a fat capon. (It became a drinking game every time capon was said...inebriated!) They were all quality meats and poultry.
We had the capon for our Saturday night dinner with roasted fingerling potatoes and pan-fried broccoli. I dry-brined the capon (coated it with one teaspoon per pound and refrigerated it for 12-plus hours, rinse and pat dry) then cut it in half, rubbed with olive oil, placed garlic, lemon and herbs under the skin and seasoned with salt and black pepper.
I set the rack to the middle of the oven and, starting with the skin side down, broiled it on HI for 20 minutes each side (more or less time depending on the size of the bird, turn to LO if juices are still not running clear). I let it rest for 8-10 minutes before cutting it into parts. The dry brine was a mess-free way of tenderizing the bird and preparing it to receive flavor. The skin was crispy and the meat juicy, succulent and delicious.
The lamb was magnificent! I wish I could have told Esposito's to prepare it for grilling instead of roasting, but with a serious garlicy-herby-oniony-lemony 24-hour marinade, we were prepared for anything. I cut the leg into three pieces along the muscle lines. The fat cap gave me some flare-ups on the grill, but once the pieces were caramelized, I let them sit over indirect heat for 20 minutes for a perfectly medium-rare result.
It was a delicious weekend filled with laughter, barking (two dogs) and food. Thank you to my sister, brother-in-law and mother for making another special holiday happen. I love you!
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Kysha Harris is owner of SCHOP! which is available for weekly service or for home entertaining. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Email kysha@iSCHOP.com.