I want to take the rest of the Labor Day weekend off (and go to the Southern Decadence Parade on Sunday), so I decided to do my grilling today. Of course, the skies opened up and began to rain so hard and fast that my back yard flooded.
Only my dog was watching as I danced in it a la Don Lockwood:
I’m grillin’ in the rain
Just grillin’ in the rain
What a glorious feelin’
I’m grilling again
I’m laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The meat’s on the coals
And it’s a labor of love!
And how I love my Weber kettle grill!
Anyhoo, onto the recipe. This was a two parter – I brined the meat yesterday and put it in a marinade this morning. It came out juicy and tender and very flavorful.
Sweet tea brine
1 quart very strong tea (I used Orange Pekoe)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
10 lbs chicken leg quarters
Zest, then quarter the lemon. Put the lemon zest and quarters in a saucepan. Add the tea, sugar, and salt. Simmer the mixture over medium-high heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 quart of ice water and stir to cool the brine before adding the chicken. Brine the chicken in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours and as long as 24. Drain the chicken and blot dry.
Rosemary Lemon and Garlic Marinade
1 cup fresh rosemary leaves
2 large lemons (zested and juiced), about 2 tablespoons zest and ½ cup juice
10 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Add rosemary, lemon juice and zest, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth. Pour over chicken and marinade for at least an hour, three is better. Be sure to turn the chicken every thirty minutes to ensure it is well coated.
Set your grill for indirect cooking. I usually put a layer of coals on the bottom grate and then fill a chimney with charcoal. Once those coals are hot and white, pour over the unlit layer, put down a drip pan and go get the chicken. Place skin side down and grill for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken slightly and continue to grill for another 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and rotate pieces from front to back to make sure everything is cooking evenly and grill for 60 minutes, checking at least once to move any pieces out of hot spots. Check chicken for doneness and remove when cooked.