Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.
Most of us, however, focus more on the weekend before Labor Day being the last blast of summer and celebrate with cookouts and gatherings. I’m no exception and it helped that Rouses Supermarket had a marvelous sale on 10lb bags of chicken leg quarters.
The chicken I grilled was very juicy and flavorful, with a crisp crunch to the skin.
Lemon Brined and Grilled Chicken
5 lemons, juice and zest
1 gallon water
1 cup salt
2 quarts ice
2 whole chickens, 4-5 pounds each or 10lbs of leg quarters
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Zest the lemons and set aside. Juice the lemons and place the lemon juice, water, and salt into a pot large enough to hold the chicken and a gallon and half of liquid. Bring to a boil. Stir well before adding ice to cool the liquid.
Add the chicken to the brine and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
Combine 2 tablespoons of kosher salt with the lemon zest and put in an air-proof container.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides with the lemon salt and let sit on the counter while you prepare the grill for indirect cooking.
Grill skin side down for 30 minutes, rotating 90 degrees midway. Turn chicken over and cook for an hour or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.