In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the water, kosher salt, sugar, lemon, orange, garlic, peppercorns, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the ice cubes. Cool to room temperature.
TIP: BRINING TIPS
A brine adds flavor and keeps the meat tender and juicy. It’s a smart way to guard against accidental overcooking.
Add 3/4 cup of salt for every gallon of water. All brines contain salt. It is the salt that forces the water into the chicken meat, making it juicy and flavorful.
Add sugar to the water. Sugar is not mandatory in a brine, but it is the key to brown, crispy skin regardless of cooking method.
Boil your brine mixture before adding chicken if you have added seasonings. This allows the seasonings to infuse the brine and flavor the meat. Boil for approximately 1 minute and then allow to cool completely before adding your chicken.
Never brine chicken at room temperature, as this can lead to bacteria growth.