Roast chicken, also known as “engagement chicken” has been rumored to have some sort of magical powers. This urban legend goes back to 2004 when Glamour magazine published a piece on how one of their staff writers had made this roasted lemon chicken recipe back in 1984 and a month later, her boyfriend proposed. This led to uproar and speculation in the office when other writers made the chicken for their boyfriends and they too proposed. And that’s how a chicken recipe with magical powers came to be steeped in mysticism in popular culture.
I remember that piece very well. As a matter of fact, I tore the page and kept it in my recipe binder. I was that fascinated by the article and the delicious golden brown roasted fowl.
Ina Garten’s Fabulous Engagement Chicken
Fast forward a few years later and the Barefoot Contessa herself made this now famous Engagement Chicken right in her fabulous East Hampton’s kitchen. Ina admits that she was intrigued upon hearing from a friend who works at Glamour about the enticing powers of this simple recipe. And since her husband Jeffrey loves chicken, she added this particular style of chicken made with lemons and fresh herbs to her arsenal.
Meghan Markle Roasted a Chicken for Harry
And now, the legend of Engagement Chicken has risen to royal status.
According to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle to us Americans, she would make roasted chicken all the time. As a matter of fact, she was roasting a chicken when Prince Harry dropped down on one knee and proposed to her.
There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken. It’s a game changer. I bring that to dinner parties and make lots of friends.Meghan Markle
Ina was not surprised that this magical engagement chicken worked its seductive magic and got Prince Harry to propose. Ina knows that a simple dish like roast chicken is comfort food at its finest. She knows this because she has her own lover-of-all-things-chicken: her husband Jeffrey. Ina makes chicken for Jeffrey every Friday evening when he comes home from a long week at work in the city. And there’s something to be said for Ina’s chicken: Jeffrey loves it and they’ve been married for over 50 years!
Ina congratulated Meghan and Harry via Twitter.
Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan! I always knew roast chicken had magic powers!! I’m so happy for both of you! @theroyalfamily @meghanmarkle@inagarten
It was “just a standard,Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
typicalnight for us,” Harry said
“Just a cozy night,” Meghan interjected, “It was — what were we doing? Roasting chicken and —”
“Trying to roast a chicken,” Harry clarified.
“Trying to roast a chicken,” Meghan agreed. “And it was
just–justan amazing surprise. It was so sweet, and natural, and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”
Now, I can’t really say that this humble chicken recipe has some mystical properties and that once your lover smells its aroma and tastes its succulent meat, he or she will immediately be besotted and propose matrimony. But what I do know is that this is one damn good chicken recipe.
And while the old adage, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is a bit cliche and dated, you never know. There’s always a bit of truth in old wives tales. I encourage you to make this delicious chicken for your beloved. The crispy skin and the juicy meat will have him drooling, for the chicken (and you as well). And who knows, there may be wedding bells in your future all thanks to this unassuming piece of