How to Make Engagement Chicken and Possibly Win Your Own Prince's Heart
“Engagement chicken” is a simple roast chicken flavored with lemon juice and garnished with fresh herbs.
Glamour magazine's former fashion editor, Kim Bonnell, developed the recipe back in 1982. Since then, it has taken on near mythical status.
"It is really easy to make, so that people who have a fear of the kitchen and a fear of cooking can undertake this and be really successful at it," she told Inside Edition. "The women who got engaged could very carefully trace events to the chicken. The chicken was a turning point. There is no question."
During their first interview as an engaged couple, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told the BBC they were roasting a chicken the night he popped the question, leading many to believe they were having the special “engagement chicken.”
Kathy Suder, who also worked at the magazine, later became the first woman to credit the recipe for her own proposal.
“There is something about the chicken," she told Inside Edition. "I put it together for my boyfriend and it made him think that I was the kind of woman that would take care of him and that we would have a good life together and he proposed to me that night."
Suder says she likes to serve the chicken as two half chickens — one for you, and one for your loved one.
She showed Inside Edition how she makes the recipe and said what gets people excited by the chicken is how stress-free it is to make.
“Life is so complicated and love is something that everybody wants in their life and this chicken is simple and easy,” she said. “When people are thinking about love, it can be frightening, knowing that something can be delicious and simple. It is kind of a metaphor for what you want in your future.”
Suder and Bonnell both advised that you have to be careful who you make the special dish for.
Here is Glamour magazine's "Engagement Chicken" recipe:
Serves 2 to 4
1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons—including 1 sliced for garnish
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, and 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley)
1. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash the chicken inside and out with cold water, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fitted with a rack and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out.
3. Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three different places with a fork and place them deep inside the cavity. Chicken cavity size may vary, so if one lemon is partly sticking out, that's fine. (Tip: If the lemons are stiff, roll them on the counter top with your palm before pricking to get the juices flowing.)
4. Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn the chicken breast- side up. Insert a meat thermometer in the thigh, and return the chicken to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180°F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork. Continue roasting if necessary. Keep in mind that cooking times in different ovens vary; roasting a chicken at 350°F takes approximately 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.
6. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. And here's the secret: Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken— this is the "marry me juice." Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.