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Engagement chicken: The dish women make to cast a ‘spell’ when they hope to marry

engagement-chicken:-the-dish-women-make-to-cast-a-‘spell’-when-they-hope-to-marry
Engagement chicken: The dish women make to cast a ‘spell’ when they hope to marry

Eager for a marriage proposal? Try cooking this “engagement chicken” recipe — and let the legendary dish do its “magic.”

Have you heard of “engagement chicken”? 

Or better yet: Have you tried it before?

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It gets its name because it’s allegedly tasty enough to inspire a man to pop the question.

istock chicken

Consider serving the iconic “engagement chicken” and let the recipe work its “magic.”  (iStock)

“The backstory of engagement chicken is an enchanting blend of culinary charm and romantic lore. Originating from Glamour magazine, legend has it that a staffer was given a simple lemon chicken recipe by her editor,” explained Sarah Bridenstine, professional baker and chef behind BakingKneads.com in Michigan, of the recipe first published by the magazine in the early 2000s (though it dates back to the 1980s). 

“After making it for her boyfriend, he proposed soon after, leading to the moniker, ‘engagement chicken,’” she said. 

“Word spread, and as other women reported similar stories, the recipe gained mythical status.”

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The beloved meal has since evolved. 

“Over time, as with any iconic dish, chefs and home cooks alike began putting their spin on it. Though the core ingredients remained largely consistent, creative variations emerged, reflecting the evolving tastes and personal stories of those who embraced it,” said Bridenstine. 

engagement ring for engagement chicken

Legend has it that an editor at a magazine made her boyfriend a lemon chicken recipe — and he proposed to her soon after. (iStock)

“From incorporating new herbs to tweaking the roasting methods, the engagement chicken has been continually reimagined, retaining its romantic essence while reflecting the culinary diversity of the times.” 

Echoing Bridenstine, chef Nathaniel Lee of MealPrepify.com similarly shared that riffs on this recipe exist but “typically consist of a whole roasted chicken seasoned with a combination of herbs and spices.”

Ina Garten, a.k.a. the “Barefoot Contessa” of the Food Network, has a particularly famed rendition of engagement chicken made with lemons, garlic, onions, dry white wine, olive oil and more. 

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Feel free to experiment with various engagement chicken recipes until you find a favorite. That’s because, as Bridenstine notes, it’s essential to remember that the best cooking comes from the heart. 

“Not every dish might lead to an engagement, but it sure will lead to a heart filled with warmth and memories,” she said. 

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“What works for one person may not work for another,” Bridenstine added. “I think that’s the beauty of recipes; they’re as unique as the individuals making them. So, whether you’re popping the big question or just popping a dish into the oven for a quiet evening, this chicken will surely make it memorable.” 

Get Bridenstine’s and Lee’s spins on engagement chicken below. 

engagement chicken fox news digital

While the ingredients remain the same, there are many different recipes for “engagement chicken.” Some people even add a gravy. (Fox News Digital)

Golden Moments Chicken (formerly known as engagement chicken) by Sarah Bridenstine of BakingKneads.com

Serves: 4 

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 90 minutes 

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Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (approx. 4-5 pounds)

3 whole lemons

Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)

engagement chicken with lemons and herbs

Roast a whole chicken with lemons and herbs to create the perfect chicken. (iStock)

Instructions: 

1. Preheat your oven to 450 °F. 

2. Once the oven is hot, place the chicken breast-side down in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes at this temperature. This helps with crisping the skin.

3. After 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 375 °F  and continue to roast the chicken for approximately 60–70 minutes. This ensures even cooking without drying out the meat.

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4. You’ll want to ensure the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should reach at least 165 °F when measured at the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone.

5. If the chicken isn’t at 165 °F yet, continue roasting, checking every 10 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.

6. Once done, let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving. This helps the juices redistribute, ensuring a moist chicken.

engagement chicken ingredients

Feel free to add more herbs and lemons or less if that is to your liking — recipes can be adjusted based on your personal preference. (iStock)

Engagement Chicken by Chef Nathaniel Lee of MealPrepify.com in California

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (approximately 3-4 pounds)

2 lemons

Fresh rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

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Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 °F.

2. Rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat it dry with paper towels.

3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.

4. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and insert the garlic cloves inside the cavity.

5. Cut one lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Place the lemon halves inside the cavity as well.

engagement chicken split

Will this chicken recipe lead someone to propose? All you need is a few ingredients and even if the magic is all a myth, you can still enjoy a delicious dish with your partner. (iStock)

6. Take the other lemon and pierce it several times with a fork. Place it alongside the chicken in the roasting pan.

7. Scatter a few sprigs of fresh rosemary around the chicken and drizzle some oil over it for added flavor.

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8. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F at the thickest part of the thigh.

9. Once cooked, let the chicken rest for 10–15 minutes before carving and serving.

Enjoy!

Note: The recipe can be adjusted according to personal preference; additional herbs or spices can be incorporated to enhance the flavors further.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Perri Ormont Blumberg is a contributing lifestyle reporter for Fox News Digital.

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