If you can’t seem to scroll through social media without seeing proposal pictures and engagement announcements, you’re not alone.
For couples who are talking about marriage, there’s a pretty good chance your significant other might pop the question someone soon. According to Wedding Wire, forty percent of marriage proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.
And if you’d like to speed up the proposal process, the might be a recipe that can help you. The secret weapon? Ina Garten’s Engagement Roast Chicken.
Why is it Called Engagement Roast Chicken?
Legend has it that in the 1980s, a fashion editor at a magazine shared Ina Garten’s lemon and garlic roast chicken recipe with her assistant. The assistant made the dish for her boyfriend, and he proposed a few weeks later. The newly engaged assistant shared it with three more of her colleagues, who also got proposed not long after making the roast chicken dish.
Related: Ina Garten’s Best Chicken Recipes
Meghan Markle and Engagement Roast Chicken
The myth of this chicken recipe made headlines again in 2018 when it became the centre of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement story. Prince Harry told the BBC how the proposal happened during “just a standard typical night for us.” According to Markle, the two were roasting chicken when he got down on one knee and popped the question.
And since the Duke and Duchess are known to raise their own chickens (who could ever forget the shot of their chicken coop named “Archie’s Chik Inn” during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey?) we think it’s a sentimental part of the story for the couple, as well.
Meghan and Harry aren’t the only A-listers to find their happily ever after making the famous engagement roast chicken. As reported by CNN, Emily Blunt also spoke up about Ina Garten’s iconic roast chicken in a 2021 in an iHeartMedia podcast interview, saying that it’s the recipe that helped her win John Krasinski’s heart. “Oh my God, it’s divine,” said Blunt. “It’s really sticky and yummy.”
My Tips for Making Ina Garten’s Famous Engagement Roast Chicken
1) Add Lots of Herbs
I recommend adding thyme and rosemary to the dish, which will add extra flavour to the recipe.
2) Use a Meat Thermometer
Yes, I’ve been living without a meat thermometer for this long! Purchasing a digital meat thermometer gave me the confidence that the chicken was cooked perfectly.
3) Chicken Broth is Just Fine
I know homemade chicken stock tastes much better, but premade chicken broth worked well for me. Sorry, Ina!
4) The Sauce is the Best Part
The wine, garlic, butter, and natural juice of the chicken makes for a mouthwatering sauce that is by far the highlight of the dish.
5) Make This Recipe For Your Third Date
Cooking roast chicken for a third date is a great way to impress any potential partner. I find that seeing how a person acts in the kitchen is actually a great insight into how they are as a partner, and what they bring (or don’t bring) for a side dish or a dessert tells a lot about an individual’s personality. The best part of all? You don’t need to watch the chicken so closely, giving you some extra quality time together.
I Made The Barefoot Contessa’s Engagement Chicken
As someone with both a crush on Prince Harry and John Krasinski, I couldn’t help but wonder: Could Ina Garten’s engagement chicken recipe work for me, too?
Believe it or not, I was able to make the famous engagement chicken without messing it up. And I have to admit, I was really proud of myself (and no tears!).
While the chance of me getting engaged anytime soon is as likely as becoming a NASA astronaut, roasting a whole chicken is actually a lot of fun. The aromatics of the garlic, onions, and extra sprigs of rosemary makes your home smell like a dream.
Unless you really don’t know your oven settings, I don’t see how this is a meal you can mess up, even if you’re really nervous. I also love how the recipe is easy to memorize, and the ingredients are all staples you likely already have in your kitchen.
Whether you’re looking for a love like Ina and Jeffery, who have been married for fifty-two years, or you just want to impress your date who may look a Prince Harry in your eyes, engagement chicken is must-try dish for every beginner chef and hostess.
Watch the video
For more inspiring recipes, watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.
Images Courtesy of Getty Images and Angela Serednicki.