Find Domestic Bliss and a Happy Kitchen with 'Engagement Chicken'

Is a roasted chicken the key a man's heart?

I’m assuming most of our female readers have heard of this phenomenon -- make your boyfriend a roast chicken and he’ll propose. The myth started some 30 years ago with an editor at Glamour magazine and still lives on today.

Engagement chicken is one of those dishes I think every person should know how to make, whether you’re looking for a diamond or not. To me, it’s the quintessential sign of domestic bliss and a happy kitchen. With its crisp, salty skin and moist, juicy meat, a roast chicken charms everyone from a fanatic foodie to a picky eater. And it’s easier to make than you might think.

This week’s column is dedicated to my new soon-to-be sister-in-law. My brother recently proposed to his girlfriend (no chicken required) and I wanted to give her a simple-yet-elegant recipe to make once she’s a newlywed. Engagement chicken doesn’t just have to be about catching the man, it can be about keeping the man’s stomach happy, too.

Serve with Southern Mac and Cheese and Roasted Asparagus for the perfect homestyle meal. 


1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
3 whole lemons, quartered
1 whole head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 rosemary sprigs
8 thyme sprigs
1 bunch parsley
Olive oil 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove and discard the chicken giblets. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold water and pat the outside dry with paper towels. Liberally season cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with lemon quarters, garlic, and fresh herbs.

Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and season with generous amount of salt and pepper.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken in a roasting pan cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh.

Remove the chicken to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. After it's sliced, pour the juices from the pan over the chicken and serve.


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