Bear with us here: Once upon a time, legend has it, an assistant at Glamour received a roast-chicken recipe from her editor. She made it for her boyfriend, and pop! — he proposed. So she passed it along to another assistant, and pop! — another proposal. Glamour published the recipe in 2004 under the title “Engagement Chicken,” and when one of their readers made it for her boyfriend, pop! — yeah, you got it.
Now Grub Street has the recipe, courtesy of Glamour’s new cookbook, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life, out April 5. The magazine claims this chicken is currently responsible for over 60 marriages and counting, and Vera Wang is even giving free wedding dress makeovers to four bird brides who are getting married this September.
What’s so magical about it? The lemons? The abundance of juices? Well … we’re not sure. It looks like roast chicken to us. But hey, what do we know?
Recipe below, but first we should say: Gentlemen, if you’re available and like chicken, let us know in the comments.
1 whole chicken (approx. 3 lb.)
2 medium lemons
Fresh lemon juice (1/2 cup)
Kosher or sea salt
Ground black pepper
Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Wash chicken inside and out with cold water, remove the giblets, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander until it reaches room temp (about 15 minutes). Pat dry with paper towels. Pour lemon juice all over the chicken (inside and outside). Season with salt and pepper. Prick the whole lemons three times with a fork and place deep inside the cavity. (Tip: If lemons are hard, roll on countertop with your palm to get juices flowing.) Place the bird breast-side down on a rack in a roasting pan, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn it breast-side up (use wooden spoons!); return it to oven for 35 minutes more. Test for doneness—a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 180 degrees, or juices should run clear when chicken is pricked with a fork. Continue baking if necessary. Let chicken cool for a few minutes before carving. Serve with juices.