As the story goes, in 1982, an editor in Glamour’s fashion department gave her assistant a recipe for the most buttery, lemony chicken she’d ever tasted. The assistant then cooked said chicken for her then-boyfriend, who, a month later, proposed. Whether the proposal was thanks to the dish or just because their relationship was heading that way is unclear, but what is clear is that the assistant passed the recipe along to three more Glamour staffers who, upon baking it for their respective partners, also got engaged. The recipe was published in the January 2004 issue of Glamour, and Engagement Chicken was born.
In the years since, the recipe has been credited with dozens of marriage proposals, including some speculation that a roast chicken might have led to the engagement of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
The truth is, you can cook this chicken for or with whomever you want. The things women want change, and whether you cook it with someone you love or eat it by yourself while watching Netflix, this delicious recipe is as versatile as you are. Do with it what you will.
Serves 2 to 4
1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons—including 1 sliced for garnish1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepperFresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, and 1 bunch fl at-leaf parsley)
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.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fi tted 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.
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 countertop with your palm before pricking to get the juices flowing.)
Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
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.
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. Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.