Herbed Lemon Chicken (aka Engagement Chicken)

Calling all you not-so-single ladies out there! Here’s a recipe that you may want to try..

Okay, this recipe is really called Herbed Lemon Chicken, but apparently, it was since then called Engagement Chicken (according to Glamour magazine, July 2006 issue) because of the story behind it. According to the old wives’ tale, this recipe came from a fashion editor of Glamour magazine and she gave it to her assistant, who then made this for her boyfriend. Then a few weeks later, the boyfriend proposed to her. The assistant then passed on this recipe to other people, and the same thing happened – after a few weeks, they got engaged to their boyfriends. Thus, what was previously known as Herbed Lemon Chicken is now called THE Engagement Chicken.

So, why did I make this?? Well I can give you a variety of reasons… No. 1: I’ve never roasted a whole chicken before.. No. 2: My new, still-in-its-box roasting pan has been sitting in my cabinet for months now, and I need an excuse to use it or else I won’t hear the end of the lecture about “buying stuff that you won’t use” yada yada yada.. No. 3: Since I want to attempt to make roast turkey for this year’s thanksgiving dinner, I need to start with something small and quite inexpensive (like chicken) so that if I mess up, then I won’t feel as guilty… No. 4: I wanted to test my cooking skills.. No. 5: OF COURSE I’m curious! Is this engagement chicken for real?? Or is this just a publicity stint? Well… I got my answer… and my answer is this:  This recipe is so good and easy to follow, the chicken is so juicy and very tasty, the burst of flavor is so wonderful that if you serve this to your special someone, he/she will feel very appreciated, loved and cared for. Those are some of the important things that will make your special someone realize how lucky he/she is to have you.

Enjoy cooking!

Herbed Lemon Chicken (aka Engagement Chicken)

adapted from Glamour.com

  • 1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons—including 1 sliced for garnish
  • 1 tbsp kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, and 1 bunch fl at-leaf parsley)

1. 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.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fitted 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.

3. 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.)

4. Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

5. 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.

6. 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— this is the “marry me juice.” Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.


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