Call it a myth, but the Barefoot Contessa prefers to believe her famous roast chicken really does have a secret power. And with two celebrity — and royal! — power couples on the list, it seems Ina Garten’s “engagement chicken” recipe might just be the thing to nudge young couples down the aisle.
Emily Blunt is just the latest person who heard wedding bells after making Garten’s roast chicken. As the story goes, Blunt says she made the simple chicken recipe and her-now husband John Krasinski proposed shortly after. And she fully believes in its special powers.
“I just made something that I knew he would love. That’s it — all it took!” she said on the River Cafe Table 4 podcast. “The roast chicken I love is Ina Garten’s roast chicken, it’s called her ‘engagement chicken.’ When people make it for people, they get engaged. Oh my God, it’s divine. It’s really sticky and yummy.”
Garten first referenced the magic of the recipe in 2018 after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement. Markle said the prince proposed during a quiet night in where she made them roast chicken, and Garten told the Today show later that year that she’d heard Markle was a fan of her recipe.
“Without me, it never would have happened,” she joked.
It’s gotten so popular that Garten made it even more fun and renamed the recipe “Engagement Chicken” on the Food Network site. Follow her instructions to try the magic for yourself.
How to Make Ina Garten’s ‘Engagement Chicken’:
1. First preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Get your whole chicken ready by removing the giblets and patting the at the outside dry. Salt and pepper the inside of the bird to your liking. Cut two lemons in quarters and place two of the quarters in the chicken along with the one head of garlic, cut in half crosswise. Set aside the rest of the lemons.
3. Next, brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Once it’s ready, grab your bird and place it in a small (11-by-14-inch) roasting pan. According to Garten, it’s important for your pan to be smaller or the onions will burn.
4. Grab the lemons you set aside and combine with two sliced onions in a large bowl. Toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Pour the mixture around the chicken in the pan.
5. Pop in the oven and roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready to come out when the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Once that happens, take out and place just the chicken on a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest outside of the oven for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce. Make sure to leave the lemons and onions in the baking pan.
6. Grab the pan with the onions and lemons and place on top of the stove, turning the heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that stuck to the bottom. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Stirr constantly for a minute, until you see the sauce thicken. If any juices have collected under the chicken as it rested, pour those into your sauce.
7. The final step is the good part! Carve the chicken onto a platter and serve with the lemons, onions, and warm sauce. Enjoy — and look out for a ring if you’ve been waiting for one!