Engagement Chicken

This chicken recipe is about as simple as they come, yet it’s taken on almost mythical, or at least urban legend-like, status. It was originally published in Glamour magazine and has been passed around from girlfriend to girlfriend, due to its alleged proposal-inducing effects on their beloveds. A few years ago, model Beth Ostrosky even made it for her stubborn bachelor beau – the so-called shock jock Howard Stern, who had sworn off ever marrying again after his divorce from his first wife. Yet as of about a year ago, they tied the knot and seem to be living happily ever after!

Coincidence? You be the judge. But entertaining background aside, I won’t tell you to give this a try in order to snare a mate, I say give my version a try because it’s easy and totally delicious.


1 3-4 lb chicken
3 medium lemons
5 whole cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

Preheat to 425 degrees. Wash chicken  cold water, removing neck and any giblets, then let the chicken drain. Squeeze as much juice as you possibly can out of the lemons (I prefer using a citrus reamer), reserve the squeezed-out halves. Pat chicken dry with towels, then pour lemon juice all over the chicken, inside and out. Season with salt and pepper. Cram garlic cloves and reserved lemon halves deep inside the cavity (as many halves as can fit, anyway).

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 over; return it to oven for 40 minutes more. Test for doneness with meat thermometer – continue roasting until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.

Let chicken rest for a few minutes before carving. Serve with broccoli, or whatever seasonal vegetables you desire! I threw the broccoli, tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, into the same oven once there was approximately 25 minutes left to go.

Don’t forget to save the carcass for stock!

— posted by Anne


  1. Angie says

    I’ve made this several times… and no proposals! But then again, maybe he knew I’d have said no anyway. lol Regardless, this is such a fantastic, easy, and tasty recipe that can be thrown together in a pinch. Love it!

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