Engagement Chicken

A couple of months ago I was lamenting about not yet being engaged. At nearly 33 and having dated M for (the most amazing) 2 ½ years of my life, I was excited and anxious to get married! People had been asking me when it was happening and I had no ring and no answers. My friend and co-worker, Caroline, told me I needed an engagement chicken. WHAT? What the heck is an engagement chicken?? Weird pictures ran through my head of a goofy plastic chicken toting diamonds. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.

Well apparently there is this recipe going around for a roast chicken that’s been dubbed the “Engagement Chicken”. The story ran in Glamour magazine where this recipe was passed from woman to woman, all who seemed to get engaged soon after making this magical chicken for their significant other. The original recipe (found here) is a simple roast chicken with lemon and herbs. Seriously? This is what seals the deal? I thought back over the past couple of years. I must have made close to a dozen engagement chickens during the course of our relationship! Hmmm…

Now I’m not the superstitious type and I certainly didn’t fall for this engagement chicken ruse but I did think the whole thing was really funny! So, about a month ago, while I was hoping my engagement was just on the horizon, I decided to make my own version of the “engagement chicken” (pictures and all) for a future post to use after I actually got engaged. Well, what d’ya know, a couple weeks after the aforementioned chicken was served and consumed by my unaware boyfriend, we actually got engaged! It turns out he had been planning it for months. It was the day after my birthday and a total surprise. He proposed at one of our special spots in Del Mar and then surprised me with a birthday party including my closest friends! The whole evening was so amazing and incredibly beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for anything more or anyone better than my future husband to marry! And even though everyone says it, I really do feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Now, engagement chicken or no engagement chicken, we would still be getting married. That being said, a roast chicken IS a magnificent thing. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a roast chicken, and it is incredibly simple to make and incredibly good for you! Try making this for your other half. Even if it doesn’t get you an engagement right away, it will surely make him or her love you for making it!


  • 1 whole roasting chicken (about 5 lbs)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra salt & pepper for seasoning the inside of the chicken
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, sage, chives, etc.)
  • 2/3 cup white wine (something you would drink!) or water


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Zest the orange into a small bowl. Add the oregano, paprika, salt and pepper and stir together. Cut the orange into wedges.

Remove any chicken giblets from the inside of the chicken (these are great for making soup). Give the chicken a shower by rinsing with cold water inside and out and then pat dry. Cut off any excess fat at the openings of the chicken. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken on a flat surface, breast side up. Tuck each wing under the body of the chicken. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the fresh herbs and orange wedges.

Drizzle 1 tsp of the olive oil over the breast side of the chicken and rub over the chicken evenly. Sprinkle on ½ the seasoning mixture and pat onto the skin. Turn the chicken over and do the same on the other side. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan and fill with the wine (or water). Bake in the oven for approximately 1 ½ hours, or until thermometer inserted in thigh reaches 160 degrees. Baste the chicken every 20 minutes during cooking by spooning the juices from the pan over the whole chicken. Remove from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes.

Carve the chicken into 8 pieces. For a good tutorial on how to carve a roast chicken click here. Display on a pretty platter and serve!


White Meat (skin removed):

Serving Size: 5 oz

Calories: 116               Fat: 2.5g          Sat. Fat: .7g     Carbs: 0g

Sodium: 51.8mg          Fiber: 0g          Sugar: 0g         Protein: 21.7g


Dark Meat (skin removed):

Serving Size: 5 oz

Calories: 146               Fat: 7.6g          Sat. Fat: 2.1g   Carbs: 0g

Sodium: 61.6mg          Fiber: 0g          Sugar: 0g         Protein: 18.2g


My Beautiful Birthday Surprise!

(And yes, I am wearing a princess crown)

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Hi! I'm Barbara and yes, I cook! Welcome to my world of mouth-watering delicious food that you don't have to feel guilty about.
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