Engagement Chicken

Posted on April 23, 2011


Two months shy of five years ago, in June 2006, Glamour Magazine released an article about a funny little meal called “Engagement Chicken.” The article claimed that when a former fashion editor’s assistant got hold of the recipe and prepared it for her boyfriend, she became engaged a mere month later. Now, I, myself, would have thought that this was all a hoax if it wasn’t for the 66 women who came forward to testify that making this chicken really did magically turn their boyfriends into fiancees. Now, I’m just beginning to doubt the sanity of womankind.

Apparently I’m alone in this feat. The NY Post printed an article about the recipe on its front page, MSNBC ran a whole video on how to prepare the chicken (featuring Howard Stern’s wife, who claims that the chicken is behind their marriage), and now Glamour has re-run the original article this month in honor of their new cookbook, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know, which is centralized around the idea of the engagement chicken. Seems like a lot of hooplah over one little bird.

A Steamy Bird with a Hot Following
(c) Glamour Magazine 2008

I had to say, the meal does look pretty tasty. It’s a full chicken garnished with fresh herbs and perfected with a lemon attractively shoved up its rear end. Okay, maybe I’m not giving it enough justice- it really does look good, and I have to say, I’m a little tempted to cook it just to eat it for myself and see what all the fuss is about. Yet somehow, this seems dangerous given the supernatural following this dish has attracted. If I make the dish for myself, will I suddenly want to abandon the idea of marriage overall in favor of life in the company of myself? A better question- if there’s an engagement chicken, then where is the divorce turkey, the make-up duck, and the first-baby quail?

Overall, I have to give Kim Bonnell, that Glamour fashion editor who coined the term “Engagement Chicken”, a hand- by giving one meal and eye-catching name, she’s created quite a following. But the bottom line is, you don’t have to make an engagement chicken to make your man want to marry you… you can really just make him any meal that takes an extraordinary amount of time to make and turns out to be really, really tasty (just kidding). If you’re not the cooking type, can’t you just show your boyfriend that you care? Isn’t that really what this is all about?

The Engagement Chicken is a pretty cool-ish idea. Despite all of the hard time I give it, I’ll probably still try to make it some day in the hopes that the man of my dreams will swoop in and marry me (if I’m not already killed in the process of trying to carve the darn thing). You know what’s cool-er? Making your own recipe to try to get your lucky guy to see your true intentions. Think about it- you don’t have to go buy a silly book or try to hide a magazine tear-out when your boyfriend pops by unexpectedly. Instead, when he’s patting his full belly contentedly and happens to ask what the recipe is called, you can give him a wink and say, “Oh this? Its an original.”

-Helen Hopeful

Posted in: Food