It all began 26 years ago, when then-Glamour fashion editor Kim Bonnell gave the recipe to her assistant, Kathy Suder, who made the chicken for her boyfriend, who, a month later, asked her to marry him. “It’s a meal your wife would make. It got me thinking,” says Jon Suder, who now has three children with Kathy. Details of the simple dish passed from assistant to assistant like a culinary chain letter. When Bonnell heard that her recipe had inspired three weddings, she dubbed it Engagement Chicken.
Supposedly, more than 70 confirmed marriages have been attributed to this chicken at Glamour alone and untold numbers elsewhere. Even Howard Stern, for heaven's sake, was roped into proposing after eating this chicken.
If you apply a scientific mindset to analyzing the power of this recipe, it's easy to see why preparing roast chicken and proposing are linked--correlation, not causation. If you're just in the courting phase with a guy, you're making him a steak. Tacos. Mac n' Cheese. Dude food. Or if he's a food snob (heaven help you), beef bourguignon. But when you're making something simple, that you probably want to eat yourself, that tastes good accompanied with healthy veggies, then something serious is going on.
Be forewarned, however, according to the comments on Glamour's website, the recipe isn't foolproof. One commentator wrote
i made the chicken in May....but it backfired. We broke up on the 20th and can't seem to get back to where we were. :( apparently my cooking is terrible, lol.
Stuffed Cornish Hen with Lemon: Disengaged Chicken
One Cornish hen
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Pat the Cornish hen dry, remove giblets. Salt and pepper outside and inside. Slice the lemon in quarters. Squeeze lemon juice all over the chicken, inside and out. Stuff with the cut-up lemon slices.
2. Place in oven breast-side down. Reduce temperature to 350F. Roast 15 minutes. Flip breast-side up. Cook approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until juices run clear or the meat thermometer reads 180F. (Cornish hens should be cooked approximately 1 hour, 1 hour 15 minutes if stuffed, as in this instance). Serve with fresh thyme sprigs, if desired.
|The lemon juices blackened at the bottom of the pan, but the Cornish hen was tasty!|