August 8, 2011

Legendary Engagement Roast Chicken

One afternoon, I met an old friend from my meet-up group at our local cafe. Over a cup of coffee, we got to catch up with what's going on in one another's lives and sharing cooking ideas and recipes. She was sharing some of her secrets about how to roast a perfect and moist chicken. A lady in the next table overheard our discussion and told us this amazing story about the legendary Engagement Chicken. It is a home-roasted chicken dish, which appear to cause boyfriends to propose marriage. The recipe was developed by Kim Bonnell, a fashion editor at Glamour Magazine. In 1982, Bonnell gave the recipe to her co-worker, Kathy Suder to prepare for her boyfriend and soon afterwards, the couple was engaged. The recipe made the rounds in the office and soon three other women in the office were offered marriage proposals soon after making the dish for their boyfriends (Excerpt from Wikipedia) 
Wow! This must be a magical and charming dish to present to your future suitor. First come chicken, then comes a marriage proposal--how cool is that! Well, our mother's was right---the way to a man's heart is really through his stomach. I am sure this is only true for some people.
1 fresh organic chicken, (5 lbs)
3 fresh lemons, cut into wedges
2 onions, sliced in into thick chunks
2-3 pre-cooked small red potatoes, quartered
1 whole garlic, cut into halves (skin intact)
some fresh rosemary and thyme
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. dry white wine
1 cup good quality chicken stock
Roasting pan
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat chicken dry chicken with paper towel (this will give a crisp skin when roasting). Rub the cavity with salt and pepper, and add four lemon wedges, fresh herbs, and garlic into the chicken cavity.
2. Tie the legs with strings and tuck in both the wings. Pour half of the olive oil over the chicken, rub all over with salt and sprinkle pepper on the surface.
3. In a separate bowl, add the leftover lemons, onions, potatoes. Toss well with the rest of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange this mixture around the roasting pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes. Test for doneness with thermometer (190°F) or when juice runs clear when cut between the leg and a thigh. Remove the cooked chicken onto a serving platter, cover with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
4. Return the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium heat. Pour in the wine and scrape with a spoon to remove any browning on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and flour, stirring to mix the flour with the liquid until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce into a gravy saucer and add any juices that collect under the chicken. Remove the herbs from the cavity and carve the chicken onto a platter and serve with the onions, and lemons on the side.
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