Thursday, April 14

Engagement Chicken and Fanatical Issues

1) Apparently my mom watches the Today Show.  Which is news to me.

2)  While watching the Today Show, my mom saw a segment about "Engagement Chicken."  I came home from work one day to find an email in my inbox from my mother.  She told me that she saw this story about a woman who cooked "Engagement Chicken" for her boyfriend and he proposed.  And then through word of mouth and the recipe being published in Glamour magazine, a grand total of 72 women got engaged after cooking "Engagement Chicken" for their boyfriends.  I suppose she was telling me this because she wants me to make "Engagement Chicken" so M will propose.  She denies this.  She claims she just thought it was funny.  Lies.

For starters, even though the recipe is supposedly easy, I'm sure I would screw it up.  Therefore M wouldn't want to marry me because what guy wants to marry a woman who can't make "Engagement Chicken?"  Secondly, I'm in no hurry to get engaged.  

Mom called me on Saturday to make plans for Sunday night dinner to discuss Easter (we like to plan,  I guess?)  While I was chatting with her on the phone, she mentioned she bought the cookbook that had the "Engagement Chicken" recipe among others like "Get him to clean the apartment burgers" and "Let's make a baby pasta."  She thought it was quite witty.  And then she said she bought two copies.

"Guess who the other one is for?" she chided.  

Guess.  I betcha can't.

But it's all good, because I have this new (not quite so unhealthy) obsession with reading recipes.  For Christmas I got a subscription to Southern Living from my brother and I decided to buy Real Simple (because OMG it's the best magazine.  Ever.)  This has fueled the fire.  This month I also bought the Food Network Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens.  Now, you're probably thinking, "Great!  She's gonna make some really great food!"  I hope you're right, but I have this feeling it'll be like every other time I rip out recipes and then don't ever get around to making any of the recipes.  

I have a recipe binder thing, so I'm hoping that I'll get myself organized, actually punch holes in the recipes I've torn out of the magazine (folks, there's like 75, at least) and sort them in my recipe keeper.  As if I didn't have enough cookbooks already.  I guess we'll see how it goes.

But I'll leave you with the recipe for "Engagement Chicken" in case you are dying to get your boyfriend (or girlfriend) to take the plunge and propose.  Or just in case you wanna know what all the hype is about with this chicken!

1 whole chicken (approximately 4 pounds)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons-including 1 sliced for garnish
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Fresh herbs for garnish (4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs, 8 thyme sprigs, and 1 bunch flat leaf parsley)

1) Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash the chicken inside and out with cold water, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for two minutes.
2) Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fitted with a rack and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out.  Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out.
3) Prick 2 whole lemons three times each in three difference places with a fork and place them deep inside the cavity.  Chicken cavity size may vary, so if one lemon is partly sticking out, that's fine.  (Tip: If the lemons are stiff, roll them on the countertop with your palm before pricking to get the juices flowing.)
4) Put the chicken in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
5) Remove the roasting pan from the oven.  Using tongs or two wooden spoons, turn the chicken breast-side up.  Insert a meat thermometer in the thigh, and return the chick to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork.  Continue roasting if necessary.  Keep in mind that cooking times in different ovens vary; roasting a chicken at 350 degrees takes approximately 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.
6) Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.  And here's the secret: Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken--this is the "marry me juice."  Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

I think this is just pretty funny in general.  But I don't really get how they judge whether the "Engagement Chicken" resulted in the engagement.  Time is a very important factor here.  Several of the success stories in the cookbook indicate that the couple got engaged that very night, which seems that he was planning it all along, because clearly the ring was already there.  But what about the cases where they got engaged a month and a half later.  I really don't think it was because of the chicken, folks.  The most promising evidence would be a resulting engagement the following day or next weekend.  Obviously.


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