Once upon a time, at US GLAMOUR, there was a young magazine assistant who loved her boyfriend and imagined that some day in the not-too-distant future they would get married. So one evening, she made him a classic roast chicken supper based on the recipe her boss, a GLAMOUR editor, had given her. He loved it. He licked his fingers. He had seconds. And shortly thereafter, he proposed.
But that wasn’t all – three more staffers cooked the chicken, and all three got engaged. Naturally, the recipe was published, women everywhere started using it – and that, ladies, is the magical story of GLAMOUR’s engagement chicken, responsible for some 70-plus proposals so far. This chicken serves up home cooked goodness that no restaurant meal can top. Its crispy skin is drenched in lemon-infused juices, and the trick of turning it 15 minutes into cooking keeps the meat uniquely moist. Happy cooking – and an even happier future to you and the lucky person you’ve deemed worthy of this dish!
1 whole chicken (approximately 2kgs)
½ cup of fresh lemon juice
2 whole lemons
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 sliced lemon
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs sage
8 sprigs thyme
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 200C. Remove giblets from the chicken, wash it inside and out with cold water, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place it 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. With a fork, prick 2 whole lemons three times in three different places, and place them deep inside the chicken cavity. Cavity size may vary, so if one lemons is sticking out, that’s fine.
4. Put the chicken in the oven, lower the temperature to 180ËšC, and roast the chicken, 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 into the thigh, and return the chicken to the oven.
6. Roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meat thermometer reads 80ËšC and the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork. Continue roasting if necessary. (Keep in mind that cooking times may vary in different ovens; roasting a chicken at 180ËšC takes approximately 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram, plus an additional 15 minutes.)
7. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.
8. 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 the lemon slices and fresh herbs.
9. Start getting that ring finger ready – just don’t let him catch on!
Serves 2 to 4