‘Barefoot Contessa’: Ina Garten Claims This Roast Chicken Will Make Your Boyfriend Propose

They say the quickest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and while you’re probably not going to be able to trick a stranger into marrying you by offering them lunch, Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten swears that her roast chicken recipes will make your boyfriend propose.

Ina Garten smiles as she cooks chicken
Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ina Garten swears by her engagement roast chicken

While we have heard of some of her specialties like Garten’s meatloaf or her famous chocolate cake, a meal that makes someone get down on one knee sounds a little far-fetched. But Garten swears by it.

“I make roast chicken, and that is the simplest thing in the world to make,” she told NPR. “And I met some girls that worked at Glamour magazine, and they said, we call it engagement chicken because every time somebody in the office makes it for their boyfriend they’re engaged within 24 hours.”

How did engagement chicken get it’s name?

Garten’s roast chicken’s reputation got started at Glamour magazine. According to Brides.com, in the 1980s fashion editor, Kim Bonnell, gave the recipe to her assistant, Kathy Suder, who was trying to figure out what to make for dinner that night for her and her boyfriend.

Shortly after the meal, Suder’s boyfriend proposed, which made Suder and Bonnell wonder if the chicken had anything to do with it. Soon, other Glamour staff members were trying out the recipe and getting engaged.

“With an eerie predictability, women became engaged to the men for whom they prepared this chicken,” said Bonnell.

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’: Ina Garten Swears By These Store-Bought Items For Her Recipes

The recipe was then named “engagement chicken” and after Glamour published the recipe, over 70 women wrote into the magazine about their engagements after preparing the meal.

Have any celebrities made the chicken?

Ayesha Curry, who is famously married to basketball player Steph Curry, met her husband when she was just a teenager. When she was 19, she made him roast chicken.

“I was 19. I was a baby,” she told the outlet. “It was at my home. My parents were gone and surprisingly let me have him over, which was a big deal for me—to have a boy over. I did chicken with this seasoning that his dad used all the time at his house. Since this was my first time cooking for him, I was like, ‘Whoa, I better draw on a staple. If he likes his dad’s food, then I’ll use this on mine.’ It’s this stuff called ‘Southern seasoning’ and I still use it to this day. On the label, it says, ‘salt, garlic, pepper, charcoal, and other spices.’ They don’t give the secrets away. But I just basically smothered the chicken in butter and that seasoning and roasted it off.”

Ayesha didn’t make Garten’s exact roast chicken recipe, but Steph ended up proposing years later.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also revealed that she had been making roast chicken when Prince Harry proposed. So, maybe the chicken does have some kind of magic powers.

What is Ina Garten’s roast chicken recipe?

To make your boyfriend pop the question, you need one whole chicken, 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice and three whole lemons, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme, and one bunch of flat-leaf parsley.

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’: Ina Garten Shares the ‘Common Mistake’ People Make in Their Kitchens

Set the oven to 400°F, take the giblets out of the chicken, wash and drain it. After patting the chicken dry, put the breast-side down in a roasting pan and pour all the lemon juice over it. Season the bird with salt and pepper. Poke holes in two of the whole lemons and put them inside the chicken. Lower the oven temp to 350°F and roast for 15 minutes. Now, remove the chicken and turn it breast-side up. At this point, it’s best to put a meat thermometer in the thigh of the chicken. Continue roasting for about an hour and 15 minutes, or if you have a meat thermometer, roast until it reads 180°F.

Once it’s done, pour the juice from the roasting pan on top of the chicken and voila, you’ve got a proposal.