The Berger Bungalow: Engagement Chicken

Engagement Chicken
Posted on:8.24.2015

This past weekend I read a post on Couture Gal about "Engagement Chicken." Apparently when women make this dish for their boyfriends, they soon become engaged. Now, I am already married, so I didn't need the commitment part of this dish, but it looked amazing from Sarah's post, and it definitely did not disappoint when I made it. Warning: My pictures are not nearly as good as the ones on her post (you can find it here), but I try. I definitely slack in the picture taking skills area. ;) Without further ado:

Engagement Chicken
Serves 2 to 4
  • 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 fl at-leaf parsley)
1. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°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 2 minutes.

2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side down in a medium roasting pan fi tted 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 different 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°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 chicken to the oven and roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 180°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°F 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.

A few things I added/changed to the recipe:
1. I used the leftover lemons and put them in a pitched to make lemon cucumber water instead of just throwing them away.

2. On top of the lemon, salt and pepper that I put on the uncooked chicken, I also put a bit of thyme and rosemary on top of the chicken, and I put some springs inside for added flavor.

3. This isn't a change from the recipe, but we used our leftover chicken for lunches the next day, and we also had extra to shred. I will definitely be making chicken sandwiches over the next few days!! :) 



  1. This looks like a really delicious recipe!! I am always looking for ways to make new simple recipes with chicken.

    1. It really is a great recipe for dinner, or even just to make shredded chicken with. Definitely try it out!