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Engagement Chicken

Here it is: The recipe that started it all.

And once you've made it, you'll know why. It serves up the kind of home-cooked goodness that no restaurant meal can top.

The chicken's crispy skin is drenched in herb-infused juices (don't forget to pour the pan drippings back over the chicken before serving or, alternately, to drizzle them over individual pieces on the plate), and the trick of turning the chicken 15 minutes into cooking keeps the meat uniquely moist.

Any simple sides that you would normally server will work with a main course like this; i.e., mashed potatoes, gravy, a side salad, and French bread.

Add either white wine (in which case a Riesling would be nice) or red (try pinot noir).  If you don't drink alcohol, try a sparkling cider.

When setting the table, don't forget to add candles and dim the lights.

Happy cooking and best wishes for an even happier future to you and the lucky person you've deemed worthy of this dish.


  • 1 whole chicken (approx. 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 Fahrenheit. 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 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 in three different places on each 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 Fahrenheit, 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 degrees Fahrenheit 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 Fahrenheit takes approximately 18-20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes for a stuffed chicken that is 4 pounds.
  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.

Glamour girl tip: Carving a bird takes a lot of practice, so don't expect it to be perfect on your first try. The most important thing is to have a sharp knife (preferably one made specifically for carving). Start by slicing the breasts, removing as much meat as possible, and then remove the legs and the wings (using kitchen shears work swell too). Don't worry if it looks messy; it will taste just as good.

Recipe compliments of epicurious with a few modifications by Victorian Rose Inc


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Reader Comments  (11)

This and That by Kathy
This and That by Kathy | November 8th 2011 at 1320765000

Drooling - going to try this one soon :) Thanks for sharing it!
Victorian Rose Inc
Victorian Rose Inc | November 8th 2011 at 1320782359

You are very welcome :-)
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | November 8th 2011 at 1320809804

Sounds yummy! Thanks for posting this recipe!!
Donna's Stuff & More
Donna's Stuff & More | November 9th 2011 at 1320865051

Now I'm really hungry!
Victorian Rose Inc
Victorian Rose Inc | November 9th 2011 at 1320871680

Thank you for your comments Enchanted and Donna. They are appreciated and yes, this recipe is very yummy :-)
bmjopenboxtx | November 9th 2011 at 1320880070

This is a Great recipe, I love Chicken and I will try to make it this weekend!
Thank you for sharing it!
Victorian Rose Inc
Victorian Rose Inc | November 9th 2011 at 1320882580 - in reply to bmjopenboxtx

You are very welcome bmjopenboxtx. Thank you for stopping by :-)
Ayuni Gifts of the World
Ayuni Gifts of the World | November 10th 2011 at 1320965475

Sounds yummy!
Victorian Rose Inc
Victorian Rose Inc | November 10th 2011 at 1320970055 - in reply to ayunigifts

It is :-)
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | November 10th 2011 at 1320984588

Mmmm.... Mmmmm.... good. Sounds good.
Victorian Rose Inc
Victorian Rose Inc | November 11th 2011 at 1321036908 - in reply to Indizona

Try it; you'll like it Indizona Variety :-)

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