Last week one of my friends at work came in to talk to me and told me she had been listening to the radio that morning and thought about me. One of the radio women was talking about an engagement chicken. My friend told me the woman on the radio did something with an engagement chicken and a couple months later she got engaged. Neither of us was sure exactly what an engagement chicken was. Here I was picturing a chicken being let loose to run free around the house, feathers flying everywhere and our leather couches and hardwood floors being complet ely scratched up. I couldn’t imagine Mike putting a ring on it after that! So out of curiosity I did some research. Engagement chicken does not involve a live chicken. It’s a recipe for a roasted chicken stuffed with lemons and flavored with herbs; a real home cooked meal that’s supposed to make a man think of the little woman in the kitchen, triggering his mind to conjure thoughts of marriage and ultimately pay a visit to the jewelry store to buy his woman some commitment bling.
I must admit that after reading the recipe off of Epicurious, I thought it sounded really tasty. Lemon and herbs go perfectly with poultry. So I bought a roaster chicken from the supermarket and thought last night would be the perfect night to make this recipe; not with intentions of Mike kneeling down before me after our dinner, but because it sounded pretty damn delicious. Mondays are Mike’s late night so I knew I would have some extra time to make it. I got home from work and started prepping my chicken.
Before I pulled our dinner out of the oven, I admitted to Mike that I would probably never make this ever again. It was my first time preparing a roaster chicken and I knew the first step was cleaning it out. I must also admit that there was no way I was going in barehanded. I put on rubber gloves and stuck my hand up the cavity, all the while making funny faces and feeling like I was violating the poor carcass. I washed the chicken clean and set it in my new anchor bowl to dry. I figured a two minute wine break was deserved so I poured myself a glass of verde. I patted my former feathered friend dry and began on the fun part—seasoning! I juiced three lemons and poured the juice over and inside the chicken. Then I pricked two lemons and stuffed them inside the chicken (again feeling like I was violating the poor thing). I seasoned the chicken inside-out with salt and pepper. Then I chopped up some fresh sage, thyme and rosemary and sprinkled it all over. 15 minutes on one side at 350º and 1 hour to 1 hour and a half on the other side.
Mike was running late, which I was ever so thankful for as dinner was also running late. Mike came home and I told him he had some time before dinner so he worked out in the garage. I checked the chicken at an hour and 15 minutes and it looked ready–juices running clear, white meat–so I told Mike dinner was ready. I let the chicken sit and then Mike started carving it. It wasn’t cooked fully through. The juices and the meat lied to me. Instead Mike carved slices and we ended up nuking them. It was rounding 8:00 and we were hungry. The chicken tasted really juicy. It was good, but I was disappointed the recipe didn’t go as planned. No, not with an engagement happening; a fully cooked chicken presented in housewife fashion to a man waiting at the dinner table ready to carve his bird. We both agreed this is definit ely not a weekday meal, but I wanted to try something different. It’s a good recipe and if I’m brave enough I might just try it again. After all, I’ve gotten well-acquainted with one chicken. What’s another one?
On a side note, let it be known that this is not the first roasted chicken I’ve screwed up. However this is my first chicken I have ever had to clean. Definitely a new experience for me. One that I am determined to master.