While the internet may have been thrilled to wake up this morning to the news that Prince Harry is engaged to actress Meghan Markle, it actually struck a small and very specific fear in our hearts. After learning about the couple's proposal, which involved roast chicken, we immediately wondered if the story would cause a sudden resurgence of chatter about engagement chicken. And, we were right.
For those unfamiliar, engagement chicken is a roast chicken dish so tasty and impressive it will make your boyfriend propose to you. The engagement chicken recipe was first developed by Kim Bonnell, Glamour Magazine's fashion editor. Because it reinforces the stereotypes (amongst others) that all women are desperate to get married and should cook for their significant others to win their affection, we're not the biggest fans. Unsurprisingly, Twitter users have already begun to comment.
To understand the connection, you must familiarise yourself with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement story. In their first interview as an engaged couple, Markle told BBC News that Harry popped the question on a "cozy night." She said, "We were roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee."
Other than the obvious reasons, like being in love or Markle's personality, there are a few other clues that the chicken was not what made Prince Harry ask Markle for her hand.
First of all, Meghan Markle has said on a number of occasions that her favourite dish to make is roast chicken. In an interview for Good Housekeeping's June 2017 issue, the actress explained, "There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken...I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends." Since Markle clearly makes the dish frequently (and for friends), we're going to go ahead and assume that the choice of recipe wasn't related to the 2004 issue of Glamour. Plus, in their BBC interview the couple notes that they were making the chicken together.
Thanks to People, we also know that Prince Harry asked Megan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, for permission before asking Markle for her hand. This means that Prince Harry put at least some planning into the proposal and wasn't simply overwhelmed by how delicious the roast chicken was that he fell to one knee.
As long as we're all clear that it wasn't a chicken dinner that suddenly made her boyfriend of over a year propose, we don't see any harm in recreating the dish. In that same Good Housekeeping interview, the actress alluded to the fact that she has used Ina Garten's roast chicken recipe for guidance. She said, "If you have an Ina Garten-level roasted chicken, game changer." If we're not making it because we think it will help us land a husband, no harm no fowl.