If I Make You Engagement Chicken, Will You Marry Me?

Ina Garten is taking credit for Emily Blunt and Meghan Markle’s marriages, saying her magical chicken can put a spell on high-profile men

A 1950s housewife stands at the dishwasher in the kitchen.
George Marks/Getty Images

Word on the street — or, rather, word in Ina Garten’s delusional, 1950s kitchen — is that the Food Network star’s witchy “engagement chicken” recipe can place spells on very hot, very rich men, persuading them to collapse down on one knee and cough up the coveted rock that twenty- and thirty-something women are apparently so ravenous for.

This week, the resident shit-stirrers at The New York Post reported that both actor Emily Blunt and literal royal Duchess Meghan Markle “credit Ina Garten’s ‘engagement chicken’ for husbands.” The story is also accompanied by a grainy photo of roast chicken and veggies with Blunt’s and Markle’s faces photoshopped on top, as their Adobe-severed heads swoon over Garten’s love potion.

Of the recipe, Garten claims, “We call it engagement chicken because whenever you make it, somebody asks you to marry them.” But of course! Why didn’t I think of this when I was practically despondent, mascara streaming down my face, crying over not having locked down a husband, like, yesterday?

Apparently, Blunt said she made the dish when she first started dating now-husband John Krasinski back in 2008. After a year of “courting,” the pair got engaged. In an interview with iHeartMedia’s River Cafe Table 4 podcast, Blunt said, “I just made something that I knew he would love. That’s it — all it took!” 

So it wasn’t the whole “I’m a stunning, intelligent, high-profile, award-winning and highly paid actor with an adorable British accent” thing. It was the chicken.

As for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Garten says the royal provocateurs got engaged “shortly after they had a romantic dinner made up of the roast chicken.”

Sorry to the queen of fowl, but she’s absolutely run afoul here: “perfecting your chicken game” is not a “gateway to love and marriage.” Roasting a basic chicken does not help “seal the deal.” In fact, women don’t need to roast anything to help “get the rock from their men.” And while cooking is obviously a marketable skill in the world of dating apps and peacockery, a nicely roasted piece of poultry does not an automatic wifey make. (Though, in general, everyone — regardless of gender or marital status — should probably know how to make a family-style dish or two.)

Both Blunt and Markle, sophisticated and highly accomplished women (and all women, for that matter), can stand alone without the extra pizzazz of being able to cook. And in a year of massive strides for gender equality, I’m not sure why recognizable figures and media outlets alike are regurgitating the ol’ “way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” nonsense, especially in the case of two extraordinary women who work most waking hours. I work just eight hours a day, and I don’t even have time for this tomfoolery (but perhaps that is why I’m not engaged, per Ina).

Promoting this sort of primitive messaging is toxic, and helps enable the pigeonholing of those women who spend more time closing deals than baking or babying their partners as inherently less suitable for marriage and, in turn, less valuable in society at large, as if modern-day spinsters are really just career women or those who choose not to give birth. 

Sorry, but if you really need a good cockerel to seal the deal, I might say your relationship is not quite what you thought it was, my good bitch!

But, for sure, Ina. Must’ve been the chicken.


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