The term "winner, winner, chicken dinner" just took on a whole new meaning...

In case you missed the big news because you're still in a food coma from Thanksgiving, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday. Hurray!

Soon after shutterbugs snapped the tight-lipped, under-the-radar couple at Kensington Palace's Sunken Gardens, the betrothed appeared on TV BBC News for their first joint interview and dished on Harry's princess-making proposal. 

The two confessed to the watching world that the whole thing happened while cooking chicken at Harry's cottage in Kensington Palace.

"It was a cozy night," Meghan told the BBC. "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."

Sounds sweet (and tasty), right? Well since these fun facts went global, Internet users and even the Los Angeles Times  have been digging into a theory that Meghan cooked the infamous and mythic "engagement chicken" when the prince popped the question.

So what's everyone clucking about? Let's see...

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, roast chicken

Eddie Mulholland/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire/Getty Images

In case you aren't one of the romance-obsessed people that know the myth of the "engagement chicken," you may be asking yourself, "What's the 'engagement chicken'"? Well, that's a good question.

The "engagement chicken" is a meal so magical, so tasty, so delicious that when you cook it for a man you love, the gentleman (who may or may not be a member of the royal family) that you've set your sights on will "put a ring on it." So basically it's a bewitched, husband-getting fowl.

According to lore (okay fine, Wikipedia), the recipe was developed in the '80s by Glamour Magazine editor Kim Bonnell, following a trip to Italy.

Apparently Bonnell gave the recipe to co-worker Kathy Suder in 1982 to cook for her boyfriend and then (by golly) the couple got engaged soon after. It was obviously the chicken, right?

Then the ring-wrangling recipe made the rounds at Glamour's office and not one, not two, but three more ladies cooked the chicken and got engaged to their main men. 

But that's not all...

In 2003, after Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive heard that the lemon and herb-flavored chicken got men to marry you, so she dubbed the recipe "Engagement Chicken" and put the recipe in the mag's December 2003. And that's when the real magic happened. 

The magazine said that letters poured in from women who claim they cooked they dish and then were proposed to shortly after. The publication claims 70 couples have married after the women served their boyfriends the citrus-infused poultry. (We wonder if they have the numbers on how many hopeful romantics cooked the dish that didn't get proposed to?)

If this doesn't sound like the plot to aKate Hudson movie, we don't know what does.

While some may think the power of the poultry caused the big gesture, they may want to rethink that hypothesis for a few reasons.

One: Meghan and Harry were in the middle of cooking the chicken. How could the spellbinding marriage potion have worked on Harry pre-meal? Not possible! Two: The chicken dinner is supposed to get a guy to give you a ring shortly after not during the meal. It took two years for Howard Stern to propose to Beth Ostrosky after feasting on the flying beast. Three: According to this recipe, the woman is supposed to cook the dinner for the man. Sounds like Meghan and Harry were cooking together—in perfect partnership.

Instead it seems as the proposal was likely a result of a few things: the mutual and growing respect and admiration that Harry and Meghan have for each other, their shared ideals and world views and probably because the 30-something year-olds, who are no spring chickens (pun intended), aren't making big decisions impulsively. Additionally, the two had clearly been on the way to getting engaged soon into their relationship, so this step was a natural progression for two people with the world's eyes on them—oh and because they love each other. There's that too.

It doesn't seem super likely that Meghan needed a man-getting bird to get her man (she already got him). But if you need to believe in magic (or gender stereotypes), then yeah, it was the chicken.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share