LOS ANGELES, USA – It's been a week. Yet, last week's Monday morning surprise is still hanging in our heads: Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle ! And how!
Decidedly, we glossed over the ring and we headed straight to the more interesting (and downright relatable) feature of the story – the roast chicken. That the proposal happened while the two were roasting chicken in the kitchen of the Nottingham Cottage inside Kensington Palace is a most refreshing substory in the royal romance.
Yes, the poultry story narrative was hailed all over, with the kitchen royal herself, Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, extolling the "magic powers" of roast chicken in Prince Harry and Meghan's love story. Of course this pronouncement was big due to reports that Meghan's roast chicken recipe was from the chef, whom she's reportedly a huge fan of.
"There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken," Meghan, who's known to bring roast chickens to potlucks, was quoted by news outlets as saying early this year.
Well, we love a good perfectly roasted chicken for supper ourselves, so we recreated the dish using Garten's recipe and gave it a new name:
The Nottingham Cottage Perfect Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken (about 6 pounds)
1 bunch of thyme
1 head garlic
1 large yellow onion
1 bulb of fennel
salt & pepper
1. We assumed Megan sauntered cooly down Kensington High Street, just down the road from Kensington Palace to Whole Foods to get the ingredients for the engagement night's supper.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the lemon in half, the carrots into 1-inch chunks, the onions into wedges, the fennel (white part only) into thin wedges, the garlic bulb into half (unpeeled).
3. Melt butter and mix with salt and pepper (to taste). Set aside.
4. Toss the vegetables in a roasting pan with olive oil, salt and pepper and about 20 sprigs of thyme.
5. Bring chicken to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and then rinse thoroughly inside and out. Pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Season the inside of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
6. Put the garlic, lemon, and the remaining sprigs of thyme in the cavity.
7. Brush chicken with the seasoned butter.
8. Using kitchen twine, tie legs together and tuck wingtips under the body. Set chicken on top of the vegetables.
9. Stick pan into the preheated oven for about 1.5 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. (I set the cooking time at 90 minutes, but I check the chicken at 60 minutes). Tip: Tent chicken loosely with foil to avoid browning too quickly.
10. Voila it sparkles, hopefully like Miss Markle's.
11. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, let rest for at least 20 minutes, then carve. Serve with the vegetables. Enjoy!
Ruby Clemmons is a former Manila-based journalist. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their two girls, who are incidentally big roast chicken fans.