6 Alternatives to Engagement Chicken

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Photo: Lambert/Getty Images

For seemingly as long as marriage has existed, or at least since the early aughts, there’s been a related culinary concept that regularly surfaces, haunting us all with its meaty specter: Engagement Chicken. Invented and popularized by Glamour magazine, it promises that a woman who makes said roast chicken recipe for her boyfriend will be rewarded with a marriage proposal shortly afterward. Maybe you think this is romantic and fun, maybe you think it’s a super weird and regressive idea to be circulating in the 21st century. Regardless, you will be forced to think about it once again, ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed that they got engaged while roasting a chicken together.

But whatever your feelings are on Engagement Chicken, you have to admit that it’s pretty limiting. Why just chicken? Why stop at engagements? Here, some more recipes to usher in relationship milestones.

First Hookup Dollar Pizza
As you alternate between drunkenly making out and taking sloppy bites of a $1 slice of pizza, you’ll lock eyes and know for sure: you’re gonna do it.

First Fight Pasta al Pomodoro
You’ve let your anger about an issue simmer passive aggressively for weeks, and now the time has come to unleash your first “I just think it’s funny how … ” You need energy and stamina to get through the next several hours of arguing in circles, so make like Strega Nona training for a marathon and load up on a giant pot of pasta.

Let’s Move in Together Roommate’s Peanut Butter
You’ve been skimming off your roommate’s delicious, non-natural peanut butter a teaspoon at a time when you suddenly realize this is no way to live anymore.

Leaving the Party Early to Watch TV Kettle Brand Chips From the Bodega (3 Bags)
By this point, you’re comfortable enough with each other that whenever you’re out, you can instantly exchange a look that says: “Let’s leave this party at 11 p.m. to load up on snacks and watch DVR’ed Dateline episodes. And yeah, we know that there are only like, five, actual base flavors of Kettle chips but the novelty ones are just so appealing.”

Domestic Partnership Leftover Grain Salad
You and your significant other may not approve of the institution of marriage, but you do approve of sharing health insurance and using up every vegetable in your CSA.

Engagement Chicken Redux
Buy a premade rotisserie chicken, dump it in your boyfriend’s lap, and tell him you’re ready to get hitched.

6 Alternatives to Engagement Chicken