In 2016, Lindsay Funston was an editor for Delish and posted a recipe for a Tuscan-style chicken dish. The video quickly gained a lot of attention. Funston’s producer can be seen at the end of the video trying the word and saying, “I would marry you for this chicken!”
Marry Me Chicken is a reality.
In 2023, the recipe is gaining a new generation of (younger) fans on TikTok. People are claiming the authenticity of the name and describing how a marriage proposal quickly followed it.
It wasn’t a new idea. Nearly 20 years ago, a 2004 Glamour Recipe for Engagement Chicken claimed the same thing – that a recipe of roast chicken would elicit a marriage proposal.
The original recipe is still the best, containing tomato paste, oregano and basil, heavy cream, Parmesan, and sun-dried toms.
Many studies show the connection between food and psychological well-being.
What we eat has a profound impact on our mood and behavior. But does the food we give to others have the same effect? More specifically, can cooking convince someone to marry me? Experts say…
“Food is closely linked to our emotions,” Dr. Shae Datta is a neurologist at NYU Langone Concussion Center. Certain compounds in food can also affect emotions.
Consider oxytocin. This hormone is often called the “love-hormone,” and it is released in bursts during a kiss.
Datta said that foods such as tomatoes, peppers, chocolate, avocados, and fatty fish have been shown to increase levels of oxytocin. This is the same hormone released when you get physically intimate with someone. Eating these ingredients could lead to a more positive attitude towards romance, for instance.
Marry Me Chicken, on the other hand, has benefitted from three factors that all contribute to its success: familiarity with the ingredients, the chemical composition of the food, and the priming effect.
“Food has a great deal of meaning in a person’s life,” said Dr. Donna Peri. “Our experience of feeling nourished most often is connected to the nurturing we receive, so nourishment as well as nurture are linked.”
Being fed, especially with a delicious, hearty, and tasty meal, will likely bring out the warmth and nourishment we have been trained to feel from our earliest days.
Peri explained that the Chicken was called “Marry Me Chicken” and not the Hook Up With Me Chicken.
This familiarity is important and may be the most significant factor in explaining why romance and food are linked.
Datta explained that “the part of the brain connected to emotions activates food cues.” This is why, when you eat the food that your mother or grandmother prepared when you were young, you are reminded of happy memories.
Chicken is a popular food on a cultural scale: it’s easy to find and a staple in many peoples’ diets. Many of us ate chicken dishes as children, so any meal that contains the ingredients may bring back fond memories.
Sharing a meal with someone is a very intimate act that encourages deeper relationships.
Peri explained that people often go to dinner to get to know each other on a first date. This recipe is more homey, so it’s likely to make you feel connected and want to settle down.
It’s called the Marry Me Chicken and not the Hook Up With Me Chicken.
Experts suspect that the recipe’s popularity is not only due to its link with the past.
Associating an action with a name can have a priming effect, causing it to become a reality.
Peri made an interesting comparison before saying, “If you cook or eat the Marry Me Chicken thinking you will be more successful in dating afterward, you are setting an expectation.” She said that if I go to a networking event wearing lucky underwear and think that I will make more connections because of that, then I am setting myself up for that experience. The expectations we have before entering a situation will likely influence our behavior in that situation.
If you eat the Chicken, thinking it will ignite the need to settle down, you may be more romantically inclined toward the person who prepared the meal. This will increase the chances of romance happening.
If you cook the dish with the expectation that your audience will present a ring at dessert, it may change your attitude and indirectly convince you to act more marriage-worthy.
Who can forget Meghan Markle telling the world the moment that she and her now-husband Prince Harry first fell in love while roasting a whole chicken? There is something about chickens that appeals to our senses.