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Ina Garten Explains Why Meghan and Harry's Royal Wedding "Would’ve Never Happened" Without Her Recipe

The "Barefoot Contessa" joked about her role in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage — but she's not wrong.

When Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle back in May, foodies were obsessing over the lemon-elderberry cake that was reportedly served at the reception. (Yep, guilty.) But let's not forget the decidedly less fussy food that was the catalyst for the wedding itself. We're talking, of course, about Ina Garten's famous roast chicken. 

By now, you know the story well: One night in his cottage, while he and his then-girlfriend were roasting a chicken, Prince Harry got down on one knee. While rehashing the charming story on a recent episode of Sunday Today with Willie Geist, the chef said, "I do know that she liked to cook my roast chicken, which we call engagement chicken because whenever you make it somebody asks you to marry them." And it's true! Previously, Markle had said"There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken. If you have an Ina Garten–level roasted-chicken recipe, it's a game-changer. I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends."

Laughing, Geist said: "So what we’re driving at here is you were responsible for the royal wedding." Garten then joked, "Oh, without me it would’ve never have happened." 

But she added, in all sincerity, "It’s a roast chicken. Isn’t that a wonderful story? How powerful is that?" And when she initially heard about the engagement, the chef had equally delighted things to say

"I thought it was so great because it shows that everyone is happy to have something simple, and really good,” she told People. “It’s nourishing and I love that they were cooking it together. It wasn’t some fancy meal. He did it over a home-cooked meal and a simple roast chicken, which is frankly what everybody wants.”

She added: “Who knew if you make my chicken you could end up marrying a prince? An adorable prince at that!”

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