Taking a cue from old ladies' mags, Kat prepares a special meal to propose to Instant Pot

Credit: Photo by Extra Crispy Staff

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of engagement chicken, you are likely living an emotionally healthy and self-actualized life, and I'm very sorry to have to spoil that for you. Several decades back, a Glamour editor cooked a chicken for her gentleman caller, and some weeks later he proposed. The correlation was good enough; the magazine made it A Thing. More recently, various publications were foaming at the mouth when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry revealed that they were roasting a chicken when he popped the royal question.

I am neither a TV star or the ginger-bearded scion of a creepy-ass monarchy. I'm just a demi-Goth girl in love with a kitchen appliance, so I made engagement chicken my—our—own way with charcoal-skinned Silkie chicken, black wolfberries (a.k.a. goji berries), black dates, black fungus, and a few other ingredients that are as effective for soothing an upset respiratory and digestive system as they are for helping a human plight their eternal troth to a multicooker.

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Instant Pot Goth Engagement Chicken


2 Silkie chickens
1 cup black dates
1 cup rice wine
2 tablespoons black vinegar
1-2 tablespoons salt to taste
½ large daikon radish, roughly cubed
2 tablespoons black wolfberries
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 cup black fungus (wood ear mushrooms)
2 tablespoons black sesame powder (optional because it's hard to find)
Preserved eggs (for garnish)


1. Remove the heads and feet from the chickens if they are present. Save the feet and any organs that may be in the cavities. Do with the heads whatever is emotionally correct for you. Rinse and soak the black dates for 5 minutes.

2. Place the chickens, feet, organs, dates, rice wine, black vinegar, and salt into the Instant Pot, then add enough water to mostly cover the chicken. Seal the Instant Pot and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. Perform a manual release and open the lid.

3. Add daikon, wolfberries, peppercorns, fungus, and sesame powder, stir, and use the saute function to cook the broth until the wolfberries soften. Meanwhile, peel and slice the eggs.

4. Spoon the chicken and accoutrements into bowls, ladle in broth, garnish with egg slices, and serve, taking care not to choke on chicken foot bones.