The Spicy Difference Between Marry Me And Divorce Chicken

As the names might imply, there are some differences between Marry Me Chicken and Divorce Chicken. They have distinct origins and wildly contrasting flavor profiles. A hearty mixture of Italian and American cuisine, Marry Me Chicken was invented and popularized by Delish editor Lindsay Funston in 2016. It's named as such because, quite simply, the recipe was reportedly so good that its taste testers called it "marriage material." Depending on your perspective, you could also view it as a marriage between the two flavor profiles.

The Spruce Eats' Senior News and Features Editor, Kristin Stangl, is credited with creating Divorce Chicken. Stangl came up with the name and concept after her divorce, during which time she was motivated by her numerous travels. The flavors in this dish are a mixture of Moroccan and Korean influences, with one of its primary differences from Marry Me Chicken being Divorce Chicken's use of spice blends from around the world. However, both dishes can hold their own — and the recipes speak for themselves.

What's special about Marry Me Chicken?

The original recipe for Marry Me Chicken is composed of chicken breasts that are cooked in a skillet, flavored with a creamy sauce, and seasoned with red pepper flakes, parmesan, and salt. The sauce is made up of heavy cream, chicken broth, thyme, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.

This dish is quite similar to creamy Tuscan chicken. Marry Me Chicken's Italian influence is seen in its inclusion of tomatoes, garlic, and cream. The preparation of the chicken itself and the broth is more inspired by American cuisine. The flavor is said to be cheesy, creamy, and zesty.

Like any recipe, there are some variations from household to household. One Reddit user revealed they added flour, vegetable stock, oregano, and butter to the recipe. On another thread, a commenter suggested potential side items for the dish. "That looks great with a side of fettuccine or wild rice and a nice spicy cucumber salad," they wrote. To make your own rendition, check out our Marry Me Chicken recipe. As the name might suggest, Divorce Chicken is the exact opposite — don't expect it to taste anything like this Tuscan-inspired dish. 

What is Divorce Chicken?

Rather than savory, Divorce Chicken packs a punch of spice. The original recipe requires a whole chicken. It's paired with Korean gochujang dressing, which contains gochujang, a spritz of orange and lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt. It's served over a carrot salad; this accompaniment requires five peeled carrots, basil and mint leaves, bird's eye chili, and coriander seeds, and it's topped with the gochujang dressing you made in the last step. Gochujang paste often contains rice, fermented soybeans, salt, and red chili flakes. If you want to transform the paste into a sauce, add maple syrup, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.

The chicken itself is cooked in a paste made of cinnamon, salt, ginger, oil, pepper, and cumin, which is where the Moroccan influence comes in. The spice created by this paste as well as the gochujang flavor sets it apart from Marry Me Chicken, which is creamier and heavier.