Recipe Review

I Tried Taylor Swift’s Favorite Chicken Recipe and It’s the Perfect Cozy Fall Dinner

published Oct 17, 2023
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Mughlai Chicken on plate
Credit: Lena Abraham

Every true Swiftie knows how much Taylor Swift loves to throw a good dinner party. She, like us, has a major soft spot for recipes by Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson, and in a 30th birthday interview she cites Lawson’s Mughlai Chicken as one of her trusty go-tos for entertaining. (It’s also got an impressive amount of 5-star reviews over on Food Network.) With an array of delicious spices and an enticingly creamy looking yogurt-based sauce, it’s no wonder this mastermind songstress loves to throw together this comforting dish for her guests. With the impending cold weather ahead, I decided to test out one of Taylor’s favorite recipes to see if it really is worth the hype. After grabbing a couple ingredients from the store, I set off to see what this beloved chicken recipe has to offer.  

Get the recipe: Mughlai Chicken from Nigella Lawson

Credit: Lena Abraham

How to Make Mughlai Chicken

  1. Pat 3 pounds of chicken thighs dry and cut each thigh in half.
  2. Combine 1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes into a small food processor, or into a mortar and pestle, and blend into a paste. Add 4 tablespoons ground almonds and 1/2 cup water and then blend again. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the chicken pieces. Fry in batches until lightly golden in spots and no pink remains on the outside, then transfer to a dish.
  4. To the skillet, add 5 bruised cardamom pods, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves, and 1 cinnamon stick that’s been broken in half. Stir to coat them in oil, then add 2 finely chopped onions and cook them until softened and lightly browned. Pour in the blended paste and cook until slightly thickened. Add 1 cup Greek yogurt 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring it into the sauce, then stir in 1 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 cup golden raisins.
  5. Put the browned chicken pieces back into the pan, along with any juices that have collected under them, and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, until meat is tender and cooked through.
  6. Pour into a serving dish and scatter with the 3/4 cup toasted flaked almonds. (This dish can also be made a day ahead and reheated. Wait until serving to add the almonds.)
Credit: Lena Abraham

My Honest Review of Mughlai Chicken

With ultra-tender chicken and a sweetly spiced cream sauce, it’s not hard to see why Taylor deems this recipe party-worthy. With a delicate amount of dried red pepper heat that won’t offend your spice-avoidant friends, this is a dish that’s easy for everyone to love. The warming spices make it an intensely cozy dish, especially when paired with rice or naan

Though the dish is fairly heavy, the inclusion of Greek yogurt gives it a pleasant brightness and tang that nicely contrasts the sweetness of the raisins and the onions, and the richness of the heavy cream and toasted nuts. Satisfying and homey, it’s just the dish for when everything outside is icy and blue. And perfect to dig into while listening to a Taylor Swift album, if I do say so myself.

2 Tips for Making Mughlai Chicken

  1. Use full-fat Greek yogurt. Yogurt makes up the body of the sauce, so the fattier the yogurt, the more delicious and creamy the final dish.
  2. Use a splatter screen if you’ve got it. Searing off 3 pounds of chicken thighs is a messy job! If you’ve got a splatter screen break it out to avoid a greasy stovetop.

    Get the recipe: Mughlai Chicken from Nigella Lawson