“The French took a Mexican dish, named it incorrectly and basically swapped the rice and beans in a burrito with chips and cheese,” is how

Big Zuu describes this dish.

“Bare meat combined with hella flavours in a massive tortilla, then pressed in a grill – it’s very mad. When I went to Paris and had this, it made me question the fast-food levels in the UK.”

French taco

It’s not technically a taco – but it’s definitely delicious

(Ellis Parrinder/PA)

Serves: 2


6 chicken breast mini fillets, about 250g

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp dried oregano

2 merguez sausages

½ red pepper, thinly sliced

½ green pepper, thinly sliced

2 large tortillas

100g grated mozzarella

2 tbsp nacho cheese sauciness

2 handfuls of cooked oven chips

2 spring onions, sliced

50g pickled jalapeños

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the sauce Algérienne:

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp harissa paste

1 small onion, finely chopped

240g mayonnaise

Handful of coriander, finely chopped

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the nacho cheese sauciness:

410ml tin evaporated milk

120g Red Leicester, grated

120g Cheddar, grated

1 tbsp cornflour

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp hot chilli powder

1 tbsp hot sauce


1. For the sauce Algérienne: Mix the lemon juice, cumin, paprika and chilli powder together in a bowl to form a paste. Add the tomato paste and harissa and stir to combine. Add the onion, mayonnaise, coriander and salt and pepper and whisk to combine.

2. For the nacho cheese sauciness: Pour the evaporated milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Mix the grated cheeses with the cornflour, then add to the pan along with chilli, chilli powder and hot sauce, and whisk to combine. Simmer gently for five minutes until thickened, check the seasoning.

3. For the French taco: place the chicken fillets in a large bowl together with one tablespoon of the oil, the garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, oregano and some salt and pepper.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Slice the merguez sausages in half lengthways and fry for three to four minutes, turning after the cut sides are golden and crisp. Once cooked, set aside and add the chicken fillets and sliced peppers to the pan. Fry over a medium heat for eight to 10 minutes until the chicken fillets are golden brown on all sides and firm, and the peppers are soft and lightly charred.

5. Spread a layer of sauce Algérienne in the centre of one tortilla, then sprinkle over a quarter of the mozzarella. Top with half the merguez sausages, followed by three chicken fillets and half the peppers. Add a spoonful of nacho cheese sauciness, half the chips, half the spring onions and half the jalapeños. Top with another quarter of the mozzarella and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the edges of the tortilla over the filling to create a rectangle. Repeat to make the other wrap.

6. If you have a panini press, heat on medium. When it’s hot, add the wraps, folded-side down, and cook for five to eight minutes until the outside is golden and crisp and the cheese is melted.

7. If you are using a griddle, heat it over a low heat. Place the wraps folded-side down on the griddle and weight them down with a heavy dish. Cook for four to five minutes on each side

Fried chicken

With three variations, this is the only fried chicken recipe you’ll ever need

(Ellis Parrinder/PA)

“I grew up on fried chicken,” Big Zuu says.

He’s so keen on fried chicken, he’s come up with three ways to cook yours at home – ranging from a crunchy Dorito crust and chicken nuggets fried with Rice Krispies.

Just FYI, you’ll need to double the dredge quantities if you’re using legs, drumsticks or wings.

Serves: 4


500g chicken tender or nuggets, or chicken legs or drumsticks or wings

2L vegetable oil, for deep frying (if using a saucepan; if using a deep-fat fryer follow manufacturer’s instructions for oil)

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the brine for chicken tenders or nuggets:

100ml buttermilk

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

For the brine for chicken legs or drumsticks or wings:

250ml buttermilk

1½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp paprika

1½ tsp salt

For the dredge if making Doritos fried chicken:

50g plain flour

25g cornflour

25g rice flour

50g Doritos, blitzed in a food processor or finely crushed, plus extra Doritos to garnish

For the dredge if making Maggi fried chicken:

50g plain flour

25g cornflour

25g rice flour

1 Maggi or other vegetable stock cube

½ tsp chilli powder

50g roasted peanuts, finely chopped, to garnish

For the dredge if making golden nuggets:

80g rice flour

40g rice cereal (eg Rice Krispies), blitzed in a food processor or finely crushed

20g panko breadcrumbs


1. To make the brine, mix the buttermilk with the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix well to coat in the brine, then cover and marinate for at least two hours and up to 12 hours in the fridge.

2. For chicken tenders or nuggets, preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 165C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a low–medium heat to 165C.

3. For chicken wings or legs and drumsticks, preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 140C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a low heat to 140C.

4. To dredge the chicken, mix all your chosen dredge ingredients together in a large bowl. Using tongs, dip the chicken pieces into the dredge, moving them around to coat very well.

5. To cook tenders or nuggets, carefully move the pieces from the dredge into the hot oil, working in batches. Fry for four to five minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper, season and serve.

6. To cook wings or legs or drumsticks, carefully move the pieces from the dredge into the hot oil, working in batches. Fry for 12-15 minutes, turning a few times during cooking to make sure the coating is browning evenly. When golden brown and cooked through (the interior temperature of chicken should be above 72C when measured with a meat thermometer, or insert the tip of a knife or skewer into the thickest part; the juices will run clear if it is cooked – if you see any trace of pink, carry on frying or, if they are well browned on the outside, transfer to a foil-lined baking tray and cook for a further 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 195C/175C fan/gas 5), drain on kitchen paper, season and rest for five minutes before serving.

Swedish cinnamon buns

These pillowy treats are spiced to perfection

(Ellis Parrinder/PA)

Craving cinnamon buns but can’t be bothered with the faff of making and proving your dough?

Big Zuu has a handy hack for this – and all it requires is shop-bought croissant dough and you’re off to the races.

Makes: 6


60g caster sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cardamom

Pinch of salt

350g roll ready-made chilled croissant dough

3 tbsp golden syrup

2 tbsp pearl sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Grease a six-hole deep muffin tin lightly with vegetable oil.

(Ebury Press/PA)

2. Mix the caster sugar with the cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Unroll the croissant dough and remove the pieces on either end so you have four triangles in a rectangular sheet.

4. Scatter the spiced sugar evenly over the sheet of dough, then roll up the short end to form a thick log. Trim the uneven edges off, then cut into six even pieces. Place the rolls carefully in the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden.

5. Take the buns out of the oven and carefully remove them from the muffin tin while still hot to prevent sticking.

6. Heat the golden syrup in a pan over a gentle heat and brush over the buns to glaze them. Sprinkle with the pearl sugar and serve still warm.

‘Big Zuu’s Big Eats’ by Big Zuu (Ebury Press, £22).


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