Food & Drink

Big Zuu’s fried chicken recipe

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

Zuu fried chicken from Big Zuu’s Big Eats
Zuu fried chicken Zuu fried chicken from Big Zuu’s Big Eats

“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.

Fried chicken

Ingredients:


(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


1tsp garlic powder


½tsp onion powder


½tsp paprika


1tsp salt

For the brine for chicken legs or drumsticks or wings:


250ml buttermilk


1½tsp garlic powder


1tsp onion powder


1tsp paprika


1½tsp 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


½tsp chilli powder


50g roasted peanuts, finely chopped, to garnish

For the dredge if making golden nuggets:


80g rice flour


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


20g panko breadcrumbs

Zuu fried chicken
Zuu fried chicken Zuu fried chicken from Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Ellis Parrinder/PA)

Method:

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 165˚C or heat the oil in a deep saucepan over a low–medium heat to 165˚C.

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

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 72˚C 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 195˚C/175˚C fan/Gas 5), drain on kitchen paper, season and rest for five minutes before serving.

Big Zuu's Big Eats by Big Zuu

Big Zuu’s Big Eats by Big Zuu is published by Ebury Press, priced £22. Photography by Ellis Parrinder. Available now