James Cochran, Great British menu winner, head chef and co-owner of popular Islington restaurant 12:51, is expanding his delivery service, Around the Cluck, to 7 days a week, delivered by Slerp, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
12:51, one of Islington’s most popular restaurants renowned for its seasonal menu, has had to adapt to lockdown and the closing of the hospitality industry as we know it.
For Cochran, this was the opportune time to develop his signature fried chicken, a key chapter in his success story so far, as part of a new concept: Around the Cluck, offering pickup and delivery in North, East and Central London seven days a week.
Building on his arsenal of recipes and techniques as a classically trained chef with experience at The Ledbury and The Harwood Arms under his belt, Cochran elevates his casual delivery concept based around his hero dish – fried chicken with sophisticated flavours and flourishes.
The menu celebrates the decadence and fun of his Signature Fried Pieces and Crispy wings paired with the likes of roast gravy mayonnaise. Burgers sandwich buttermilk fried pieces with blue cheese mousse, or matched with an American twist of jammy onions and American cheese.
A chilled Asian chicken salad is bursting with flavour, vibrant with herbs and fish sauce and is perfect to enjoy on long summer evenings all alongside seasonal salads and sides like Crispy new potatoes and jerk butter and Broccoli miso peanut dish and Tangy smacked cucumbers.
For vegetarians who don’t want to miss out on the sophisticated filth, the Cauliflower cheese burger in golden breadcrumbs, bread and butter pickles between a soft brioche roll is the order of the day.
Dessert changes weekly with sweet indulgences such as Sticky ginger toffee pudding, a Caribbean twist on a British classic, and Pineapple and passionfruit Eton mess already having featured. Fans of his sauces can also get their hands on his in-demand Scotch bonnet jam and brand new Scotch bonnet Sriracha sauce too.
For Cochran, fried chicken has been a constant love of his, and one which brings fond memories of eating Morley’s fried chicken in Brixton as a youngster with his mum, exploring his West Indian roots and culture in South London. He said, “Fried chicken is the ultimate accessible luxury; it brings that bite of comfort so many are after right now.
'Fried chicken has been a solid part of my culinary journey from winning me a Great British Menu dish to this exciting project we’re working on here.
'Having initially started delivery four days a week, it’s great to see such an appetite for our chicken, increasing our opening hours to seven days a week meaning we’ve been able to bring staff out of furlough to continue serving our local area!”