The smell is the first thing that gets you. It’s spicy, tangy and envelopes the senses.
Whether it fulfils a guilty craving during the day or is an unavoidable post-club hazy bite, fried chicken is the ultimate comfort food from its crispy, seasoned breading through to the moist cooked chicken all the way to the bone.
Now, what about free fried chicken?
This lip-smacking offer may seem too good to be true, but Butchies Buttermilk Fried Chicken, which launched in Clapham High Street on Tuesday, is set to give away 100 free OG Burgers to the first 100 hungry customers from 12 noon on Friday 14 August.
The OG Burger contains Butchies’ OG sauce made from mayonnaise, thai basil, and fresh lemon which cuts through the fat of the chicken thigh and marries their homemade garlic dill pickles to give it that extra bite.
Butchies’ mission is to “Spread Love”, so they are donating 160 burgers to the homeless shelter Ace of Clubs, which provides transformative support for those who are homeless, vulnerable and otherwise marginalised in the Clapham Common area.
Owner Garrett Fitzgerald said: “We started out as a street food business in 2014 and whenever we had excess stock like bread rolls and buns we’d drop them off at Action for the Homeless charity in North London. Homelessness is an issue close to the heart of the business.”
The grab and go site, just off the common, features an all-day menu including six of their famous fried chicken sandwiches, award-winning Buffalo Wings, Buttermilk Chicken Tenders and Butchies’ own take on Popcorn Chicken.
The Butchies dream started in 2013 after Garrett and his wife returned from living in New York where they had fallen in love with the buzzy counter service bodegas, pizza slice shops, taquerias, and burger joints that sculpt the city’s soul.
After observing that London’s major fried chicken scene was only KFC, Morley’s and Chicken Cottage, Garrett and his wife Emer set about creating their version of ‘better fried chicken’.
TimeOut Magazine gave Butchies the acclaimed title of ‘best fried chicken in London’ and they have cooked for some of the biggest companies in the world, including Nike and Heineken.
I was dying to know what went into the chicken’s coating but Garrett didn’t reveal his coveted flour spice dredge.
He did tell me the secret to their succulent chicken was marinating it in buttermilk brine for 12 hours overnight. This breaks down the chicken’s enzymes, allows the salt to penetrate and making the chicken really juicy.
Their Vegan OG Burger is made from a plant-based wheat protein patty, OG vegan sauce and a vegan brioche bun.
“It’s one of the closest you can get to flavoursome chicken. The texture is spot on as it’s super crunchy. I eat it regularly even though I’m not a vegan,” Garrett admitted.
Speaking about the opening, Garrett said: “We are super excited to be migrating our delivery only kitchen from Battersea to Clapham, which allows us to continue serving all our local delivery customers and real people too.
“Proudly born on the street, we strive to recreate the energy and community of street food and the music festival scene in all our locations, and when things eventually get back to normal we are smack bang in the middle of the areas infamous raucous nightlife – and ready to serve the revellers!”
Butchies is located at 122 Clapham High Street.