From www.TopSecretRecipes.com. Popeye's Fried Chicken started in New Orleans in 1972. They sold "traditional" mild fried chicken but business was just O.K. They realized they'd have to sell a spicier alternative to their standard chicken recipe if they wanted to impress flavor-seeking New Orleanians. *Note - This is a copycat recipe, to expect it to be "exactly" like Popeye's is a little unrealistic.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep fryer or in a wide, deep pan on stove.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, peppers, and paprika.
- Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat until blended.
- Check the oil by dropping in a pinch of the flour mixture, If the oil bubbles rapidly around the flour, it's ready.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, then coat generously with the flour mixture.
- Once the chicken is coated, it should be placed on a rack to allow the pieces to dry, which may take 20 to 30 minutes. Allowing the pieces to dry will provide for more even browning of the chicken.
- To fry, heat oil in a heavy skillet over a medium-high burner until the oil is very hot. Place the chicken pieces in the hot oil, skin side down, one piece at a time. Leave enough space between pieces so that they are not crowded. This allows the pieces to cook and brown more evenly.
- Continue to cook over a medium heat, turning until all sides are golden brown and the meat is cooked thoroughly.
- As the pieces finish cooking, they should be removed from the pan and placed on a paper towel to allow grease to drain.
For everyone saying that this doesn't taste like real Popeye's chicken, I can tell you all why. I used to work at Popeye's many years ago when I was high school. There are 2 main discrepancies in this recipe which are: (1) How to Season and (2) How to Fry the chicken. I personally seasoned the chicken on may occasions, and although it was prepackaged from the main New Orleans warehouse, it had a LOT of cayenne pepper. We used long rubber gloves to mix the seasoning with the chicken. I'd still end up with seasoning on my upper arms and they would burn for hours afterwards. My eyes would burn as well from the fumes. This recipe calls for a teaspoon of cayenne, but you'll need to, at the very least, double that. I'd say you'd want to triple it to 3 teaspoons. I also remember a faint vinegar smell to the chicken as well while seasoning, so it was either Tabasco sauce or just plain vinegar. I'd wager it was Tabasco, though. How much Tabasco to use? You'd have to experiment. We also would let the chicken sit overnight in the cooler in storage bins to marinate the seasoning, and that is key as well. Not sure if it makes any difference, but we always used Tyson brand chicken, which many grocery stores carry. As for frying, the batter was actually a light milky color, not straight eggs and seasoning. I'm not sure what made it milky, but I'd guess it was (surprise!) milk. It may have been cream, also. Again, you'd have to play with it to get it right. I do know the batter and the flour was seasoned as well. I'd bet you could use the same seasoning on the chicken, minus the Tabasco, for the flour and then add the seasoning and Tabasco to the batter. I do know for sure that we double-battered the chicken. This gives it the really thick, crispy crust we all love! For those who aren't familiar with a double-batter, it's simply dipping the chicken in the batter and flour, shake and then repeat your batter dip again. Remember to shake the chicken after each dip! We used round wire baskets with a wire handle to put the chicken in for battering. This allowed for quick dipping, shaking, dipping and then a final shake in just a few seconds. We never waited to put the chicken in the grease after battering. I'll also add that since the chicken is double-battered, you may want to increase the heat somewhat, or you may end up with soggy, undercooked chicken. Hope this unveils a bit more of the mystery of how to make Popeye's fried chicken! P.S. I know everyone loves Popeye's biscuits, and I do too, but if you knew what was in it, you may think twice. The recipe is about 1/2 shortening for the mix :). I think each biscuit is around 500 calories, so tread lightly (pun intended!).
This is great,but I made one little change that made all the difference in the world! I added I TBSP of Old Bay seasoning to the flour mixture. What a taste sensation!
Good stuff! Golden brown, crispy, great flavor! For those of you that need temps and times: 350 degrees worked great. Cooked the dark meat about 14-16 minutes. Light meat about 10-12. Kept it hot in a 200 degree oven while I cooked french fries. Thanks a bunch!