By Kana Kahuna on April 24, 2004
Photo by Chef #1800171353
Photo by Chef #1800171353
"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."
Serving Size: 1 (1250 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
"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!"
"We like spicy foods and I've never had Popeye's so I personally can't comment on its similarity to that (My husband did say that it wasn't similar at all to Popeye's) . However, instead of having a well rounded spicy taste, the flavor was dominated by the white pepper, making it one dimensional and lacking in interest.
Overall the taste wasn't bad, but it's not a recipe I would try again."
"I was very disappointed in this recipe. Did not taste like Popeyes at all. Really didn't have much flavor. I will give stars for the crispy coating but that is about it. Print and shred pile. Sorry, but big disappointment."
"My GOD this was terrible. It was nearly tasteless. I thought with all that pepper it would have some sort of bite, but nothing. It would probably need at least a tablespoon of cayenne just to give it some flavor. Oh and it tastes NOTHING like popeyes."
"My husband loves Popeye's, but it is so bad for you. I thought I would try to make it at home, for a moderately healthier version. I followed the recipe, however I oven "fried" it. Maybe this was my dish's downfall, but I doubt it - I have oven fried many different chicken dishes before, and they were always successful. This chicken just tasted like it was coated in flour, no flavor whatsoever. I was really disappointed - definitely will not be using this recipe again."
"I made this recipe to the letter, and its mediocre at best. I've eaten a LOt of popeye's chicken and worked there for quite a while, and I can easily and honestly say this recipe isn't even close. It was wonderfully crispy, and the chicken was very moist, but the breading was very bland, almost tasteless, and in that I was quite disappointed. The breading just didn't have any flavor. Perhaps more generous on the seasonings would help. Again, the crispness was awesome in itself, so experiment a little and maybe you'll have better luck in the taste department."
"This recipe is HORRIBLE! It wasn't even slightly spicy, as you would think it would be per the white and cayenne peppers in it. Plain Fried Chicken with just salt and pepper is better than this! My condolences to the submitter of this recipe."
"I can tell you for sure that they use donut flour to fry the chicken."
"I just finished making a batch of nuggets with this recipe and I am LOVING it! I also double floured the nuggets and I added some Tony's Chachere's Creole Seasoning to the mix! While it isn't Popeye's it is better than any other recipe I have tried. The true test will come when the kids get home and try them! I am sure they will love them as well. Now, to figure out how I can effectively freeze these so that I can stop buying those nasty chicken nuggets! Thanks for the recipe!"
"This was very good. Not popeye's, but still very good. I ran out of cayenne pepper and panicked so instead, I added half a bottle of frank's louisiana hot sauce to the egg and blended, then dipped the chicken in after poking holes in it.
all in all, gave it a very nice kick.
i cannot cook so when my husband said, man, this is really good, that meant it was really good. ;-)
thank you so much for the recipe, gonna be a weekly favorite from here on."
"This would have been the perfect chicken if I'd followed the directions better. I totally forgot the salt and only added 1 tablespoon of white pepper. I was afraid it would be too spicy. I will most surely make it again (the right way) because we love Popeye's Chicken and miss not being able to go there anymore. Thank you very much for a great recipe!"
"Fantasic fried chicken recipe, and the only one I will be using in the future. Thanks for sharing :-)"
"This is a great recipe... though it might not be aptly named... it does produce a great crispy and flavorful crust... I personally had a "hint of Popeyes"... whereas my husband said "not like Popeyes at all." That being said.... I've only made fried chicken 3 times... this time being one of those times... and by far, this was the best combination of flavors that held up to frying. I tasted the flour/spice combo and freaked out that it was going to be "SO" spicy... but it really mellowed with cooking.... you could taste it, but it wasn't overwhelming. I used peanut oil because that is all I had on hand... and I had soaked the chicken in milk over night... other than that, I followed the spices and egg dip... exactly. We all (including my crabby picky kids) enjoyed this thoroughly... and my kids and husband say "thank you" for helping me make a great fried chicken dinner!"
"Having never tried Popeye's I cannot vouch for its closeness to the original but it was certainly tasty and my Texan other half was suitably impressed. I did make a couple of small alterations - used skinless tenderloins as that was what we had and smoked paprika for the same reason. I also added some crushed Salada biscuits ( similar to your saltines I think) for an extra crispy coating. An easy, yummy recipe thank you."
"Luvvv me some Popeye's Chicken... so I HAD to try this recipe. I wasn't disappointed! It was extremely easy. I used peanut oil instead of vegetable oil, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It definitely did have that Popeye's flavor, although it wasn't as intense a flavor as Popeye's. Perhaps this is attributed to their fryers getting hotter? I dunno. What I DO know is this: I'm not easily impressed with fried chicken recipes, but this one is gonna be MY new recipe! The chicken came out beautiful, juicy, and had a great tasting crust that was comparable to Popeye's. Fantastic!"
"Good recipe! Just a note to everyone...you need to use the white pepper to give it that Popeye's taste!!"
"For a copycat recipe to be labeled as such it needs to you know taste like the original. So the statement "This is a copycat recipe, to expect it to be "exactly" like Popeye's is a little unrealistic," is in itself faulty. Just call it slightly spicy chicken. Not Popeye's!"
"Recipe came out really good, not Popeye's but closer, and much better tasting than any fried chicken I've ever made. I especially loved how crispy the crust was. I did modify using Nevaro's suggestions, added 1/2 and 1/2, cayenne, paprika and white pepper to the batter, used 3 teaspoons of cayenne instead of one in the flour and double battered. My only suggestion would be cutting back on amount of salt used. 1 tablespoon is too much! Even with triple the amount of Cayenne the salt taste was overpowering, I think a teaspoon or so would've been perfect. Everyone really liked it so thanks, I will definitely be making this one again."