THE chicken sandwich is officially back at Popeye’s TODAY!! To celebrate, I am re-making the sandwich for all of us that don’t really feel like dealing with the mosh pit of people just to get one.
You eat a lot of chicken sandwiches in your life. But this is truly one that stops you in your tracks and lingers in your mind long after you eat it. It’s amazing. It’s brilliant. It makes me so happy and this version is just as amazing if not better than the original.
The first time I tried this sandwich was in May of this year. I don’t go to Popeye’s often, but there is one literally two blocks from our new house we are renovating. It’s so close you can literally smell the fried chicken when you are standing in front of my home. Dear lord, how will I ever survive this new life? So I accidentally stumbled upon the sandwich while I was waiting to meet our contractor and had 30 minutes to kill (naturally I went to grab some nugs.) I decided to veer from the norm and try this instead after seeing the juicy photo plastered on the window *insert screeching brake sound*. (Months later when this went viral, I realized this was being tested at select Popeye’s in Atlanta.)
I was seriously shocked at how delicious it was. It easily beat out the Po’ Boy by a long shot. I think the craze behind this is insane, and I am not one to stand in a 45 minute line to get this sandwich again. However, I do think this actually commands the respect it has been receiving. As much as I love Chick-Fil-A, this beats it without question. You cannot argue that! So if you would prefer to make your own version at home until the buzz goes dies down, I’ve created a great recipe to try!
There are a few key things you may want to know in advance of making this recipe:
- A candy thermometer is extremely important so you can monitor and adjust the oil temperature as you go. You may be a master at frying chicken, but if you are like me, the thermometer will come sooo much in handy
- Keep a spider/skimmer on hand as well to skim out all the fallen breading before it burns in your grease
- It’s ideal if you marinate the chicken at least the night before, but the full 24 hours is so ideal
- Let’s talk spices – the better quality, the better this dish (and all dishes) will turn out. I love Penzey’s spices and I am starting to buy those slowly when my cheaper versions run out. They aren’t even more expensive, they are just less accessible as they aren’t at grocery stores.
If you are remaking this recipe, please feel free to share your photos on IG and tag @badbatchbaking or use hashtag #badbatchbaking
Crispy, spicy and tangy, this copycat version of the virally famous Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is everything!
- 2 chicken breasts, pounded and cut in half to sandwich size
- 1 cup full-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon paprika, cayenne, sea salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
Chicken Breading & Frying
- Vegetable oil – enough for frying
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup corn starch
- 1.5 tablespoons paprika
- 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1.5 tablespoons onion powder
- 1.5 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1.5 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
Spicy Mayo & Assembly
- 3/4 cup mayo (Duke’s preferred)
- 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 Brioche buns
- Kosher dill pickle slices
4-24 hours before serving, marinate the chicken. In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk and all marinade ingredients. Mix well. Place the prepared pounded chicken breasts into the marinade, be sure it’s fully submerged. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
Prepare the spicy mayo my mixing all ingredients in a small bowl; mayo, hot sauce, paprika, Cajun, cayenne and garlic powder. Cover and set aside in the fridge to allow time for the flavors to meld together while frying.
Breading & Frying:
In a heavy duty pot, heat oil to 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, prepare a landing destination for the finished chicken. I use a baking sheet lined in paper bags or a few layers of paper towels.
Prepare the dry flour mixture by combining all the breading ingredients in a medium bowl. Remove the chicken marinade from fridge, scoop 1/3 cup of the marinade liquid and add it into the flour mixture. Use a fork to mix the liquid into the flour mixture.
Remove the chicken one at a time from the marinade and pat excess moisture with paper towels before placing in the flour mixture. Coat chicken thoroughly with flour mixture, adding more marinade liquid as needed. Place the chicken into the oil, frying for 4-6 minutes. Remove the chicken and place onto lined baking sheet. Let the chicken rest for a few moments, then return to the fry oil for another minute. (Double dipping in the oil creates extra crispiness!)
Prepare the sandwich:
In a pan or cast iron skillet, heat to medium. Once hot, add the butter and place both sides of the buns face down into the buttered surface. Toast until edges of the buns are buttery crisp.
Assemble the sandwich: generously add spicy mayo to both sides of the buns. Add 4 pickle slices to bottom bun, add chicken breast and place top bun. Enjoy!
A thermometer is highly recommended any time you fry, so you can continue to monitor the oil temp as you go. You will need to adjust it higher or lower throughout the process.