What’s not to love about Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken? Honestly, I am probably one of the biggest Popeye’s Spicy Chickens fans out there to date. I adore the taste of that spicy, perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken so much that I had to do a copycat recipe for Popeye’s Spicy Chicken to share with all of you today. Trust me, and if you enjoy Popeye’s Spicy Chicken, you are going to fall in love with this recipe for Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken.
On Popeye’s web page, it says, “Over forty years ago in New Orléans, Louisiana, a taste sensation was born. What began with one small restaurant in Louisiana one and a big idea turned into a craze that swept the nation and the world”, I will tell you I couldn’t agree more with that statement my friends.
Popeye’s Mighty Good Fried Chicken was opened in a suburb of New Orléans in St. Bernard Parish, on June 12, 1972, as “Chicken on the Run,” owned and operated by Mr. Copeland to compete against another well-known restaurant. In the beginning. Al Copeland sold a more classic-style mild Southern fried chicken; however, the business was a little on the slow side in the beginning. He realized he would have to sell a much spicier, more kicked up version if they planned to impress the spice-loving locals.
Southerners tend to fry; we will cook almost anything you can think of, okra, tomatoes, pickles, steaks, pork chops, and fried chicken, to name a few of our Southern-fried Cuisines. Why do we cook so many foods, you might ask? I might have to answer that with another question. Have you ever eaten any of those items above fried? Ummm, mmmm, then you already responded to your question after thinking about it for a few moments. It’s pretty darn good, isn’t it Y’all?
Look at this lightly browned, crispy, crunchy on the outside, deliciously juicy and moist on the inside Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Chicken; makes you want to grab a piece from this screen doesn’t it? I mean look at that excellent crispy breading just begging you to take a bite and savor the flavor in your mouth,
Every Southern Belle proudly represents their grannies and mamas in the South when they cook up a batch of fried chicken, and it’s a proud moment when it turns out perfect. What is the definition of perfect? Never greasy tasting, super crispy batter on the outside, juicy and moist on the inside, and seasoned to perfection.
Not all of our grannies and mamas are from the South, or maybe a few didn’t learn how to make fried chicken yet, that’s ok I have a wonderful copycat recipe for all of you today to make your own deliciously good batch of the next best thing, Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Chicken. You better make a double batch because the word is going to get out that you know your fried chicken after making this Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Chicken.
Now before we get started, this isn’t Popeye’s top-secret recipe; this is just my version of their Spicy Fried Chicken. Keep in mind while it tastes pretty close to Popeye’s Spicy Chicken if you actually follow the instructions we aren’t top-secret spies. That’s probably a darn good thing because I look hideous in prison orange, let alone those jumpsuits they wear.
- Only frying chickens should be used for the recipe. They may need to be double-dipped in the breading to achieve the texture in images above. Popeye’s does not double bread, but I do in my recipe. You do not have to.
- Popeye’s Chicken is marinated overnight before they hand batter it. The commercial says 12 hours.
- Do not rinse the chicken after marinating it overnight. Drain and Pat dry for best results.
- Popeye’s Chicken also contains allergens such as milk, eggs, wheat, and MSG.
- Annatto Oil is listed in their ingredients and used more as a colorant than a flavor in the recipe.
Popeye's Spicy Chicken is perfectly seasoned in several spices and super crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside
- 5 pounds Whole fryer chicken cut up into 8 pieces skin on
- 1 quart Whole Buttermilk to brine chicken
- 1 cup Tabasco sauce or more
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Annatto Oil
- 2 tablespoons Dry English Mustard Powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Dried Dill
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Accent (MSG)
- 1 tablespoon Black pepper
- ½ tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Celery Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- ½ cup Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ Spice mixture from above list
- 3-4 large eggs lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons water
- ¼ tablespoon Cayenne pepper
- Beef Tallow + Soybean oil for frying
In a large plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid, combine buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, Annatto Oil, and kosher salt with a small whisk. Add the cut-up pieces of a whole chicken to the large plastic bowl making sure to completely submerge the chicken in the brine mixture. Refrigerate overnight or 8- 12 hours for the best results. Pour off the chicken brine, shake off excess buttermilk brine from the chicken. Do not rinse the chicken.
In a small bowl combine all the spices together. Use 1/2 of seasoning to generously season both sides of the cut-up whole chicken. Then reserve 1/2 seasoning for the dredge mixture below.
Combine all-purpose flour, 1/2 of a cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and the rest of the spice mixture from above. For the Dredge. Then place the flour mixture into a large paper, add the brine seasoned chicken to the paper sack Roll the top of the bag down to close tightly and shake gently to coat the brined chicken. Remove the chicken from the paper sack, then shake off the excess batter. Reserve until ready.
In a medium glass dish, combine the eggs, and water. Dunk each piece of the coated chicken into the egg mixture and then shake off the excess egg mixture. Place chicken back into the paper sack and then shake gently to coat the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the paper sack and place it on a non-stick baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to dry the batter, trust me it becomes so much more crispy after doing this.
Add the oil mixture to a preheated cast-iron kettle of about 340- degrees.
Add the chicken to a cast-iron kettle and cook the chicken until golden brown. Be sure to the chicken is completely covered with oil. Do not overcrowd the cast-iron kettle if need be made in batches. The meat's internal temperature; it should read 165 degrees when done.
Place the fried chicken on the bakers rack to drain excess oil; be sure to place a metal baking sheet under it or paper towels while draining the excess oil off of the chicken.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2020-2013 unauthorized use and duplication of content/ material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with proper and specific direction to the original content.
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