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 y’all today. Trust me 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 and one big idea turned into a craze that swept the nation and the world”, I have to tell you I couldn’t agree more with that statement friends.
Popeye’s Mighty Good Fried Chicken was first 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, business was a little on the slow side, and 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 fry almost anything you can think of, okra, tomatoes, pickles, steaks, pork chops, and fried chicken just to name a few of our Southern fried Cuisines. Why do we fry 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 answered your own question after thinking about it for a few moments. It’s pretty darn good, isn’t it Y’all?
Every Southern Belle proudly represents their grannies and mamas in the South when they cook up a batch of fried chicken, 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.
Now not all of our grannies and mamas are from the South or maybe a few just didn’t learn how to make fried chicken yet, that’s ok I have a wonderful copycat recipe for y’all 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 really know your fried chicken after making this Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Chicken.
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 awesome crispy breading just begging you to take a bite and savor the flavor in your mouth,
Now before we get started, this isn’t Popeye’s top-secret recipe; this is just my version of their Spicy Fried Chicken; so keep in mind while it tastes so darn close to the Popeye’s Spicy Chicken we aren’t top-secret spies and that’s probably a darn good thing because I look hideous in prison orange, let alone those jumpsuits they wear.
- 5 pounds whole fryer chicken cut up into 8 pieces skin on
- 1 quart buttermilk to brine
- 3 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Dry mustard
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 of spice mixture from above list
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- Peanut oil or shortening for frying
In a large plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid, combine buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, kosher salt with a small whisk. Add the cut up pieces of whole chicken to the large plastic bowl making sure to completely submerge the chicken in the brine mixture. Refrigerate overnight 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. Generously season both sides of the cut-up whole chicken. Reserve 1/2 seasoning.
Combine 3 cups of self-rising flour, 1/2 of a cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and about 1/2 of the spice mixture from above. 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 till ready.
In a medium glass dish, combine the eggs, water, and Cajun seasoning. 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 chicken from the paper sack and place 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 peanut oil to a preheated cast iron kettle of about 350 degrees.
Add chicken to cast iron kettle and cook until golden brown. Be sure to the chicken is completely covered with oil. Do not overcrowd the cast iron kettle if need be make in batches.
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 peanut oil off of the chicken.