Everyone loves Popeyes and their fried chicken. I am probably one of the biggest Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe fans. What if I tell you you can make the exact Popeye’s Fried Chicken at home?
In this post, I will show you how you can do it. You will fall in love with this recipe for Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken.
What Is Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe?
Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe is a spicy, perfectly cooked, crispy outside, juicy inside chicken that will make you fall in love.
How Long Will It Take To Prepare?
- Marinate Time: 4 hours to overnight (ideally)
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- Breading Time: 10-15 minutes
- Frying Time: 15-20 minutes per batch (multiple batches may be needed)
- Total Time: Approximately 4 to 5 hours, including marinating time and accounting for various collections if required.
- Serving: This recipe typically serves four people, but you can adjust it according to your needs.
- Difficulty Level: Moderate. While not overly complex, frying chicken can be challenging, especially if you’re not experienced. Careful attention is needed to maintain the correct oil temperature and ensure the chicken is cooked without burning the coating.
How Do You Make Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe?
Essential Ingredients For Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe:
For the Chicken
- Four bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (such as thighs and drumsticks)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- One tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Two teaspoons paprika
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- One teaspoon of onion powder
- One teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
- One teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Coating
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- One teaspoon paprika
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- One teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Essential Instructions For Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe:
Marinate the Chicken
Mix the buttermilk and hot sauce (if used) in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the buttermilk mixture, submerging them fully.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best for the most flavorful results.
Prepare the Coating
Combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a separate bowl. This will be used for the final coating of the chicken.
Bread the Chicken
Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade and let any excess drip off. Dip each chicken piece into the flour mixture, ensuring it’s well coated. You can double dip for a thicker crust if desired. Place the coated chicken pieces on a baking sheet.
Let the Chicken Rest
Allow the breaded chicken to rest for about 15-20 minutes. This helps the coating adhere better.
Heat the Oil
In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350-375°F (175-190°C).
Fry the Chicken
Carefully place the chicken pieces into the hot oil, skin side down. Be cautious not to overcrowd the pan; fry in batches if necessary.
Fry the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until it’s golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Remove the fried chicken and place it on a wire rack to drain excess oil.
Serve your homemade Popeye-style fried chicken hot with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, biscuits, coleslaw, and gravy.
Additional Tips For Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe:
- Brine the Chicken: If you have extra time, consider bringing the chicken before marinating it in buttermilk. A simple brine of water, salt, and sugar (about 4 cups water, 1/4 cup salt, and 1/4 cup sugar) for 1-2 hours before the buttermilk bath can add more flavor and moisture to the chicken.
- Use a Thermometer: To ensure your chicken is perfectly cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 165°F (74°C) at the thickest part of the chicken without touching the bone.
- Double Coating: You can double coat the chicken for a thicker and crunchier crust. After the initial flour coating, dip it back into the buttermilk and then cover it with the flour mixture.
- Resting Time: Allowing the breaded chicken to rest before frying is crucial. It helps the coating adhere better and ensures a crispier texture.
- Maintain Oil Temperature: Keep an eye on the oil temperature during frying. Using a thermometer is recommended to maintain a consistent frying temperature. Adjust the heat to keep it within the 350-375°F (175-190°C).
- Don’t Crowd the Pan: Frying too many chicken pieces at once can lower the oil temperature and result in uneven cooking. Fry in batches if necessary.
- Drain Excess Oil: Let the chicken drain on a wire rack or paper towels to remove excess oil after frying. This helps keep the crust crispy.
Precautions For Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe:
- Hot Oil Safety: Be extremely careful when working with hot oil. Use a deep fryer or a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, and never leave it unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. Ensure no water or ice is on or near the oil, as it can cause splattering and fires.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Frying too much chicken at once can lead to uneven cooking and decreased oil temperature. It’s safer to fry in smaller batches.
- Use a Splatter Guard: To minimize oil splatters, consider using a splatter guard or a deep-fry thermometer with a built-in splatter screen.
- Dispose of Oil Safely: Don’t pour used frying oil down the sink or toilet. Let it cool completely, transfer it to a sealable container, and dispose of it according to local regulations.
- Handle Hot Chicken Carefully: Use tongs or a slotted spoon to avoid burns when removing fried chicken from the hot oil. Allow it to drain on a wire rack rather than paper towels to maintain crispiness.
- Check for Doneness: Always ensure the chicken is cooked through. Cutting into the thickest part should reveal clear, non-pink juices, and the internal temperature should be 165°F (74°C).
Nutrition Facts Of Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe
Remember that these estimates are based on a typical homemade preparation, including buttermilk, flour, and frying in vegetable oil.
The actual nutritional content can vary depending on factors like the size of the chicken pieces, the exact ingredients used, and the amount of fat absorbed during frying.
5 Best Variations Of Popeye’s Fried Chicken Recipe
1. Spicy Cajun Fried Chicken
Add more cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and paprika to the breading mixture for an extra kick of spice. Serve with a spicy Cajun dipping sauce from mayonnaise, hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning.
2. Honey Butter Fried Chicken
After frying the chicken, brush it with melted butter and honey for a sweet and savory glaze. This combination of flavors is irresistible.
3. Buttermilk Ranch Fried Chicken
Incorporate ranch seasoning into the flour mixture for a tangy and herby twist. Serve with a side of homemade ranch dressing for dipping.
4. Lemon Pepper Fried Chicken
Add lemon zest and cracked black pepper to the breading mixture for a zesty and aromatic flavor. Drizzle the finished chicken with fresh lemon juice before serving.
5. Garlic Parmesan Fried Chicken
Mix grated Parmesan cheese and minced garlic into the flour coating for a cheesy and garlicky flavor. Serve with a side of garlic butter dipping sauce for an extra punch.
In conclusion, making Popeye’s-style fried chicken at home is a rewarding culinary adventure. You can enjoy a homemade version of this beloved fast-food classic by marinating the chicken in buttermilk, creating a flavorful coating, and frying it to crispy perfection.
With additional tips for success and precautions for safe frying, you can make your fried chicken experience both delicious and safe.
Plus, there are endless possibilities for creative variations to add your personal touch to this iconic dish.