Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with “Delta” Sauce

I have spent my whole life avoiding Popeyes Fried Chicken. I’ve heard that its Southern locations are excellent, but here in the Northeast, Popeyes appears in the news strictly along with the words, “shots fired” or, “human shield.” The branch location with which I am most familiar is in New Haven, CT, and it seems to exist in one, long perpetual armed robbery, broken up only from time-to-time by employees adding vials of crack to $50 three-piece boxes before passing them through the window. I certainly never visited, and Popeyes simply did not exist on my fried chicken radar.

Until, that is, I found myself in an airport down South during a 40 minute layover. I hadn’t eaten all day, and had only minutes to grab some chicken and get it into my belly at the airport’s food court. I opted for a two-piece, with mashed potatoes and a biscuit. The kid behind the counter asked if I wanted some “Delta sauce,” which I had never heard of. I hastily agreed, anxious to get to my little plastic table where I could begin shoehorning hot fried chicken into my throat.

The mashed potatoes were pretty standard-issue fast food stuff, and the biscuit was only remarkable due to the perfect butter-stained ring it left on my napkin. The fried chicken, however, was a revelation: unbelievably moist, piping hot white meat chicken covered in a thick, crunchy, spicy batter. Ripping strips off the breast and dunking them into the included tub of “Delta” sauce, I felt like I was eating fried chicken for the first time ever. The tangy, lightly spicy sauce perfectly complimented the salty, crunchy chicken. I wolfed down my late-lunch, and seriously considered filling the remaining space in my carry-on with more packets of Delta sauce, and wearing the cleaned bones as a necklace for the rest of the day, such was my new-found love for fried chicken.

Popeyes has just one location in Maine, in the Kennebunk Service Plaza right off Interstate 95. And while my experience with the restaurant is only limited to an airport food court, I still don’t have a ton of confidence in the quality of the chicken being served at a highway rest stop. Now, I have to satisfy my Louisiana-style fried chicken cravings at home, and this is how I do it:


Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with Popeye

  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


For the chicken:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • About 1 cup “Texas Pete” hot red pepper sauce
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk (optional)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder (to taste)
  • 1 (1 to 2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • Peanut Oil, for frying

For the Delta Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 23 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


For the chicken:

  1. Place cut-up chicken in a large bowl, and cover with buttermilk. Cover and chill for two hours, or overnight. This is an optional (but recommended) step.
  2. In a large bowl, add eggs, water, and red pepper sauce. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a large gallon freezer bag, mix flour, pepper, paprika, and cayenne.
  4. Remove chicken from buttermilk (if marinated) and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Place all chicken pieces in freezer bag with flour mixture. Shake until all pieces are evenly coated.
  6. Remove chicken pieces one at a time, shaking excess flour. Dip each piece in the egg mixture, and return to bag of flour. After all pieces of been dipped in the egg mixture and put back in the bag, give it a second shake to coat chicken pieces again.
  7. Heat oil in deep fryer or deep pan to 350 degrees. Working in batches, drop each piece of chicken into the hot oil. Fry for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown, turning occasionally if oil does not completely cover chicken. Keep in mind that dark meat chicken takes longer to cook than white meat. Watch your wing segments, as well; these will finish cooking first.

For the Delta sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.


      1. Malcolm, I’d have to say part of your recipe is faulty. I live down south and prep chicken for a Popeyes franchise. The chicken only marinates in the seasoning whether it is spicy 0r mild. I would mix my buttermilk with the eggs and dip the chicken in that mixture before flouring the chicken to fry. Try it and let me know how it works out.

        1. I would put all the hot sauce and seasonings in with the marinade. Then coat with flour, dip back in the marinade and flour again. Also use rice flour and a bit of corn starch. Makes a seriously crunch crust! Yum!

        2. Well idk about faulty knowing that different franchises are not ran the same, or even properly. Employees
          not knowing. But hes in Maine. So what he is sharing is the great taste from their popeyes

    1. Growing up in Alabama, we had Popeye’s Chicken. About buttermilk, while it may not be part of the Popeye’s recipe, soaking chicken in buttermilk provides some flavor and moisture. When I was a little girl (think decades ago) my grandparent’s cook soaked her chicken overnight in buttermilk and it was wonderful.

  1. I grew up in Indiana and my grandmother was from Kentucky. I still long for her fried chicken and sausage gravy with biscuits. I believe you this chicken at Popeye’s is heavenly, if purchased in the right part of the country. New England, probably not, but midwest and south….definitely. Next time have some sausage gravy and biscuits. Heaven. I thought my grandma must be back there in that kitchen.

    1. The trouble is, if you’re in the South, there are so many other great places to get real fried chicken, that I’m not sure you should bother with Popeyes.

      1. i was reared all over the south, and to this day NOTHING compares with the crunchy, tasty goodness of Popeye’s chicken. KFC WHO??
        i would eat Popeye’s 24-7 if i didn’t suffer so badly from acid reflux!

          1. Is Bojangles still around. That was the very best, Popeye’s came in second. If his recipe is as good as Popeye’s, I’m all over it.

            Now if you had their recipe for Red Beans and Rice. OMG! I’ll do the hour drive each way just for those.

        1. Hartz Krispy Chicken in Houston, Texas and Popeye’s are my favorite. KFC is horrible, and they think their chicken is gold, way too much money.

      2. Ohhhhh, boy. I would love to try all the different variations offered there. Last time we made fried chicken, I did it in reserved bacon fat…..Oooooohhhh……

      3. I love Popeye’s chicken. It is pricey but good. I live in south Louisiana. We also have Church’s fried chicken which I quite like. I used to love KFC years ago when it was the original crust and seasonings. We have Cane’s chicken strips–they don’t have much flavor but are famous for their dipping sauce served with it.
        I have been frying chicken at home since I can remember. It is also delicious with a fine ground cornmeal mixed in with the flour for a different texture crust. I am definitely going to try your recipe. All the best to you and your family!

  2. Popeye’s is the only chicken I buy. But you must have the red beans and rice with that chicken. And use the honey packet they give you with that biscuit.

    1. Where I’m from and how I grew up you can eat fried chicken everyday all day with every meal. Frcoal chicken is a definite addiction. No matter how much I eat or how many times I eat it if I smell fried chicken I always want it.

  3. Beautiful recipes like this are the reason I have made a vow to myself never to ever buy a deep fat fryer because, if I do, I would make fried chicken, especially something as wonderful sounding as this, all the time and become unmoveably rotund, very happy, but unable to walk none the less.

    But I may have to revert to the energy consuming and slightly dangerous method of oil-in-pan-and-guard-with-shield-and-thermometer cooking because this just screams “Have me. Eat me. Make me now.”

    We don’t have Popeyes in the UK (or I’ve certainly never seen one) but KFC is always my go-to on our “I just need a greasy, tasty, comforting takeaway” times. Next time that craving hits, I am damn sure attempting this.

    1. I completely understand where you’re coming from: The urge can be much to great to throw anything you can think of into the deep fryer, just to see what happens. Cheese sticks, Mars bars, macaroni and cheese, tuna fish salad, etc. But not to worry; this recipe can still be pulled off using a deep saucepan and a thermometer.

      1. LOL Since I started Kiss the Chef 12 years ago, all my classes and demos focused on healthy cooking. Then my husband bought me my first fryer for Christmas…..all down hill since then! (And lovin’ it)

    2. My husband likes to say, “if the lack of a deep fryer is the only thing keeping you from being unbearably obese, you’ve got bigger problems!” Hahaha…I always resisted getting one too, but I just got one for Christmas, so I MUST try this recipe. I have to echo another posters comment, their red beans and rice are FANTASTIC!

      1. The problem with a deep fryer, is that you just start tipping anything you can think of into it. Fried chicken, mozarella sticks, cookies, rice krispie treats, etc…

          1. I agree. You have to fry chicken in an iron skillet, Soaked in buttermilk first. I can’t imagine cooking without one- it’s like losing my right hand. I’ve got 6 in different sizes. Use it for everything – doesn’t have to be fried.

  4. I think I know where that Popeye’s is in New Haven–and yes, most of the fast food chains were in that one part of town that was still pretty sketchy, to say the least. There is a Popeye’s on 125th St. in Manhattan that I always passed on the M60, and especially in the evening I would cringe when people would carry bags of chicken on the bus and start eating it. It was waaaay too strong for that closed an environment.

    This looks so tempting and beautiful, it might get me to reconsider my usual ban on fried foods…

    1. I’m pretty sure “people eating on public transit” was one of the key ingredients in our eventual exodus from NYC (second only to “people performing routine hygienic tasks on public transit”).

      Eaten in the safety of your own home, however, this fried chicken was a winner!

      1. That popeyes in new haven it most def a place where everybody flock to but u you don’t get quality food what you do get is attitude and yes I’ve heard that workers sold drugs being that I am from new haven when I moved south I didn’t want it until one day my cuz took me because you can get two pieces for a dollar I must say that it was way different from CT it was fresh and hot until then that when I really found out how Popeyes chicken suppose to taste.

  5. If you’re in the New Haven area, take a quick drive up I-91 to Exit 10 and look for Griff’s Chicken Shack. Best fried chicken fingers (yeah, just fingers) around. With lots of sauces, too.

  6. Had a chuckle over your recollection of the NH Popeye’s — spot on to my memory as well. Reminded me of a KFC in DC near where I lived one summer that had a bullet-proof plexiglass lazy susan in lieu of a counter. My gf and I were walking by one night and saw two men near the open trunk of a car.

    GF: (Brightly) Hey! That man has a gun!
    Me: I know. Stop staring. Keep walking.

    1. HAHAHA, I know which one u are talking about. I had to go and get something to eat there when I was about 14. I wasn’t sure if was really a KFC. I had never seen anything like that before.

  7. My store had chicken legs for .29 a pound – I got a package of 15 legs for around $3! Totally making this chicken tonight – thanks for the recipe!

    1. If you want truly authentic southern fried chicken you would use real lard. Most people now use vegetable oil, or crisco shortening. Shortening will give a little more crispy crust.

  8. I am super pumped to try this! I am having a fried chicken cook-off with a friend and I am hoping this helps me win the trophy!! Thanks for the post! 🙂

  9. Tried this twice and both times my chicken was not done inside before the outside was done. I’m thinking about using chicken tenders instead because the batter was so tasty that I’d like to find a way to make it work somehow. Also we thought that the chicken would be spicier than it was b/c of the red pepper sauce but it wasn’t:( This one was a bust for me but like I said I bet it would be good with the tenders and the sauce.

    1. Fried chicken that gets brown on the outside without getting cooked in the middle is usually a problem with oil temperature. Did you do this in a deep fryer, or on the stove?

      1. You can make this a couple hours ahead, deep fry until it’s golden and crispy (or at least your preference for color), then put it on a rack, in a pan, in the oven at about 300F to finish it off in a shorter time, or at 200-250 to heat, hold and finish cooking for an hour or two. It’s great if you’re having a big meal or a party and want to get some stuff done ahead of time.

        Other than that, Malcolm’s right, your heat must have been too high. Also, don’t crowd the pan/fryer. That reduces the oil temp and means things take longer to cook. I really like the oven finish, myself, then I don’t have to worry about doneness, and I can fix everything else without having to keep checking the fryer.

    2. cover the skillet and lower the temperature to get the inside done, then take off the top and turn up a little for good browning and crisping.

  10. Malcolm I used a deep fryer. It doesn’t have any temp control and looked really hot and bubbly but I may have overcrowded the fryer. If I try it again I’ll let you know how that turned out:)

  11. I know the Popeye’s in NH, food is good,first time I had Popeye’s was in a gas station of all places down south,but it was that or packaged sandwiches. I went for the chicken,it was awesome,one bite and I’m like if they had these places up north KFC would be out of business! So I found one in RI but no way would I ever go there it’s like your one in New Haven. So trying this can’t wait. thanks

  12. I am from Wichita, Kansas. ight now, there are 2 Popeye’s with a 3rd soon to open. It depends on which one you go to. The one on Broadway is OK, But the one on Hillside is much better!! I am definately going to try this recipe!!!

  13. Hmmm…..I’m gonna have to try this one. We have Popeye’s on base, but I’ve never been a huge fan. Homemade would definitely be a good improvement!

  14. I am from Louisiana. We have Popeyes everywhere. I have never seen a recipe duplicate their chicken, so I am curious to hear responses from others that know Popeyes chicken

    1. I live in Georgia and we have at least 6 Popeye’s within a 3 mile radius from my house. I have been to many chicken establishments in the Atlanta area but not one of them can beat Popeye’s chicken. The spicy chicken is to die for!

  15. Looked all through Missouri today and finally found an open Popeye’s in Springfield. Apparently a lot of them have closed and this one had just reopened under the name Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. It was the same chicken I remembered from a trip to Florida and heavenly! They marinade their chicken in cajun spices they said, and it looked like hot sauce too as the chicken under the crust had red places. Think I would try that maybe added to the buttermilk?

  16. GREAT ! finally I understand why american peeps loves friend chicken, now, it makes sense. That was simply awesome. a great recipe ! I totally braked my tummy on that one. Thanks a lot !

  17. I tried this for dinner tonight, wasn’t pleased with it at all. Plus I couldn’t find chicken that wasn’t huge prices, we prefer small chickens. Nope not going to make it again, coating was way to much. Throwing it out!

  18. I love fried chicken and have eaten it in many different places… I have to say the ONLY place I have found to be better then Popeye’s chicken is Gus’s chicken Memphis….. A must try

    1. I live in England now and found this recipe because my kids were craving Gus’ fried chicken. Lol! Any time we go back to Memphis to visit family, we stop at Gus’, sometimes even more than once during the visit. Haven’t found anything better than Gus’s. Can’t wait to try this one!

  19. We had a popeye’s in Wilson at one time, but they weren’t here long. The chicken was great. They had too many other competitors like Bill’s barbacue, Parker’s barbacue, and others. We had family resturants which sold very good fried chicken. I have to agree with Big Perm that, I also hooked on Church’s chicken. They have very good chicken. Each visit I make to Raleigh , I go by Churche’s. I appreciate this recipe. I intend to try it tomorrow.

  20. Love it tasted just like I remembered. FYI it was the interstate on the way to Maine had it there for my honeymoon,not as good as down south but beats KFC. By the way if your ever in Skowhegan try ken’s their chicken is awesome,n they have a weekend breakfast Buffett that will blow you away. I drive up once a month from RI just to go there!

  21. I am from Louisiana and there ain’t no better fried chicken than Popeye’s. The only change that I would make is that I would not use “Texas Pete” hot red pepper sauce. I would use Louisiana Red Pepper Sauce. This is the same sauce that they will give you in little packets when you get chicken at the restaurant.

  22. once popeye’s made its way to new haven, i lost the ability to fry chicken. the whalley ave popeye’s may not be in the best of neighborhoods but working at yale, it was close enough to walk over for lunch on occasion. i try to limit my consumption of fried chicken, if it’s as good as popeye’s it must not be good for you. alas, i managed to go often enough that i have not been able to fry chicken for 15 years or more.

    so i am excited to try this recipe and relearn how to fry chicken. crunchy, crispy, spicy — if i am able to do that i am going to be forever indebted to you! can’t wait to try.

  23. Made this Sunday for dinner. My husband, one of the pickiest eaters I know, took one bite of this chicken, leaned over and kissed me and said “Congratulations! This is the best chicken you’ve ever made!” Imagine my shock and utter happiness! He even ate the leftovers the next day…..something he rarely ever does. And he loved the sauce. I’m in heaven! Thank you so much.

  24. Were you the one that had the recipe for cooking chicken breast to cut up for chicken salad etc. I think the method was to boil and then simmer or poach. Thanks in advance.

  25. I’ve been to that Popeye’s in New Haven, yea it’s kind of sleezy and yes you have to be quick with the getting in and out but it’s still a Popeye’s with excellent fried chicken, the Hamden location is much more suitable and there’s even one in Wallingford now. They used to make a pulled chicken barbeque sandwich that my wife and I loved to no end as well but alas no more.

    Never had the sauce but will see if it’s available.

    As far as the sides, the biscuits there are ok but nothing to write home about and too expensive IMO, the red beans and rice are pretty good but my favorite is the gravy they serve with the mashed potatoes, mind blowing in it’s artery clogging goodness.

    I’ll give this recipe a shot and provide some feedback, I consider myself a fried chicken connoisseur of the highest order and think my opinion on chicken matters to be all that should satisfy anyone lol.

    Not sure if this applies today but Roy Rodgers used to make a pretty amazing fried chicken, they used a different cooking method that included some kind of pressure cooking but it’s been some time since there was one local for me so who knows.

  26. I grew up in Mississippi eating Popeyes. To me it is the best. OMG the red beans and rice. I live in NC now. Popeyes opened a store here didnt last a year. It just was not the same, but thought after maybe getting it right it would stay. Not. All the locals around here love Bojangle’s. Nasty greasy, not crunchy chicken. But that is what people like around here I guess. Cant wait to try this recipe!!

  27. I’ve tried almost this exact same recipe but was told to put the hot sauce in the buttermilk soak. Honestly, I could not taste the hot sauce. I figured I would inject the hot sauce next go around but now that I have found your site (thank you) I will try your way first before I start shooting up birds! Thanks!

  28. I live in Maine and have gone to the Popeyes at the Kennebunk rest stop off 95, it is soooo good!!! Dont go often but have never had a bad meal!

  29. I made this the other night and used boneless thighs. I pounded them out to about 1/3″ thick and prepared them according to recipe. Made fried chicken sandwiches. Used freshly baked Kaiser rolls, dressed them with homemade chipotle aoli, pickle chips, shredded lettuce. Buttered the toasted buns first. Amazing!!

  30. I am originally from Louisiana and now live in New Hampshire where I am married to a “Boston Boy” lol He loves the Popeyes chicken when we go down to visit so we were happy to find the Popeyes in Maine and would drive 1 1/2 hours to get there and then 1 1/2 hours back home. Problem with that??? We would be craving that chicken by the time we got home!!! lol We are really happy to find the Popeyes in Salem, NH. A LOT shorter trip!!! Proves that once you’ve tasted Popeyes, you will drive pretty much anywhere to get it!!! But, cannot wait to try this!!

  31. I live in Birmingham Alabama…….aside from New Orleans, LA where Popeye’s started the best is here. PLEASE try the cajun rice with your chicken. Cannot be beat!!!!

    1. I so agree! I grew up in New Orleans and lived around the corner from Al Copeland, the original founder of Popeye’s. The “dirty” rice is fantastic… You have to try it….

  32. It’s nice to hear that a down Mainer is a cooking officianado, New England is my old stomping ground (Boston, New Hampshire) and I miss some of the northern dishes, but since moving south I have found a world of great food that is pure poison for my waisteline. I love it. Am going to try your Popeye recipe as soon as possible. What are the chances of your using “printer friendly” so we can get your recipes. Have a great day.

  33. Meg,

    I’ve tried numerous recipes for chicken with great out comes but what eludes me is the crust. I’ve tried the double dip etc, etc. But getting it to look like it has been battered instead of the typical dredged version as I said seldom happen. I buy ready fried chcken from various grocers like Winn-Dixie, Publix and even Walmart their crusts amazes me. I want it to look like what you posted here. http://megseverydayindulgence.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/extra-crispy-spicy-fried-chicken-crazy-cooking-challenge/

    Is that a picture of your chicken? It’s amazing!!

  34. Just a random comment regarding throwing things in the deepfryer. check out dudefoods.com and fyi, im in no way connected or affiliated with that site, but as an american living in budapest, hungary for the last 10 years, i live vicariously thru good us food blogs, as well as the daily dissapointments of no common us ingredients here, like buttermilk, franks, and good fried chicken.

    1. Will…. can make your own butter milk easily….. 1 cup milk, one Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Ready to use in a few minutes….

  35. I just happened across your website via All Free Copycat Recipes. I love Popeye’s catfish dinner. Do they use the same batter ingredients in the catfish as they do in this chicken recipe?


  36. I printed out the above chicken recipe, and today I finally decided to make it.. All I can say it was AWESOME!!!!
    I cut up some carrots and celery to go right along with the chicken of course for the Delta Sauce, All I can say it was Great! My son and Husband really enjoy it. I am not a real Chicken lover, But all that I can say, I will make it again, I used boneless chicken strips, which I purchased. I will make again and have my other sons try it…
    Thank You!
    Diann Negri

  37. I’m from Shreveport. Popeyes’ is great. I like Churches but it is way too greasy…..BUT the Popeye’s here in Memphis is terrible……..well, maybe not terrible, but not the Popeye’s I’m used to.. Also the biscuits here are not the great buttermilk biscuits served in Louisiana…..Do use Louisiana hot sauce…..better Louisiana taste!!! The dirty rice is the ONLY side for the chicken!!!

  38. I have loved Popeye’s Spicy Chicken for years, and tried to duplicate the recipe several times with results that were, shall we say, interesting? I can’t wait to try this one! Anything spicy is OK by me. I even love going to Indian restaurants and having curry so hot my hair sweats!

    Thanks for doing this one, and I will try it soon and let you know how it turned out. Only thing I gotta remember is that I’m out of cayenne. A quick trip to Kroger’s and I’m good to go!

  39. Hi Malcolm,

    Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it. Having family in Portland we always stop at the Kennebunk Plaza just to get the chicken at that Popeyes. The chicken is always great, the Popeyes there is so popular but worth waiting for, we have never had any bad chicken there ever, even before the rest area was remodeled. Thanks again for the recipe!

  40. Jillian and Malcolm, I don’t think that Popeye’s is the reason for the crime. It might have something to do with the uneducated and not raised right thugs around it. You are right about the chicken down here at Popeye’s it’s the best.

  41. Believe it or not, some of the best fried chicken in the south is from gas stations. Around New Orleans, there’s Brother’s Fried Chicken, and Brother’s is usually attached to a gas station. It’s way better than any Popeye’s.

    Popeye’s was a lot better before Al Copeland sold it off. The family still owns the seasoning recipe and makes the seasoning, which it sells to Popeye’s, but the quality is not the same. Especially the biscuits, which used to be delicious cake-like wonders of southern cooking. Now they’re just a greasy fake-butter soaked mess.

  42. This recipe was delicious. There was so much batter on the chicken, it was amazing. I only put 1/2 of the pepper sauce because I thought it would be too spicy for my kids, but next time I’ll make sure to mix it all in there. My husband and kids devoured it. Thanks for the recipe!

  43. Your blog on Popeye’s was HILARIOUS!! True representation of southern Popeye’s. Haven’t tried the recipe but will soon. Love the idea of a whole cup of hot sauce.

  44. I can see only one problem with your Popeye’s version. As a Southerner and a great cook, let me tell you a little secret. Never, ever use Texas Pete, lots of heat, not a lot of flavor, for truly good, spicy fried chicken, use Frank’s Red Hot or Louisiana brand hot sauces. Oh and don’t skip that buttermilk marinade. It is essential for juicy, tender Southern fried chicken the way Grandma made it.

  45. The hook to me reading this blog was your reference to New Haven, CT.! I grew up twelve miles north and am very familiar with N’Haven! It’s not the beatiful, safe little city that I visisted often as a child…but I digress. My first exposure to ANY KIND OF FRIED CHICKEN was when I was 17 and the first KFC opened in our little town of Wallingford. Nirvana! Then I moved South and yes, my boys are the ones who prompted me to drive through Popeye’s when they were teens. It far exceeds KFC in quality and taste. Not nearly as much fat beneath the skin and a perfect confluence of taste, quality and crunch! I’m really looking forward to trying your recipe!!!

  46. Do yourself another big favor and order the “dirty rice” or whatever they are calling it these days it is many orders of magnitude tastier than plain old mashed potatoes. The first time I had Popyes was at a picnic out by Lake Ponchartrain 41 years ago, it came in a plain brown cardboard bucket and when I tasted it I was reminded of the taste of the fried chicken dinners made by the ladies of the Baptist church. The church ladies only sold one meal at a time you couldn’t get a whole bucket from them no matter how much money you had.

    1. You are absolutely correct about the “Dirty Rice!” It’s the “pièce de résistance” of fast food! Hands down, if you want a great fried chicken meal…opt for Popeye’s! Y’all will feel as if you are in N’awlins or at least Cajun Country!

  47. Delicious! My wife loved it and she isn’t easy to please when it comes to spicy foods. I didn’t have buttermilk, so I added 4 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar to a cup of milk for an acidic milk and added about 1/2 tsp. cayenne and 1/2 cup of my own wing sauce (made from Franks) to marinate it in. That gave the meat a spicy flavor soaked in. It is probably as close to Popeye’s as you’re gonna get when the meat has a spicy flavor, too. We will definitely make it again! Also, I used the same batter for onion rings! Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  48. my first time eating popeyes chicken was in louisianna ….and it has remained my favorite chicken …and now we have them here in Ga and Tenn…thank goodness…..so love it …but cannot eat it much due to acid reflux….but I still do once in a while….

  49. just for the record, ive been to the popeyes in kennebunk off i95, chicken is just how i remembered it at home (NYC) you wont be disappointed going there.

  50. The “Delta” sauce contains the exact same ingredients for a Remoulade sauce that I make. Tasty on a salad…..especially tasty on anything fried…..my favorite…..dip fried crawfish in it!

  51. The blog is highly offensive, I was looking for a good fried chicken recipe and was captured by the picture but after reading this article I won’t dare being that I was born and raised in NEW HAVEN, CT actually about 5min away from that Popeyes the author mentioned. It is mind blowing how people talk about things they don’t know. Also highly upsetting for people to speak of our HOME.

    1. Thanks for writing, Cristina! I know that Popeyes well, actually. It is a scar on humanity. You can still love the Elm City, as we do, and admit that fact. Also, this chicken recipe is good and you should totally try it.

  52. There’s a Popeye’s in Salem N.H.? Wow. My parents were originally from Portsmouth and lived in Salem briefly in the late 70s and early 80s. I live in Rome, GA., and we just got a Popeye’s. Sorry, but it is 10 times better than Church’s. No, 100 times better.

  53. Great recipe! The only thing I have is to let the chicken rest at least half an hour before frying. You will form a better crust and the chicken will cook through easier.
    Little side note; sour dill spears and/or pickled jalapeños are a terrific accompaniment to the richness of the chicken and any sides you got and a Southern must.

  54. I always marinate chicken in buttermilk before anyway I’m going to cook it. Rather than putting it in a bowl with all that buttermilk, I add some minced garlic, garlic salt, and garlic pepper to some buttermilk – in a zip loc bag. Squish it around to distribute the garlic, and then add the chicken pieces. I only use enough buttermilk to cover the chicken, when all the air has been squeezed out. I turn the bag once in a while to make sure the chicken is moved around.

  55. Guys,..even though I currently live in Kentucky I was born and raised in New Orleans, La. Popeyes is by far the best fried chicken out there and I currently drive an hour and 20 minutes each way when I want to get some.
    Churchs and Bojangles are also good,…but come on,….they’ll always come second to popeyes.

  56. This recipe is the closest I’ve found in all my Googling. I rarely comment in blogs, but I may have some useful info. I’m in Deer Park, TX and live close to a Popeye’s. I’ve spent more money and time trying to copy the recipe than I’ll admit, (even though I know a 43 million dollar recipe is something I’ll never get my hands on and neither will anyone else), but I have come a long ways by picking up some Popeye’s chicken to compare mine with each time I make fried chicken. The key is seasoning buttermilk marinated chicken, then locking it in with the batter; how I season the flour/dry mix is not as important as I once thought. A buttermilk marinade with Tabasco, seasoning heavy in cayenne, and a batter that will hold needs egg, milk, and a bit of flour in it as well. I’ve found a combination of Frank’s and Louisiana that I love: Frank’s Red Hot sauce has a ketchup style sauce that gives the right flavor, Louisiana has the right heat. I add bit of cream of chicken soup to the batter, and either cornstarch or baking powder in with the flour. The seasonings are definitely white pepper as opposed to black, and dashes of cumin and ground mustard are in there, too. I’m actually hoping you’ll trying tinkering with your recipe again with any of what I’ve added, for a second opinion – but your last post dated in April tells me another Popeye’s opened up near you, one without the adrenaline rush of living dangerously.

    The Delta sauce recipe is awesome, it totally made my day! Thanks

  57. I just had to comment when you said why bother with Popeyes with all the chicken available in the south. After years (50+) of living and eating in the South if we can’t find a Popeyes we eat something other than chicken . I do agree that it is the butter that makes the biscuit. Keep up the good work.

  58. KFC has been losing market share for years and closing stores. Their chicken now is just plain awful and very expensive. Bojangles and Church’s are my ‘go to’ fast food chicken spots now.
    If you want a little extra crispy just add a little corn starch to your flour.

  59. I was looking forward to eating wonderful chicken that tasted like Popeyes’ chicken; I followed to the letter all the ingredients and steps and even had the hubby cook it outside in the big wok so we could make a lot of it; for us, it was nothing like the real thing, regrettably.
    The crust was too thick and crunchy, more flour tasting than chicken tasting. The meat was bland. I wanted to make this over and over, forever when I saw the comments but we were disappointed. I am not one to have ever given a negative opinion on recipes before (I adhere to the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” school of thought) but I thought I would put this out there and maybe someone could figure why this was such a fail. I love the spicy chicken from Popeyes’ and am not sure if this is more like the mild version but the crust itself would stop me making it as it is. Has anyone tried it with less eggs? or no eggs? I feel that is where we went wrong, the eggs gave the crust too much thickness and maybe took some flavor away?

  60. This recipe is amazing. I made it a little over a week ago and my 3 year old daughter has been begging for it every single day. I caved and am making it again tonight. Thank you so much. We’re in love!

  61. Hey all, I uncovered your blog through Bing when you are evaluating a related issue, your web site developed, it looks good.. Star Citizen I have combined with favourites features|included with my own book marks.

  62. We used this recipe tonight for dinner and loved it. Extra crispy, as promised! We used boneless, skinless breasts so we lowered the cooking temp to about 325 and cut the time slightly and they turned out wonderfully tender. This is definitely going in our book to use again!

  63. I did this, 65C sous vide (2hrs for dark meat and 1 hr for breasts) -total 3 hrs in sous vide after 24hrs soak in butter milk. DELICEOUS

  64. What an annoying comment on a blog post. No doubt, you feel safer writing on websites instead of interacting in person? Did you go out of your way to make this comment as laughable as possible? Come on dude, quit wasting your efforts writing to strangers and Make some content of your own; quit being so scared.

  65. Good chicken is chicken that is prepped and fried properly. In all honesty, regarding seasonings, salt and pepper are all you need. Marinate in buttermilk for 1-2 hrs. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper after you remove it from the marinade.Coat with flour using a Ziploc bag or paper bag by shaking vigorously a few times. Remove the pieces from the bag. Gently shake to remove excess flour. If frying on a stove top, turn the burner on medium-low, do not drop pieces of chicken in until you both see and hear the grease sizzling steadily. Cover, turn pieces over after 12-13 minutes. Remove chicken with tongs, place on serving pan or plate lined with paper towels. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then get a couple of pieces and ENJOY! For spicy chicken, after you take the chicken out of the buttermilk marinade, put the chicken in a blend of Crystal brand Louisiana Hot Sauce liberally blended with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. Let the chicken marinate in this for 30 minutes, then proceed with preparations, except DON’T add salt and pepper to the chicken after you take it from the buttermilk marinade–the hot sauce and Creole seasoning have plenty of that already. It’s not Popeye’s, Church’s, or KFC, but it’s really good!

  66. I made this today and it was delicious! Followed the recipe except I made it in my air fryer (22 minutes at 360F, flipped halfway through). I did it in batches, making sure there was plenty of room around each piece and spraying a generous amount of olive oil over every one. The chicken was tender and juicy while the outside was perfectly crispy and golden brown. Some exterior parts were a bit floury but I just spritzed them with more oil and popped them back in the air fryer for another minute, worked great. And it did really taste like Popeyes! Will definitely be holding onto this recipe, thanks 🙂

  67. Great Recipe. I would suggest mixing the buttermilk and the spice mix first so that marinates. Also 15 min was too long to cook. My boneless chicken was done in 10 min. I did mine in two batches. The first was a little to crispy but the 2nd adjusted one came out perfect.

    It had a great taste. Just get some Hawaiian rolls and a little chipotle aioli for the bread and you are good to go!

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