Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

I love a good fried chicken sandwich once in awhile. To me the chicken needs to be crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and the buns need to be toasty while the condiments are fresh and evenly distributed. It is no surprise that fast food restaurants often fail in one of these areas, but even fancy restaurants can be hit or miss. Surprisingly I have had good luck at a fast food restaurant called Popeyes. Whereas other fast food restaurants seem to get at least one thing wrong — resulting in a sandwich that is dry, cold, soggy, or simply not fresh — Popeyes has done a good job the few times I’ve been to one.

If you are not familiar with Popeyes restaurant, it was founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Popeyes began selling a chicken sandwich in 2019 to compete with Chick-fil-A‘s similar sandwich. Popeyes chicken sandwich has become quite popular across the nation. It contains a marinated buttermilk-battered chicken breast on a brioche bun along with pickles and mayonnaise, or (alternatively) a spicy Cajun mayo. Either way, I love the combinations of flavor and texture!

You can’t beat homemade food, however, so I decided to recreate the Popeyes chicken sandwich at home. I am sharing what I learned through trial and error so that you can make it too. Once you have the ingredients, you will be surprised how easy it is to make one of these. You can skip the drive-thru and enjoy this homemade version of this fast-food favorite with wonderfully crisp chicken, perfectly spiced mayo on a toasted brioche bun.

Chicken marinade

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded for even cooking and cut each chicken breast in half crosswise
  • 1 cup butter milk
  • 1 tsp. each paprika, garlic powder, black pepper powder, salt and Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

Cajun mayo

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tsp. each hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, paprika, lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. each garlic powder, sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

Breading for chicken

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. each paprika, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. each salt, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

To fry

  • 4 cups canola oil

Assembly

  • 4 medium sized brioche buns
  • 2 tbsp. butter to toast the buns
  • 4 pieces of fried chicken
  • Cajun mayo
  • Sliced pickles

Chicken marinade

Thoroughly whisk all marinade ingredients, except for the chicken, in a large rectangle casserole dish. Add chicken pieces to the mix. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

Make sure to bring the chicken out from the refrigerator around 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to cook.

Cajun sauce

Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

Breading for chicken

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a separate large casserole dish, combine all dredge ingredients. Drizzle 3-4 tbsp. of the buttermilk marinade into the dredge mixture. Use a fork to mix.

Taking 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture. Press the flour on the top chicken to form a thick crust. Transfer the chicken to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

To fry

Heat oil in a large deep pot at 350 degrees. Working in small batches, flipping in between several times for even browning, cook the chicken until golden brown for around 8-12 minutes and when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces.

To assemble

Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan and toast buns face down until golden and crisp.  Spread a generous layer of Cajun mayo on each bun. Top with pickles and chicken.

Serves 4

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram

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