Copy Cat: Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken

Jalisco, Mexico

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Do you like Popeye’s chicken? Then you’ll love this copycat version of the spicy, crispy, golden deliciousness! You’ll adore the taste of spicy, perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. With the signature warming spicy kick of Popeye’s fried chicken? So skip the drive-thru and enjoy a homemade version of this fast-food favorite. So let’s make some fried chicken friends.

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Ingredients:
Chicken Brine
  • 5 pounds whole fryer chicken cut up into 8 pieces, skin on
  • 1 quart whole buttermilk to brine chicken
  • 1 cup Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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Spice Mixture

  • ½ tbsp dry mustard powder
  • ½ tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp dried dill
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp msg (optional)
  • ½ tbsp white pepper
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

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Batter Mixture
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • ½ spice mixture from above list, sifted
Other ingredients
  • 3-4 large Eggs lightly beat
  • 3 tablespoons Water
  • ¼ tablespoon Cayenne pepper
  • Frying oil for fryer

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Instructions:

Brine Chicken

  • In a large plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid, combine buttermilk, tabasco sauce, olive 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 submerge the chicken in the brine mixture completely
  • Refrigerate overnight or 8 hours for the best results
  • Pour off the chicken brine, shake off excess buttermilk brine from the chicken
  • Do not rinse the chicken

Season the chicken

  • In a small bowl, combine all the spices
  • Use ½ of seasoning to generously season both sides of the cut-up whole chicken
  • Then reserve ½ seasoning for the dredge mixture below

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Batter the chicken
  • Combine all-purpose flour, ½ cup of cornstarch, 1 tsp of baking soda, and the rest of the spice mixture from above
  • Then sift all ingredients for the dredge
  • Then place the flour mixture into a large bowl, add the brine seasoned chicken to the flour mixture
  • Thoroughly coat the brined chicken
  • Remove the chicken and 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 shake off the excess egg mixture
  • Place chicken back into the dredge to coat the chicken
  • Remove the chicken and place on a non-stick baking sheet
  • Refrigerate for about 1 hour to dry the batter
  • Trust me, the batter becomes so much more crispy after doing this

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Cook the chicken
  • Add the oil to fryer or large pot
  • Bring the oil to a temperature of 340° before adding the battered chicken
  • Add the chicken to fryer and cook the chicken until golden brown
  • Be sure to the chicken is completely covered with oil
  • Do not overcrowd the fryer, if need be make in batches
  • The meat’s internal temperature should read 165° degrees when done
  • Place the fried chicken on bakers rack or paper towels to drain excess oil

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Serve the chicken warm with some great fries, coleslaw, lots of dipping sauces and a handful of napkins. Also very good the nice day cold out of the fridge or throw in the cooker for a nice picnic at the beach.

Enjoy!

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