Look no further for the real Popeyes Chicken Sandwich! The Classic Chicken Sandwich is made with toasted Brioche buns, crispy fried chicken breast, barrel pickles, and mayonnaise. I show you how to perfect this chicken sandwich recipe coming from the Louisiana kitchen itself!
And if you love dipping sauces try our Spicy Mayo or Chick-fil-a Sauce paired with the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. We also developed a new fried chicken recipe after the famous Zaxbys Chicken and their Honey Mustard Sauce so give those a try if you’re a fast-food Restaurant fan!
The popularity of Popeyes Chicken is real. Although Popeye’s menu only sells two chicken sandwiches–Classic Chicken Sandwich or Spicy Chicken Sandwich, the crispy chicken will be self-explanatory after one bite.
It is truly one of the best fried chicken recipes I’ve ever made and to be clear I literally had the real sandwich side-by-side when developing this chicken sandwich, so you can be confident a lot of testing was involved to perfect this recipe (let’s just say we ate fried chicken for days.)
As ironic as it sounds Popeyes Louisana Kitchen used to be called Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits. This American Fast food restaurant was founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and today is one of America’s favorite fried chicken Restaurants!
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Recipe
So, how do you make a Popeyes chicken recipe? You can believe I watched this video from the Popeyes Restaurant itself on Behind The Scenes Of Popeyes Chicken when developing the Popeyes sandwich.
The process is eye-opening and is frankly different from a typical buttermilk fried chicken recipe. The chicken is first marinated to make juicy chicken (newsflash, not in buttermilk), then dipped into a thick yellow batter to glue the breading on, and finally, deep-fried in oil.
Fact: Believe it or not, I even bought MSG when developing this fried chicken recipe but my husband refused to eat it with MSG so, I found a way better alternative (seasoned salt.)
Popeyes Fried Chicken
As a result, my quick-meat tenderizer works in minutes for marinating chicken because baking soda and vinegar is the secret to getting meat soft fast! Furthermore, I wanted an egg slurry as seen in the Popeyes Video which, eggs and Turmeric helped out with. Thankfully, I was able to get the consistency of the wet batter I wanted from this Chinese Chicken Fingers Recipe.
I love recreating copycat recipes and am happy to bring to you yet another successful copycat! My brother-in-law said it was hard to tell from trying the real Popeyes classic sandwich and mine! Excited to hear your feedback! Comment me below! Let’s make fried chicken now!
What is Popeyes?
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is a Fast Food Chain Restaurant that makes, New Orleans-style chicken. The restaurant was first franchised in 1976 and later became the top, quick-serving chicken chain. The new chicken sandwich that launched in 2019 went viral and has received phenomenal reviews.
Popeyes offers two chicken sandwiches, the Classic Chicken Sandwich and the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The sandwiches are both made of marinated chicken breast fillets in a blend of Louisiana spices, then hand-battered and breaded in a buttermilk coating before it is served in a toasted brioche bun with cured barrel (salted) pickles and mayonnaise. The spicy version comes in a spicy mayo sauce instead.
Classic Chicken Sandwich vs Spicy Chicken Sandwich
So the main difference between Popeyes classic chicken sandwich and Spicy Chicken sandwich is in the sauces. The classic chicken sandwich is made with mayonnaise, salted pickles, and fried chicken over a toasted brioche bun, and the Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich is made with a spicy mayonnaise sauce (hence the orange hue.)
Both Popeyes chicken sandwiches are as good and can be dipped in the Popeyes Blackened Ranch (one of Popeyes signature dipping sauces) for more flavor. You can totally replicate the whole combo at home and make a family meal by buying a bag of frozen cajun fries and making Iced Tea at home for the drink to accommodate the tasty fried chicken sandwich.
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Ingredients:
- Chicken breasts- use 2 1/2 lbs of boneless chicken breasts.
- Marinade- to make this brine combine the chicken marinade ingredients (Lawry’s seasoned salt, baking soda, white distilled vinegar, and cold tap water.) This works as a super-fast meat tenderizer and makes the chicken juicy.
- Wet Batter- eggs and buttermilk with the addition of baking soda and turmeric (for color) help with the breading to stick to the chicken.
- Flour- I typically have unbleached bread flour on hand so that is what I used. You can use self-rising flour or all-purpose flour only try to adjust the baking soda and salt accordingly.
- Corn starch- helps make a crispier crust. If you don’t have it use all flour or another kind of starch like potato starch.
- Spices- I’ve come to this spice blend after trials of mimicking the original sandwich-it is the closest thing to the real thing!
- Brioche buns- I buy brioche buns in the bakery section of Walmart or Aldi.
- Mayonnaise- Dukes Mayonnaise is the closest to the Popeyes Chicken mayo. It is a bit more tart than Hellman’s mayonnaise.
- Sour Pickles- look for sour dill pickles and slice them at home yourself home.
- Baking Soda- when I use this leavening it seems to create a light and crispy chicken breading whereas without baking powder or baking soda the breading can be rather dense. I’ve also noticed more flaky bits in the coating when using baking soda. A rule of advice, always try to use an acidic ingredient like vinegar, lemon juice, or buttermilk to quench that bitterness from the baking soda.
How To Make Crispy Fried Chicken?
To make fried chicken skin shaggy moisten the chicken first before dredging it in the flour coating. Then press the coating into the chicken (a Kentucky Fried Chicken method.) Also, drizzling in some wet batter helps clump up the batter so that the clumps can stick to the coating.
- To begin: place the dry breading ingredients into a large bowl. Press the breading into marinated chicken breasts (or chicken thigs) then toss and press the breading into the chicken and press down firmly. Rotate and repeat 2 more times. Shake off any excess flour and the chicken should resemble a crumbly texture.
- Pro-tip: drizzle some wet batter into the floured breading at the beginning of dredging the chicken. This will clump up some of the breading for flaky and crispy chicken pieces.
How To Toast Brioche Buns?
- To Toast Buns on the Skillet: preheat a cast-iron skillet (a non-stick pan or griddle will work too) and place buns side down over high heat. Toast for up to 30 seconds then remove. This will be a breeze if you have your brioche buns unpackaged and ready to go.
- To Toast Buns in the Oven: place buns side up and broil until toasted.
What Pickles Are Best For Popeyes Chicken Sandwich?
Popeyes Restaurant uses barrel-cured pickles. You’ll want a good fermented sour pickle similar to refrigerated kosher dill spears or half sours fresh dill pickles sold in the refrigerator section at Aldi. Avoid sweet gherkins pickles, you’ll want a sour and salted pickle.
The Secret To the Best Fried Chicken Marinate?
What is the best marinade for fried chicken? Buttermilk is such a common answer, but did you know baking soda is a chef’s secret to tenderizing meat fast?
Read the back of your baking soda box and you’d be surprised! This quick-meat tenderizer is my-go for chicken recipes and only takes 20 minutes for superior results. After the chicken breast fillets sit in my baking soda mixture of vinegar and seasoned salt, I then dip into the buttermilk batter and finish in the flour coating.
There is no need to rinse the meat off from the marinade it’s diluted in water and since the vinegar quenches the bitterness there are no worries for any harsh after tastes.
What Kind of Chicken Does Popeyes Use?
The Popeyes Chicken Menu offers family meals of chicken nuggets, handcrafted tenders, crispy drumsticks, wings, and thighs. I use boneless and skinless chicken breasts for the Popeyes chicken sandwich.
To make the perfect sized fillet you’ll want to horizontally slice the chicken breast in half. Then pound each half to 1/4-1/2″ thickness and slice in half crosswise to make a chicken cutlet. Making bun-size fillets is so important for the meat to cook thoroughly without burning the crust.
Feel free to use chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this crispy fried chicken sandwich. Keep in mind bone-in meats need to cook longer and besides nobody wants to bite into a bone when eating a sandwich. Be sure to trim any white tendons to avoid chewy pieces of chicken when eating.
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Calories?
Wondering how many calories are in a Popeyes Chicken Sandwich? The good news is when you make your own fried chicken at home you can actually adjust the nutrition by omitting a certain frying oil or tweaking it to your liking.
The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is 699 calories (sandwich only) and my Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Recipe is 698 calories! How close!
How To Store Fried Chicken Sandwiches?
This recipe makes 12, Popeyes chicken sandwiches. I typically make and assemble all the sandwiches and if there are any leftovers, we just wrap them and place them in the fridge. The secret to preventing soggy sandwiches is to dollop the mayo in the center of each bun and to drain and place pickles onto paper towels before placing them on the sandwiches. This way the paper towels absorb the pickle juice.
These sandwiches reheat well the next day for a quick lunch or chicken dinner. Be sure to drain the pickles well before assembling the sandwiches.
To reheat: place a leftover chicken sandwich onto a plate and microwave over hi-power for 30-60 seconds or until hot. To reheat fried chicken alone revive by toasting in the oven until hot (7-8 minutes.)
What Are The Popeyes Sauces?
- Buttermilk Ranch.
- Blackened Ranch (buttermilk ranch with spices)
- Sweet Heat (honey, hot sauce, vinegar)
- Bayou Buffalo (cayenne hot sauce, butter, Cajun spice)
- BoldBQ (sweet and tangy BBQ)
- Mardi Gras Mustard (sweetened traditional Creole mustard)
How Long To Fry Chicken For Popeyes Chicken Sandwiches?
Your meat thermometer should read 165°F when inserting into the thickest part of the chicken meat. Chicken breasts cook quicker than a bone-in cut so it’ll take about 3 minutes per side if the cutlet is 1/4-1/2″ thick.
Is It Cheaper To Make A Popeyes Chicken Sandwich At Home?
The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Price can come with a hefty price tag if purchased as a combo. A medium combo with a side of cajun fries and a soft drink costs $8.39. A sandwich alone is $3.99. Keep in mind this cost is for one serving.
It is much more cost-efficient if you make your own (DIY) Popeyes chicken sandwich. A 5 pounds package of chicken breasts can cost around $8. That’s already way more for the buck!
How To Make Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich:
- Slice, pound, and cut the chicken breasts to make bun-size fillets. Place fillets into a large mixing bowl.
- Make the chicken marinade. Stir into the fillets and allow the meat to sit on the countertop for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the wet batter by whisking together the eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and turmeric in a medium-sized bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.
- Take a marinated chicken fillet and dip it into the wet batter first, then coat the chicken into the flour mixture. Press the breading into the chicken and shake off any excess flour.
- Deep-fry in oil.
- Place fried chicken fillets onto a wire cooling rack and keep warm in the oven while you finish preparing the rest of the chicken.
- Assemble the sandwiches by dolloping mayonnaise onto each bun. Place two sour pickles onto the bottom of each bun and layer with the chicken a dollop of more mayo on the top bun.
Best Sides For Popeyes Chicken Sandwich?
These are all the tasty sides Popeyes serves when looking at the menu from popeyes near me;
- Cajun fries
- red beans and rice
- mashed potatoes with gravy
- homestyle mac and cheese
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Variations:
The classic sandwich is typically served with mayonnaise and sour pickles, however, you can add any of these toppings to make it more fun.
- Place a slice of a Deluxe American cheese over the warm chicken, this way it will melt without reheating.
- Finely shred some iceberg lettuce for extra greens.
- I like to add Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to my Popeyes chicken sandwich and that’s enough for so much flavor and heat. However, make some Spicy Mayo and season it with Creole seasonings if you prefer it in the spread. Other spicy sauces to try are Taco Bell’s Creamy Jalapeño Sauce, Subway Chipotle Southwest Sauce, or a mustard BBQ sauce like the Chick-fil-a sauce.
- Serve a side of this Summer Slaw for a light side dish this hearty chicken dinner.
- If you like it real spicy add a slice of Pepper Jack cheese or add sliced jalapeno and Sriracha sauce.
Tips On How To Make Fried Chicken:
- Go easy on the red spices like cayenne pepper and paprika, adding too much will make a darker brown chicken coating once fried.
- Arrange your fried chicken pieces onto a wire cooling rack set on top of a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven while the batch is frying. This creates a crackly crust and keeps the chicken warm.
- Cornstarch makes a better-fried chicken crust. Use 1/2 cup for every 2 cups of flour. I do not recommend a 50-50 split portion with all-purpose flour as the crust can be rather dry. If you don’t have cornstarch use potato starch or Tropicana (tapioca) flour.
- To make the Spicy Chicken Sandwich make a spicy mayo sauce using 1/2 cup of mayo, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon paprika or taco seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Make your own buttermilk by souring, 3/4 cup of regular milk with 2 Tbsp of vinegar. This is so handy when you run out of buttermilk and need it for a recipe.
- Toast the brioche buns in a non-greased skillet. There is no need to add additional calories when they get perfectly charred inside without the extra grease.
Handy Equipment To Make Popeyes Chicken Sandwich At Home:
- 12-inch Cast Iron Pan– to toast the brioche buns.
- Heavy Dutch Oven Pot– to deep-fry the chicken.
- Metal Tongs– to remove the fried chicken.
- Wire Whisk– to combine the eggs and buttermilk.
- 18x13 Sheet Pan– is best paired with a wire cooling rack to keep the fried chicken warm and crisp.
More Fried Chicken Recipes:
- Sizzling Chicken and Cheese (TGI Fridays Copycat)
- Alice Springs Chicken (Outback Copycat)
- Boneless Chicken Wings
- Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
- Chinese Chicken Fingers
- General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
How To Make Popeyes Chicken Sandwich:
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Recipe
- frying pan
- 3 mixing bowls
- 2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (3 chicken breasts)
- 1 tsp seasoned salt (Lawrys)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp seasoned salt
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp adobo seasoning
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder and onion powder
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 12 brioche buns (toasted)
- 12 oz hamburger dill pickles (sliced)
- 4 cups canola oil for deep frying
- 1/2 cup mayo (divided)
How To Make Popeyes Chicken Sandwich at Home:
- Slice each chicken breast in half crosswise. Then each piece in half to make 4 fillets from each chicken breast. (You should have 12 pieces all together.) Pound the pieces with a meat mallet to 1/2" thickness if needed.
- Marinate the chicken in the chicken marinade for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the wet batter and set it aside. In another bowl combine the breading ingredients and set them aside. Start pre-heating the oil over medium heat in a deep frying pan to 350°F.
- Drain the chicken from the marinade. Dip each piece into the egg batter then into the breading. Coat the chicken well and shake off any excess flour.
- Fry 3-4 pieces of chicken at a time (about 5 minutes per batch.) Drain on paper towels.
- To Make Sandwiches: spread 1 tbsp of mayo on each bun. Place 2 pickles on the bottom bun and top with fried chicken. Enjoy!
- Toast Buns in Skillet: place bun side down onto a pre-heated skillet over high heat and toast the insides only.
- Toast Buns in the Oven: place buns side up and broil until toasted.
- Pickles: bread and chips pickles tend to be too sweet. Look for dill pickles or barrel pickles.
- Mayo: Dukes Mayo works really well here.
- How To Get Shaggy Skin on Crispy Chicken: use a deep bowl and slap and fold the breading into the chicken and press down firmly. Rotate and repeat 2 more times. Shake off any excess flour and the chicken should resemble a crumbly texture.
Nutrition per serving