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Popeye's Copycat Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with Delta Sauce


Updated May 26, 2016
(15 Votes)


Popeye's Copycat Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with Delta Sauce
Popeye's Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with Delta Sauce
This image courtesy of Tom Krawczyk for

Nothing beats some good old-fashioned Southern cooking, and you are bound to get the whole family on board with this copycat recipe for Popeye's Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with Delta Sauce. The Popeye's Delta sauce is slightly spicy and completely divine, especially when paired with a crispy fried chicken recipe. When the family is looking for a quick and delicious chicken recipe, nothing tops a copycat recipe of Popeye's chicken! There is no reason to head out for fried chicken, when you can make this amazing fried chicken at home! You'll love this copycat Popeye's chicken recipe. The Delta sauce is creamy and spicy, while the chicken is crispy, flavorful, and not too hot. This is a classic Southern dish that everyone will enjoy.

Serves: 6

  • For the Chicken
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup hot pepper sauce
  • 3 cups peanut oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • For the Delta Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced very fine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • a few dashes hot pepper sauce to taste

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  1. Place the chicken pieces into a very large bowl and add buttermilk to completely cover. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Make the Delta sauce while chicken marinates. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine well. Chill 1 hour or more; it will hold up to 1 week.

  3. Combine flour, cayenne, and all purpose flours and paprika in a large zip-top bag and shake to mix.
  4. Combine eggs, water, and hot sauce in a large bowl.
  5. Remove chicken from the buttermilk and arrange on a cooling rack set into a rimmed baking sheet so that excess buttermilk drips off.

  6. In a large skillet that is at least 3 inches deep, place the oil and heat over medium high until it reaches 350 degrees F – use a thermometer to check the temperature. 

  7. While oil is heating, drop chicken a few pieces at a time into the zip top bag with the dry ingredients and shake to coat, then dip them into the egg mixture and finally back into the dry ingredients again. Shake off excess flour and set on the cooling rack to drip.

  8. When oil is at 350 degrees F, use tongs to lower a few pieces at a time into the hot oil  -- do not crowd the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning once and keeping an eye on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat to be sure the oil remains at 350 degrees F.

  9. When chicken pieces are done, remove from the oil with tongs and set on another cooling rack/baking sheet so that air circulates around them. Place into a 300 degree oven while you repeat the procedure until all the chicken is cooked.

  10. Serve right away or at room temperature with the Delta Sauce for dipping.

  • If the oil gets too hot and the chicken browns too much before it is totally cooked, simply put it into the oven on the cooling rack/baking pan as directed above, but raise the oven temperature to 350 and let cook a few more minutes.
  • Check out the reader favorite recipe that inspired this Test Kitchen creation: Homemade Popeye's Fried Chicken!


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The chicken was very juicy and overall tasted good. I did add some salt after tasting. Definitely not spicy. Think the title is a lil misleading. Did not use the sauce. Instead we have a family favorite addition recipe . . . BBQ Fried Chicken. After frying we pat dry and then throw the chicken pieces to a hot BBQ grill for a few moments. Crisps up and makes it good and crunchy. Then - about 2 minutes from taking off the grill we slather in BBQ sauce. (Our favorite is Pig Chaser Original) Now THAT's good chicken!

Still wish there was a little more spicy when it says "spicy" in the title, but really good! Most people would find this recipe just perfect.

Fried chicken is definitely my weakness! Can't wait to try this recipe

So yummy!

This chicken wasn't overly spicy, so pretty much anyone would love it. The sauce added the right amount of flavor to every bite of crispy chicken.

I've never had Popeye's fried chicken, but after tasting this homemade version I'm pretty amazed. The chicken was tender and juicy, and the sauce was a perfect pairing. Just the right amount of zest!

If you'd have told me this fried chicken came from Popeye's, I would've bought it. Everything turned out so well.

The Delta sauce was amazing! Creamy and slightly spicy. The chicken breading was very good, but not as spicy as I expected.

wonder if you could oven fried instead sounds delicious.

Popeyes is the best. Saving this recipe.

Popeyes is the best, so I'm saving this one!

I will be trying this recipe> I love their chicken!!!

I will definitely be trying this recipe. Popeye's Chicken is the best spicy juicy chicken to purchase.

I look forward to trying this, love a spicy flavorful chicken and the dipping sauce sounds amazing.

I can't wait to try this recipe! I love me some Popeyes! lol

Popeye's is the BEST !!!


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