Copycat Popeye's Fried Chicken Recipe


Copycat Popeye's Fried Chicken Recipe

Complete with an original delta sauce recipe, this Popeye's chicken recipe couldn't get any better.

Copycat Popeyes Fried Chicken Recipe
Copycat Popeyes Fried Chicken Recipe

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! It's so much more than fast food.

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.

Whether you're cooking for yourself, for guests, or for a summer potluck, you'll be the star of the event. When you're bringing chicken this good, it's hard not to be.

Sign Up for More Free Copycat Recipes




  • 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 cup water
  • 1 cup hot pepper sauce
  • 3 cups peanut oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • For the Delta Sauce:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced very fine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • hot pepper sauce to taste


  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. This will give you that deliciously spicy marinade, just like they have at Popeye's.

  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

The Best Oils for Deep Frying

This fried chicken recipe uses peanut oil while deep frying the chicken. While peanut oil is the most popular oil to use while deep frying, several other types of cooking oil work for deep frying, as well. If you have a peanut allergy or are not big on peanut oil, consider deep frying with soybean, safflower, or sunflower oil instead. 

Want to learn more about cooking oils? Check out:

The Best Oils for Cooking: Essential Cooking Oil Guide.

Up next:

Potluck Recipes That Will
Save Your Life This Summer

Which restaurant does fried chicken the best? Or do you think you have the best recipe? Let us know below!

Your Recently Viewed Recipes

Leave a Comment


Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Sound delicious, yes indeed it does. I used to love leaving my home here in Ontario Canada and heading down to the southern States to deliver a load when I was a High Mile Truck Driver

where is the add buttON?

Hello! If you wish to add a recipe to your Recipe Box, simply scroll to the top of the page. Underneath the date is a button that says "Save Recipe." Click that button and you're done! I hope this helps - Chelsea, Editor

Do you have to let it sit in buttermilk for 2 hours or overnight? My son loves Popeyes Crispy fried chicken so I will have to try this recipe. I love fried chicken too but not real spicy. Never tried the delta sauce but I think that is what my other son likes. Is the sauce the same as Popeyes? So I will have to give both of them a try and see if they like it.

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 !!!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Close Window