Copycat Popeye's Fried Chicken Recipe
Complete with an original delta sauce recipe, this Popeye's chicken recipe couldn't get any better.
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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.
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- 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
For even more fried chicken recipes, check out our collection: 10 Best Fried Chicken Copycat Recipes
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.
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.
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.
Combine eggs, water, and hot sauce in a large bowl.
Remove chicken from the buttermilk and arrange on a cooling rack set into a rimmed baking sheet so that excess buttermilk drips off.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Popeye's is famous for its chicken, but there's much more than just that in these 9 Copycat Popeye’s Recipes
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