What’s not to love about Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken? Honestly, I am probably one of the biggest Popeye’s Spicy Chickens fans out there to date. I adore the taste of that spicy, perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken so much that I had to do a copycat recipe for Popeye’s Spicy Chicken to share with y’all today. Trust me if you enjoy Popeye’s Spicy Chicken you are going to fall in love with this recipe for Copycat Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken.
Now before we get started, this isn’t Popeye’s top-secret recipe; this is just my version of their Spicy Fried Chicken; so keep in mind while it tastes so darn close to the Popeye’s Spicy Chicken we aren’t top-secret spies and that’s probably a darn good thing because I look hideous in prison orange, let alone those jumpsuits they wear.
1 quart of buttermilk
1/4 of a cup Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 of a tablespoon of onion powder
1/2 of a tablespoon of garlic powder
4-pound whole chicken cut up into pieces skin on
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1/2 of a tablespoon of poultry seasoning
1/2 of a tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
1/2 of a teaspoon of cumin
1/4 of a teaspoon of turmeric
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 of a cup of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 of spice mixture from above
4 eggs lightly beaten
3 tablespoons of water
1/4 of tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
Peanut oil or shortening, for frying
In a large plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid, combine buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt with a small whisk.
Add the cut up pieces of whole chicken to the large plastic bowl making sure to completely submerge the chicken in the brine mixture. Refrigerate overnight for the best results.
Pour off the chicken brine, shake off excess buttermilk brine from the chicken. Do not rinse the chicken.
In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon of sweet smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1/2 of a tablespoon of onion powder, 1/2 of a tablespoon of poultry seasoning, 1/2 of a tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, 1/2 of a teaspoon of cumin, and 1/4 of a teaspoon of turmeric.
Generously season both sides of the cut-up whole chicken- use about 1/3 of the seasoning to season the chicken.
Combine 3 cups of self-rising flour, 1/2 of a cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and about 1/2 of the spice mixture from above.
Place the flour mixture into a large paper, add the brine seasoned chicken to the paper sack
Roll the top of the bag down to close tightly and shake gently to coat the brined chicken.
Remove the chicken from the paper sack, then shake off the excess batter. Reserve till ready.
In a medium glass dish, combine the eggs, water, and Cajun seasoning.
Dunk each piece of the coated chicken into the seasoned egg mixture and then shake off the excess egg mixture.
Place chicken back into the paper sack and then shake gently to coat the chicken.
Remove chicken from the paper sack and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to dry the batter, trust me it becomes so much more crispy after doing this.
Add the peanut oil to a preheated cast iron kettle of about 350 degrees.
Add chicken to cast iron kettle and cook until golden brown. Be sure to the chicken is completely covered with oil. Do not overcrowd the cast iron kettle if need be make in batches.
Place the fried chicken on the bakers rack to drain excess oil; be sure to place a metal baking sheet under it or paper towels while draining the excess peanut oil off of the chicken.
Serve with mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and fresh biscuits if desired.