Popeye's Chicken Recipe

Kim Beaulieu | Cravings of a Lunatic

Popeye's Chicken is everyone's favorite fried chicken. Only now you can make it at home with this copycat Popeye's chicken recipe!

I am busting out of my usual chocolate mold today to share a special recipe that I love so very much. My copycat recipe for Popeye's chicken!

While I may be the resident chocolate fanatic here, I also love so many other foods as well. One of my absolute favourites of all time is fried chicken.

There is just something about frying up chicken that brings me to my happy place. And there's nothing like Popeye's chicken!

Popeye's Chicken Picture

I've been making different versions of this copycat Popeye's chicken recipe for years, but this has to be my very favourite way to make it.

It's full of flavour and fried to absolute perfection. I once made 50 pounds of this for a stag and doe party (I think they call these bachelor and bachelorette parties in the US) - not a single piece was left!

There are so many great places you can go out for fried chicken. I love to try it everywhere we go just to see how others make it.

The variety of spices, breading, cooking oils, and dips makes fried chicken from one place to the next taste incredibly versatile and unique.

We all know though, hands down, one of the best places to get fried chicken is Popeye's. They have perfected fried chicken like no other restaurant. 

We happen to live in Canada, so we do not have Popeye's here. But, we just so happen to be lucky enough to live about 20 minutes from the American border.

That means we get to zip over as often as we like to go out to eat, grab our favourite chicken - and shop, too!

Popeye's Chicken Image

Why Is Popeye’s Chicken So Good?

One of our favourite places over the years to swing by is Popeye's. Since I'm a sucker for good fried chicken, it fits the bill and my whole family agrees.

Popeye's chicken is known for always being tender inside but with skin that is golden and perfectly crisp. Just the way I like it. Plus there's some heat!

Their blend of canola and soybean oils used to cook the chicken ensure a deep fry, the buttermilk marinade gives the chicken added moisture and a smooth texture, and the spice blend brings flavor you won’t find anywhere else!

The egg, water, and hot sauce batter of Popeye's chicken is truly unique and flavorful and will stand out whether it’s the first or fiftieth time you’ve had it.

Copycat Popeye's Chicken Recipe

Even though we often crave Popeye’s chicken, sometimes life dictates that we make it from home rather than crossing the border to and going out to eat.

I've played with many different variations of this copycat Popeye's chicken recipe trying to nail down the exact flavor and crunch of Popeye's chicken.

After much ado, this recipe is the winner! I think you’ll love it, too! To make the very best copycat Popeye's chicken recipe, you will need:


  • Buttermilk - this keeps the chicken tender and flavorful
  • Frank's Red Hot sauce - for the added, unique kick 
  • Salt and black pepper - seasoning for flavor
  • Flour - to bread your chicken
  • Spices - White pepper, smoked paprika – keep the original flavor intact with these key spice ingredients
  • Sugar and brown sugar - balance the spices and make the chicken flavorful
  • Oil - You will need oil for frying your chicken. Popeye’s uses canola and soybean oil, but just about any oil is sufficient for frying chicken. The most popular oils are vegetable, canola, and peanut oils - their high smoke points and neutral flavors make them best for fried chicken.


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  • Deep frying pan - In order to make true, authentic fried chicken you'll need a good quality deep frying pan. We love a pan like this 6-quart all-in-one pan that comes with everything you need to fry chicken at home including the fry basket - and it's dishwasher safe!
  • Kitchen tongs - Make sure you have at least one pair of good stainless steel kitchen tongs for frying chicken like this 2-pack of tongs that comes with tongs in two different sizes for under $10.
  • Mixing bowls - Of course, you'll need a set of mixing bowls or shallow casserole dishes for dredging and breading your chicken. We love this versatile set of Luminarc glass mixing bowls.
Popeye's Chicken Photo

Tips for Making Our Copycat Popeye's Chicken

I think the key to really good fried chicken is taking your time to do it right - if you're going to cut corners, get take out fried chicken instead.

Use buttermilk, allow it to soak, dredge each piece before frying, and always use good oil - I also think it helps to make sure you buy really good chicken.

If you get the basics down you can start playing around with spices and flavour.

I really enjoy trying new seasoning in mine as often as I can. Typically I'll make a couple of different flavours at one time. 

Whether you like yours spicy or mild, you need to whip up a batch of this Popeye's chicken recipe - I suggest making a double batch at that very least.

You will thank me for that little piece of advice. It's absolutely scrumptious, so the more you make the happier you will be.

Plus, it's perfect for your spring picnic! Once you know how to cook fried chicken and how to reheat fried chicken, you'll be one happy camper.

More Chicken Recipes We Love

In addition to delicious, cripsy fried chicken, we love this grilled caprese avocado chicken recipe - the flavors are so unique and delicious all year long.

Our jerk chicken sliders are a forever fan favorite, too, as are our pesto chicken pull apart sliders and our charred chicken Caesar salad tacos.

From teriyaki chicken to grilled chili lime chicken drumsticks to grilled herb hummus chicken kebabs, my family happily enjoys chicken in every form.

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?

We’ve got you covered in our ever-growing Facebook group! If you’re not a member yet, why not?!


We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!


Popeye's Chicken Recipe

      6 Servings


  • 3 pounds Chicken, Cut up into pieces
For the Brine:
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Red Hot Sauce, optional
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
For Breading:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil, For frying


  1. Place chicken pieces in a large casserole pan. Mix buttermilk and red hot sauce, if using, with salt and pepper in a large measuring cup, and then pour buttermilk mixture over top of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight for about 8 hours. 
  2. Remove from refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before frying. 
  3. Mix the flour, salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oil for frying. You can use a deep fryer, or a large deep pan filled halfway up with oil. I typically use 2 large, deep frying pans for one batch so it all finishes at the same time and my pans won't be over-crowded. Bring the oil to a bubble over medium heat. 
  5. Start taking the pieces of chicken out of the buttermilk and then dunk each one in the flour mixture, making sure to coat on each side. Place each piece carefully in the pan of oil. Repeat until all the chicken is in your pans. You can then discard any remaining buttermilk and flour mixture.
  6. Cook the chicken for about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping with long tongs to ensure all sides are cooked evenly. Now reduce heat to low, cover the pans and allow chicken to simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes, making sure to flip at least 2 to 3 times during the process. Uncover the pans and allow to cook for about 5 more minutes to really crisp the chicken up. 
  7. Remove pieces carefully with tongs and place on paper towel lined plates. You can dab off excess grease if you like. 
  8. Serve with a big old "I can make my own dang chicken at home from now on" smile!
Cooking Method:
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Related Recipes:
Copycat Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Fried Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Picnic Recipes, Spicy Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 people
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Kim Beaulieu
Recipe Yields: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 295 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 36
Calories 441

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g
  Saturated Fat 2g
Sodium 892mg
Total Carbohydrate 37g
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 5g
Protein 53g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Kim Beaulieu

About Kim

Kim covers everything from desserts to grilling on her two blogs, Cravings of A Lunatic and Kiss My Smoke. At Food Fanatic, however, she's dedicated to all things Chocolate, and we're SO glad!

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