Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Popeye’s Meets Chick-fil-A’s Fried Chicken Sandwich – Available Any Day, and All the Time

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve never had a Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich, but since I’m so familiar with their work, I thought I could figured out a decent copycat version of their very hard to get sandwich anyway. Which I sort of did, as far as the taste of the chicken goes, but texturally, I ended up with something much closer to Chick-fil-A, which by the way, I’ve been to exactly once.

So, if you’re one of these people that enjoy Popeye’s and Chick-fil-A, this is going to be like eating at both places at the same time. The secret here, and there, is working in a little MSG into the marinade and breading. And by little, I mean a lot. Monosodium Glutamate is famous for its ability to make food taste better, which is certainly does, but it’s also what makes fast food so highly addictive.

Personally, I’ve very sensitive to this aspect of MSG consumption, and as soon as I finish eating fast food that’s laced with it, I’m already intensely craving more, which is why I don’t eat too much of it any more. It’s also why I don’t stock any MSG in my pantry. I don’t trust myself with it, which is why the occasional packet of salad dressing mix works so well for something like this.

As I mentioned in the video, you really want to do this with a smaller, flatter breast than the one I used. The meat to crunchy coating ratio should be more like 2 to 1, and not the 4 to 1 that I featured here. Which reminds me, even though I only did two, the amounts below should be enough for four fast-food-sized portions. Anyway, no matter how large your breasts, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

For 4 Fried Chicken Sandwiches:

For the chicken and marinade:
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
hot sauce to taste
1 tablespoon ranch dressing powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 5-6 ounces each

For the breading:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon ranch dressing powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, for a spicy version
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the dip:
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk

For the rest:
canola oil for frying
4 soft hamburger buns, toasted with butter
dill pickle slices
6 tablespoons mayonnaise


DigbyDave said...

What do you suggest if Ranch dressing powder is unavailable?

Unknown said...

Do you have any alternatives to the ranch dressing powder? I moved from the US to Australia and it isn't the easiest thing to find. If it is purely for the MSG, I can get Accent seasoning which is basically pure MSG.

Bethany said...

Thank you so much! Can you do Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich or nuggets?

Unknown said...

Hey chef John, I notice you tend to recommend shorter marinating times than most recipes. What do you have against marinating overnight? Does the acid in the marinade do something funky? Or is it just TOO juicy? Genuinely curious.

SgtPepper234 said...

Hi Chef John, thanks for an amazing video, I can't wait to try it! Unfortunately I live in South Africa and cannot easily get my hands on Ranch Dressing Powder. Can you suggest an alternative?

P.S. When do we get to see the Chef John Churro's video?

Your Huge Fan,

Mozella said...

I think Popeyes uses a brioche bun, which I would have to make. Since the mythical sandwich is coming back in a few days, I'll think I'll wait and try the real thing first. I missed it the first time around.

I suspect your version is more wholesome, but I would tend to leave out the MSG. I'm not really into addiction, or fast food for that matter. I almost never eat fast food and my plan to try a Popeyes sandwich is strictly based on curiosity.

Sometimes I make chicken cutlets Milanese style and use the left overs the next day to make a chicken sandwich on a bun.

Richard said...

What about filleting the chicken breasts to get thinner pieces?

jhsjun said...

Chef John, I am ridiculously pleased to have found you again. You helped start my culinary adventures 10 years ago feeding my friends in high school your recipe for Spicy Orange Bison Balls. The positive reception to it has instilled a lifetime pursuit in culinary cuisine. I am incredibly ecstatic for how successful your channel has become(and how your intro theme has stayed the same throughout!). I will eagerly follow you again, remaining hungry for more!

Mike said...

Surely there could have been another way to say, “. . .no matter how large your breasts. . .” 🥴

Ellen said...

Rice flour really helps with crispiness with fried foods--I often replace a portion of all-purpose flour with a small portion of rice flour to my coating ingredients to assist in crispiness. BTW--your recipe looks fun and tasty!

M. Lyons said...

Chef John, this was torture to watch at 6:00 pm, before dinner. Great video, darn you! Now I need to run off to the kitchen. Thanks!

Kurtbw said...

Hmmm... what about pounding out the larger chicken breasts like one might do with pork for a schnitzel?

Also, do you have anything against Duesseldorf mustard?

Mary said...

Oooh this looks so good!

mozart said...

Chef, for a more equal Hybridization
By adding Confectioners Sugar and a tad Constarch on breading👨‍🍳🤷‍♂️

Unknown said...

is there a buttermilk substitute?

Hemp_Ninja said...

Hi Chef,
Do you have a recommendation for a deep fryer? It seems everything I find when searching looks much more unnecessarily complex than the one you always use in your videos.

Also this looks great, definitely going to give it a try either way.


Quiet Corner Daily Homes said...

Made this tonight.
It was spot on like Chef John described:
Half Popeyes and half Chick Filet but all homemade!

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Troy A Murphy said...

went with butterflied chicken breasts. that seemed to work quite well.

Points2Ponder said...

Perfect timing chef! luv ya & thanx a bunch........

Carla said...

Yummo! I'll have mine with Durkee's Famous Sauce and dill pickles.

Carla said...

Yum. I'll have mine with Durkee Famous Sauce and dill pickle please.

Tvfan17 said...

Hey Chef,

Sent the girlfriend out for ingredients and she came back with tenders instead of breasts. Whoops. Just wanted to say the recipe was just as delicious in that form. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to see what's next!

CVM said...

Another winner Chef John. I don’t have a Popeye’s nearby, however there are several Chick-fil-A’s in the area that I frequent as often as I can. This recipe was masterfully similar! One of your followers suggested adding pickle juice to the marinade, which I did. My grandson said the sandwiches were amazing! Thanks for another keeper. As far as all the negative comments about the way you talk, they don’t get it. Keep providing us with entertaining recipes!

Unknown said...

This turned out very well! I made a couple minor tweaks and added some dried thyme and a bit of cornmeal to the breading and Angostura bitters to the marinade. Also - mixing the leftover breading and eggwash into a batter and then frying that makes for some tasty fritters!

tonkaslim said...

I made this and while the chicken tasted great, the crust did not get crisp. I placed them on a rack out of the fryer where they rested for no more than a couple of minutes while we assembled our sandwiches, and the coating was already soft by the time we sat down to eat. I fried them at about 365°. Any thoughts?