Popeye’s CopyCat Fried Chicken

Looking to recreate the irresistible taste of Popeye’s famous fried chicken at home? Look no further! This copycat recipe delivers the same crispy exterior and juicy interior that fans of the iconic dish crave. With a simple buttermilk marinade and a flavorful seasoned flour coating, you can enjoy the satisfaction of homemade fried chicken any time. Follow along to learn how to make this mouthwatering dish that will have your taste buds singing.


  • 3 lbs of chicken pieces (with bones and skin)
  • 3 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust to your spicy preference)
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Oil for frying (canola or peanut oil are good choices)


  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk and Louisiana hot sauce. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture, ensuring they are completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  2. Prepare for Frying: Remove the marinated chicken from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to ensure even cooking. Meanwhile, heat the frying oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350°F.
  3. Season the Flour: In another bowl, combine the all-purpose flour with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, and kosher salt.
  4. Coat the Chicken: Take each piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture and coat it thoroughly with the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Fry the Chicken: Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
  6. Drain and Rest: Once cooked, remove the fried chicken from the oil and place it on a wire rack to allow any excess oil to drain off. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute evenly.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Serve your homemade Popeye’s style fried chicken hot and crispy for a satisfyingly delicious meal that rivals the original.

Pro Tips:

  • For extra flavor, add a pinch of your favorite herbs or spices to the seasoned flour mixture.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken reaches the correct internal temperature for safe consumption.
  • Serve your fried chicken with classic sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or biscuits for a complete meal.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve Hot and Fresh: Fried chicken is best enjoyed immediately after cooking when it’s hot and crispy. Serve your homemade Popeye’s style fried chicken straight from the fryer for maximum enjoyment.
  2. Family Feast: Gather your loved ones around the table and serve up a platter of golden-brown fried chicken pieces for a memorable family meal. Pair it with your favorite sides and sauces for a complete dining experience.
  3. Picnic Perfection: Pack your fried chicken for a picnic or outdoor gathering. It’s a portable and delicious option that’s sure to please both kids and adults alike.
  4. Party Pleaser: Impress your guests at gatherings and parties by serving homemade Popeye’s style fried chicken as a crowd-pleasing appetizer or main dish. It’s guaranteed to be a hit!
  5. Reheating: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through to maintain the crispy texture.
  6. Avoid Moisture: To prevent the chicken from becoming soggy, store it in a single layer on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. This allows air to circulate around the chicken, keeping it crispy.
  7. Freezing: Fried chicken can be frozen for longer storage. Place cooled chicken pieces in a freezer-safe container or bag, separating them with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat from frozen in the oven until heated through.
  8. Tailgate Treat: Bring a batch of homemade fried chicken to your next tailgate party for a winning game day snack. It’s sure to be a touchdown with sports fans!
  9. Brunch Bonanza: Serve leftover fried chicken alongside waffles or biscuits for a delicious brunch spread. The combination of savory and sweet flavors is sure to be a hit.
  10. Pack for Lunch: Pack leftover fried chicken in lunchboxes for a tasty and satisfying meal on the go. Pair it with a side salad or veggies for a balanced lunch option.

Follow these tips to serve and store your homemade Popeye’s style fried chicken like a pro. Whether you’re enjoying it fresh out of the fryer or reheating leftovers, this classic dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser every time!


  1. Spicy Kick: Increase the heat by adding more Louisiana hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the buttermilk marinade for a fiery twist.
  2. Herb Infusion: Mix chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary into the seasoned flour for an extra burst of flavor.
  3. Honey Glaze: Drizzle honey over the hot fried chicken pieces for a sweet and savory glaze that adds depth to the flavor profile.
  4. Asian Fusion: Add grated ginger, soy sauce, and a splash of rice vinegar to the buttermilk marinade for an Asian-inspired twist.
  5. Southern Comfort: Serve the fried chicken with classic Southern sides like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread for a comforting meal.
  6. Buttermilk Brine: Brine the chicken pieces in buttermilk overnight before coating them in the seasoned flour mixture for extra tenderness and flavor.
  7. Barbecue Bliss: Brush the fried chicken with your favorite barbecue sauce during the last few minutes of cooking for a sticky and tangy glaze.
  8. Lemon Pepper Perfection: Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning over the hot fried chicken pieces for a zesty and aromatic flavor boost.
  9. Buffalo Style: Toss the fried chicken in buffalo sauce after frying for a spicy and tangy coating that’s perfect for game day.
  10. Cajun Crunch: Add Cajun seasoning to the seasoned flour mixture for a bold and flavorful kick that’s reminiscent of New Orleans cuisine.


  1. Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?
    • Yes, boneless chicken can be used, but bone-in pieces provide more flavor and juiciness.
  2. Can I use a different type of hot sauce?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite hot sauce or adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.
  3. Can I bake the chicken instead of frying it?
    • While frying yields the crispiest results, you can bake the chicken in the oven at 400°F until cooked through and golden brown.
  4. What can I serve with fried chicken besides traditional sides?
    • Fried chicken pairs well with a variety of sides such as mashed potatoes, coleslaw, cornbread, green beans, and biscuits.
  5. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
    • Yes, you can use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free. Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free as well.
  6. How can I make the chicken extra crispy?
    • To achieve extra crispy chicken, double dip the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture before frying.
  7. Can I marinate the chicken for longer than overnight?
    • While overnight marination is ideal, you can marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours for even more flavor.
  8. Is it necessary to use buttermilk in the marinade?
    • Buttermilk helps tenderize the chicken and adds flavor, but you can use regular milk or a mixture of milk and yogurt as a substitute.
  9. Can I reuse the frying oil?
    • Yes, you can strain and store the cooled frying oil in a sealed container for future use. Make sure to filter out any debris.
  10. How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?
    • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C) before consuming.

With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can enjoy the crispy, juicy goodness of Popeye’s style fried chicken in the comfort of your own home. Gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and get ready to delight your taste buds with this homemade favorite!