A few weeks ago …I had waited in this LONG LINE at Popeye’s to get their famous chicken sandwich. The line was literally out to the STREETS…but since that was the only day I was off…I bit the bullet and stayed in the LONG LINE. To be honest…it wasn’t at all BAD. Took me about 20 minutes to get to the ordering screen…then another 10 minutes to get my whole ORDER…I had a really HUGE order..I had ordered 7 chicken sandwich and a BIG family box of chicken with 3 large sides and biscuits. The chicken sandwich was actually a great price $3.99 for a HUGE chicken sandwich. The BUN that they used was brioche type of BUN..which was kinda like a BIG sweet hawaiian bun. DELISH!!! ANYHOW…they RAN OUT and it won’t be back until DECEMBER…so a friend of mine told me about this copycat recipe that was online. I printed it out and TWEAK it to my liking.
The key to moist chicken is the BRINE!!! I have been making brine for ALL of my CHICKEN recipe lately. ACTUALLY, I also make brine for my roast when I am making my PULL PORK sandwiches too. I make a BRINE for my turkey during the holidays…etc.
4 pieces of chicken breast ( I cut mines in half…..so I got 8 medium size chicken breast)
Oil for frying ( vegetable or canola)
4 cups buttermilk
6 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoon MSG
3 large egg
2 cup buttermilk
5 cup of SELF RISING flour ( I used the Gold Medal brand)
2 teaspoon MSG
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon salt
In a medium size bowl (use one that has a lid…I used one of my PRYEX). In the bowl add in the buttermilk, cayenne pepper, salt, and MSG and stir really well so all the ingredients is incorporated. Next, add in the chicken breast and COVER. Store in the refrigerator OVER NIGHT for at least 24 hours. Remove the chicken breast from the brine and SET ASIDE. Let the chicken rest for 30-60 minutes at room temperature so that the middle is not too cold…so that when you start frying the chicken breast…it will cook properly.
Make the BREADING by combining the flour, MSG, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and salt in a bowl.
Next, make the EGG MIXTURE by beating the eggs in another medium size bowl…then WHISK in the buttermilk until it gets nicely incorporated.
PREHEAT the oil in a DUTCH oven.
Now, you take each piece of the chicken breast (that was in the brine) and you FIRST coat it in the BREADING mixture…then you dip it in the EGG MIXTURE then you put it back in the BREADING mixture again. Make sure to massage the CHICKEN BREAST with the BREADING really well. You want a THICK layer of breading on EACH PIECE of CHICKEN BREAST. Then you set it on a pan for a few minutes before you start to FRY them.
Once the OIL is hot…gently lay each piece of chicken breast into the HOT pan. Fry for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Depending on the thicken and size of each chicken breast…you want each piece to have 185 degree F in the center. Next, lay each COOKED piece of chicken on a rack or paper towel so the oil can render. I prefer to used a rack…because …the paper towel on the plate…means the chicken breast is till sitting on the damp paper towel and the piece chicken can still get soggy.
If you are making the sandwich…lightly butter each piece of brioche and toast them until they are lightly brown. You can toast them on a pan or in the oven. If you have alot …use the oven….350 degree for about 5 minutes. Next, spread some mayo on the buns and lay a few slices of pickle…then add in the crispy chicken breast. If you like it spicier…add some hot sauce or sriracha 😉