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What Really Makes Popeyes Chicken So Delicious

If you love that chicken from Popeyes, you certainly aren't alone.

The fried chicken from this Louisiana-born fast food staple really is spectacular.

But what has helped the chain develop a royal reputation for its consistent fried poultry

perfection?

People really insist on getting food that's fresh these days, and Popeyes knows it.

According to a supposed former employee on a Reddit thread, Popeyes bone-in chicken is

always fresh, never frozen, but the chicken tenders are cooked from a frozen state.

The bone-in chicken arrives at each restaurant fresh, then the staff brines, batters and

fries the bird in-house.

It's extra work, maybe, but you can taste the difference.

Even though Popeyes fried chicken is produced on a massive scale since it's such a popular

chain restaurant with over 3,000 locations worldwide, it has to operate with an independent

restaurant's spirit since it's frying fresh poultry by the batch from raw ingredients.

That spirit is just one of the things that makes their chicken so delicious.

You want some crispy chicken?

Popeyes can guarantee you some super, extra-crispy chicken.

The crisp factor is undeniably one of their signature menu item's biggest selling points.

It's certainly crispier than perhaps one of its biggest competitors, Chick-fil-A… and

they know it.

In 2015, the Popeyes CEO at the time, Cheryl Bachelder, threw shade at her rivals, KFC

and Chick-fil-A, in an interview with The Advocate.

She explained that the Popeyes chicken is superior because it's fried with more batter,

hence boasting a bigger and better crisp.

And, there's a bit more to it.

Popeyes chicken is crispy all over the individual piece.

There are no soggy spots to ruin your chicken-eating experience, a phenomenon some Popeyes recipe

replicators attribute to the extra flour in the breading process.

Not only is Popeyes chicken supremely crispy, but it also has that special magical quality

we all hope for in a piece of fried chicken: breading that actually sticks to the meat.

Is there anything worse than a chicken finger that loses the bulk of its breading the minute

you take a bite?

Okay, there are probably worse things, but it's still very disappointing.

Regardless, you can always count on Popeyes to deliver crunch in every bite.

The synergy between meat and breading on a piece of Popeyes chicken is perhaps a big

part of why it is such a stand out fast food gem, and what else are you getting in every

bite?

Flavor.

Popeyes knows the importance of a solid pre-frying marinade, and their marinade is part of what

makes their chicken so special.

Former CEO Cheryl Bachelder told The Advocate,

"The first thing you notice about Popeyes is the marinade.

It's a real reddish, orange color.

It sticks to the chicken, you see it all through the chicken, and that's where the flavor is."

According to Popeyes website, the chicken marinades for around 12 hours, so that's definitely

the right chicken prep etiquette.

Stellar marinade that permeates throughout the chicken and breading that covers the entire

piece?

It's definitely a Popeyes selling point.

Popeyes started as a donut stand outside New Orleans, but it wasn't called Popeyes yet.

When founder Al Copeland noticed a neighbor having much more success selling fried chicken,

he traded in his dough for some poultry, hatched an ultra spicy recipe, and changed the name

to honor Gene Hackman's character in 1971's The French Connection.

"Alright, Popeye’s here.

Get your hands on your head, get off the bar, and get on the wall"

Even when he sold Popeyes, he maintained ownership of the signature spice recipe, which he licensed

to the chain until they officially bought it from him for a whopping $43 million in

2014.

It's impossible to deny that Popeyes' New Orleans roots proved helpful in solidifying

the brand, as they've always touted their Cajun roots.

You can say a lot of things about Popeyes, but you definitely can't argue the fact that

it's authentic Cajun to the core.

Allegedly, one of the top secret ingredients in Popeyes signature spice blend is monosodium

glutamate, also known as MSG.

There are some who claim that MSG isn't completely safe, but according to the FDA, it is.

They do note that some people seem to be sensitive to the effects of it, but scientific research

hasn't brought back anything that conclusively proves we should be the least bit worried.

And that's good news, because it makes things delicious.

It's mainly used to enhance the flavors of foods, so it's probably in a lot of the stuff

we're addicted to... like Popeyes fried chicken.

Consistency is pretty much the reason why we enjoy fast food as a whole.

We know what we're getting at Popeyes, no matter where we're eating it.

Popeyes fried chicken is consistently good because they've perfected the art of frying

chicken, and employees have to follow the rules for frying pretty deliberately, as there

isn't much room for improvisation without potentially ruining the final product.

The restaurant is even picky about the size of bird it will take from its supplier.

Birds that are too little or too big can mess up their frying technique, which needs to

be uniform in order to deliver that signature Cajun taste in every piece of chicken they

serve.

This consistency is why Popeyes chicken is always a reliable option for your fried chicken

cravings, any time, any day of the week.

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