Love that Chicken from Popeye's

We are definitely a Popeye's luvin family. We don't always pick up dinner from there but it's definitely a special treat when we do. Everyone loves the biscuits, we always get red beans and rice, and the chicken is perfectly seasoned and has the right amount of crunch. When I saw this Pin for 7Up Biscuits that were supposed to be like the Popeye's Biscuits, I knew I had to try to recreate our favorite meal.

Biscuits from Plain Chicken: I was really excited to try these out. The first time I patted the dough too much and spaced the biscuits too far apart which resulted in flatter than expected biscuits. I could also taste the lemon-lime from the 7up. The second time I made them, I put them close together and tried not to pat them down too much. They came out a bit better, but still with a strong lemon-lime flavor. So the third time I made them, I made sure to pack the cups with the Bisquick, and I dropped them in to the pan instead of patting them and cutting them. I also used room temperature Sierra Mist. The taste was definitely better for me as I didn't taste as much of the lemon-lime. I think I'm going to try these again but with sugar and a club soda or some sort of carbonated water. I'm also going to try patting them again. Even though they turned out well dropping them by the spoonful, they didn't have that smooth top like the Popeye's Biscuits.

Chicken from FromAway: There are a few Popeye's Fried Chicken recipes out there. I chose this one because he marinated the chicken in buttermilk [which makes it moist, like Popeye's]. I also chose this one because it was the spicy version, Mr. Saitek's favorite. I followed the recipe exact. The marinating and the breading of the chicken was great. The chicken was moist and the coating was identical to Popeye's. However it wasn't spicy to me, and I am a weakling when it comes to spice. Even though there was hot sauce in the eggs and cayenne in the flour, I just could not taste the spice. Also it wasn't seasoned like Popeye's which has a bit of salt and probably garlic powder. The next time I make this I am going to season the buttermilk so that it gets in to the chicken, I'm also going to add cayenne to the eggs and up all of the seasonings in the flour. I also used whole chicken wings [tips cut off] instead of a whole chicken. It was what I had and I prefer frying wings instead of pieces of chicken [and crossing your fingers it's cooked all the way and not burning on the outside]. I definitely think this was a great base recipe and if you've never fried chicken before you should try this recipe out.
*Also I did not make the delta sauce, as often as I have had Popeye's I have never had the sauce so I figured I wasn't missing much. Maybe I'll make it another time.

Red Beans & Rice from teasphere: I would just like to say that whoever owns this blog, they are my hero. This recipe is fantastic! I have always had a hard time with red beans [I make black beans like nobody's business] and this recipe is easy and on point. I am pretty sure that Popeye's uses parboiled rice, but it's really not a big deal for me to use white. I am not a fan of parboiled and to have it around just for one recipe isn't economical for me. The first time I made this I didn't smush [how professional] the beans enough. This didn't affect the beans in a bad way, I just didn't think it was as close to Popeye's as it would have been if I had smushed them more. The second time I smushed like a mad woman, I almost pulled out the masher [for potatoes] but I didn't. I did like them more than the first time, but next time I'm going all out! I also added a bit of cumin to them the second time around, I don't think I added enough to affect the taste but I think the beans and rice have a little more wiggle room. They don't have to be EXACTLY like the restaurant's recipe, because they are great on their own and you can adjust spices and beans to rice ratio per your preference. Can't get that at Popeye's!

This meal is a lot cheaper for me to recreate at home than eating out. Not only cheaper but we get more food out of it. Make sure you click the links to get the original recipes and if you have any questions feel free to comment.

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