Popeyes Style Marinade

Popeyes Style Marinade
Popeyes Marinade Header

OMG! This is the Popeyes Style marinade that I have settled on. I didn’t even know I had it all along. But Talk about those crevices and a nice light, airy batter with crunch.

I was messing around with this and even posted a few recipes with a wet batter that resulted in those crevices, and they’re good too. But this one just takes the batter. It’s my go-to from now on. It produces the Texture, Appearance, and Crunch like Popeyes!

But first, before we get into the Popeyes Style Marinade, let’s take a look at what the ingredients are in a Popeyes Chicken.

Popeyes Ingredients

Popeyes ingredients for their Chicken is in two parts. First the Marinade and then the breading, which contains the seasoning.

Popeyes Seasoning

It’s basically a Louisiana Cajun/Creole Seasoning. They order it from Diversify Foods.

CHICKEN MILD SEASONING: SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SEASONING INCLUDING DRIED GARLIC AND DRIED ONION. CONTAINS: MSG

CHICKEN SPICY SEASONING: SALT, SELECTED BLEND OF CAPSICUMS, GARLIC, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, CUMIN AND MUSTARD. CONTAINS: MSG

Popeyes Poultry Batter

POULTRY BATTER: ENRICHED BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR (ENRICHED WITH NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE, MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SALT, S­PACK ENRICHED BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR (ENRICHED WITH NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE, MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SALT, SUGAR, FD&C YELLOW #5 (MAY ALSO CONTAIN YELLOW #6, RED #40, RED #3, GRAPE COLOR EXTRACT, BLUE #1, BLUE #2, BEET COLOR EXTRACT, ANNATTO EXTRACT AND / OR TURMERIC EXTRACT), SPICES, DRIED WHOLE EGGS, NONFAT DRIED MILK, LEAVENING (SODIUM BICARBONATE AND/OR SODIUM ALUMINUMSULFATE), MICROCRYTALLINE CELLULOSE, NATURAL FLAVOR (ALL FLAVOR INGREDIENTS CONTAINED IN THIS FLAVOR ARE APPROVED FOR USE IN A REGULATION OF FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION OR ARE LISTED AS GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE ON A RELIABLE PUBLISHED INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION LIST. THIS PRODUCT ALSO CONTAINS CORN SYRUP SOLIDS). CONTAINS: WHEAT, EGG, MILK AND YELLOW #5 & #6, RED #3 AND #40, BLUE #1 AND BLUE #2.

FLOUR: BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY. CONTAINS: WHEAT

Popeyes Process

Popeyes marinates their chicken for 12 hours. Then the Chicken goes straight to being breaded. It is tossed 20 times to develop that texture. Don’t press the breading in as this would collapse all those folds. Just gently toss 20 times in lots of breading and aggressively shake any excess flour off.

It’s not just the 20-time toss, either. It’s the aggressive shaking of the chicken to get rid of excess flour that really brings out the kernels.

Popeyes Chicken is deep-fried at 340 F for 12 minutes. This may have an effect on the final crisping. I’m still experimenting with this.

Popeyes Marinade Key Points

There are a few things of interest when looking at the Ingredients.

  1. Popeyes uses a blend of food coloring to affect the final color of their products.
  2. They do not use Buttermilk, instead, it is low-fat milk. More specifically, powdered milk.
  3. They use Baking Soda. One would think that this is for leavening. However, baking soda is also a tenderizer, and since Popeyes Marinates their chicken for 12 hours. I would suspect that it is for the purpose of breaking the Chicken down or tenderizing it. This would also have an effect or promote that Popeyes Texture when breaded.
  4. I find it odd that Popeyes does not state that they use Cornstarch. Instead, Bleached Wheat Flour & Malted Barley is stated.

It does appear that this type of marinade originates with Colonel Sanders. The idea of adding flour to a marinade to thicken it a bit before breading in a seasoned flour would seem to come from Colonel Sanders Fried Cauliflower’s recipe.

JAH Popeyes Marinade Ingredients

This version of a Popeyes Marinade combines the Fried Chicken Marinade with the Deep Fry Batter and 1 Egg and 1 Tbl of White Vinegar added in to make up the Popeyes marinade.

If you wanted to more closely resemble a Popeyes Chicken then I would go with a Louisiana style seasoning, used in the Marinade with a small amount of Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Deep Fry Batter

JAH Deep Fry Batter

Just the Flour Mix. Combine and mix well.

  • 1/2 C Poly Flour
  • 1/2 C Cornstarch
  • The liquids will come from the Fried Chicken Marinade below.
Fried Chicken Marinade

JAH Fried Chicken Marinade

Heat the Water and Bouillon cube until it is completely dissolved. Let cool and add in the remaining ingredients.

  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1 Maggi Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt & MSG, each.
  • With 1 Tbl White Vinegar & 1 Egg

Popeyes Chicken Marinade

Just make up the Marinade and add your Chicken, Chicken Breast Fillets, Cauliflower, Fish or whatever else you’d like to get that Popeyes Texture & Crunch.

It’s the technique that creates the crevices and crunch. Chicken or other food items are coated in this slightly thickened batter that when it hits the breading causes it to fold in on itself. This is what creates those crevices and is also why you don’t want to press the breading in. Just toss to coat and go straight to the fryer. Don’t rest the chicken because this will flatten out the side that is resting.

Popeyes Marinade

Popeyes Marinade

  • 1/2 C JAH Poly Flour – not packed
  • 1/2 C Cornstarch
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1 Cube Maggi Chicken Bouillon – Mashed and dissolved in the 1/2 C water above
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Tbl White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt & MSG
Popeyes Marinated Chicken Thighs and Legs

Marinating Chicken

Place the Chicken into the marinade and toss well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, longer is better. Popeyes marinates the chicken for 12 hours.

Remove from the fridge and let rest while heating up the Deep Fryer so that it can come close to room temp and the marinade will loosen a bit, which will make for better breading.

Popeyes Breading

The JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading is what is used to bread the Chicken to deliver that Flavor. The beautiful thing about the JFC Breading is that you can make KFC Style Chicken or Popeyes Style Chicken! It’s the technique that is used to create a Popeyes Style Chicken vs KFC.

Just mix up the chicken or other food items again so that it can get coated good in the marinade right before breading. Toss gently 20 times and go straight to the fryer.

That’s it! A Popeyes Style marinade! I mean, just look at that Popeyes Style Fried Chicken! Isn’t it Gorgeous.

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

I was messing around with Lupin Flour because I wanted a Keto Flour and also noticed that the Bulk Barn sold Lupin Flakes. After using the Lupin Flour and seeing that it also assisted in creating a Yellow Color for a different chicken dish. I became really curious thinking what would happen if I added Lupin Flakes into the Popeyes Chicken Marinade. I mean, they look like Kernels, and they would fry up crisp I would think, and they do promote a Golden Yellow Color. So I tested it.

Well let me tell you… it makes those Popeyes Kernels Pop! And the Crunch is even Crunchier. It does an excellent job at creating even more pronounced Kernels and a wicked Crunch. I’m impressed and will add these in whenever making the Popeyes Marinade.

Popeyes marinade with Lupin Flakes

Popeyes Marinade with Lupin Flakes

Add 3 Tbl of Lupin Flakes to the Marinade. You will have to add extra water to account for the flakes absorbing a lot of the water. Just ensure it’s a thin batter by the time you are ready to bread the Chicken. Everything else is the same.

Lupin Flakes

Lupin Flakes

I got mine at the Bulk Barn. Lupin Flakes are excellent to add for that development of Kernels, Color and Crunch. Just amazing.

JFC Chicken Breast Fillet with Lupin Flakes

Chicken Breast

Marinated with Lupin Flakes and a bit of extra water before being breaded and Deep Fried for 10 minutes.

JFC Chicken Burger

Crunchy Chicken Fillet Burger

Made with the marinated Chicken Breast with Lupin Flakes.

Recipes using Popeyes Marinade

JFC Popeyes Chicken

Popeyes Fried Chicken

Marinated in Popeyes Marinade and Breaded with JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading.

JFC Chicken Burger

JFC Chicken Burger

Chicken Fillet marinated in Popeyes Marinade and Breaded with JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading.

JFC Fried Haddock

JFC Fried Fish

Marinated Haddock or Cod, Breaded with JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading.

JFC Cauliflower Bites

JFC Fried Cauliflower

Marinated Cauliflower bites, Breaded with JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading.

JFC Chicken Fingers

JFC Chicken Fingers

Marinated Strips of Chicken Breast, Breaded with JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading. Served as is or as a Snack Wrap.

JFC Onion Rings

JFC Onion Rings

Marinated Onion Rings, Breaded with JFC ~ Frickin Good Chicken Breading.

Popeyes Marinade Pin

Popeyes Style Marinade

Popeyes Style Marinade that produces a Fried Chicken with the Texture, Appearance, and Crunch of Popeyes Chicken. For Popeyes Flavors, add Louisiana Cajun Seasoning and Louisiana Hot Sauce.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Servings: 1 portion

Equipment

  • 1 Sauce Pan
  • 1 Marinating Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C JAH Poly Flour - not packed
  • 1/2 C Cornstarch
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1 Cube Maggi Chicken Bouillon - Mashed and Dissolved in the 1/2 C water
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 1 Tbl White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt & MSG

Instructions

  • Place 1 Maggi Bouillon Cube into a small saucepan and add 1/2 C water. Heat and dissolve the Bouillon cube, mashing it with a fork. Remove from heat, let cool, double check that you have 1/2 C before adding it to the Flour mix. If not, add more water.
  • Add to a bowl, JAH Poly Flour & Cornstarch, whisk well. Add Salt, MSG, 1/2 C of the Strong Broth, along with 1 Tbl of Vinegar, 1 Egg, and Whisk well.
  • Add your Chicken, mix, cover and keep refrigerated for 4 hours or more, overnight is best. (12 Hours) just like Popeyes.
    The Marinade will thicken when refrigerated, take it out 30 minutes or so to warm up a bit before breading. This will loosen the marinade which is ideal for breading to get those kernels, at the same time bringing the chicken to temp before deep frying.

Notes

If you want to more resemble Popeyes Marinade, then add Louisiana Cajun Seasoning and a small amount of authentic Louisiana Hot Sauce. 
 

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

For an even Crunchier Fried Chicken, add in 3 Tbl of Lupin Flakes into the Marinade. You will have to add a bit more water to account for the absorption. Just ensure that the marinade is a thin batter consistency before breading the Chicken. It does a Phenomenal job at creating even more pronounced Kernels, Golden Yellow Color and some serious Crunch. 
 
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Fried Chicken Marinade, Marinade for Fried Chicken, Popeyes Marinade, Popeyes Style Marinade
Author: JAH
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