DIY Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich

by Barry Lewis

Cook time
6 mins


For the chicken marinade

4 chicken breasts

2 cup buttermilk

2tsp paprika

2tsp cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt & pepper

2tbsp hot sauce (Louisiana one if you can)

Chicken Coating

360g plain flour

150g cornflour

3tbsp paprika

3tbsp garlic powder

3tbsp onion powder

3tbs cajun seasoning

3tbsp cayenne pepper

2tsp salt

2tsp pepper

Oil for frying, ideally vegetable oil

Spicy Mayo

350g mayo

4tbsp hot sauce (Louisiana one if you can)

4tsp paprika

4tsp cajun seasoning

2tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp garlic powder

4tbsp butter

To serve

8 Brioche buns

Sliced gherkins – 4 per bun

You guys have been practically bashing down my door asking me to make this recipe! The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is supposed to be one of the best out there, and with its crispy coating and zingy mayo, I just didn’t want to let you all down!

This chicken burger is absolutely loaded with spices but the recipe is actually surprisingly easy to make at home. We don’t have a Popeyes nearby to go and taste their own, but I genuinely don’t think I need to after trying this homemade copycat Popeyes spicy chicken sandwich recipe – it’s absolutely insane! If you’re a fan of Popeyes chicken (or even if you’re not!), you’ve got to give this recipe a go at home.


The ingredients used are for 8 sandwiches, scale up / down as necessary.

First up you need to bash your chicken breasts nice and thin between two pieces of baking parchment. You could leave it chunky, but flattening it out will reduce the cooking time. You’ll then want to slice it into portions just big enough to sit nicely inside your brioche bun.

Dollop your chicken into a big bowl with the buttermilk, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and some hot sauce, then give it a good old stir so the chicken is fully drenched in all the saucy goodness for as much flavour potential as possible. Pop that into the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, but ideally overnight.

Next up we’re making the spicy mayo that we’re going to slather on our buns at the end. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (this gives it a bit of a kick!), Louisiana hot sauce and cajun seasoning until they’re a smooth consistency.

Heat up your fryer to 180C/350F. While the oil heats up, you can make up the flour mix to dunk your chicken in before it fries – this is just plain flour, cornflour/cornstarch, cajun seasoning, cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Now take your marinated chicken out of the fridge, take 4 or 5 spoonfuls of the marinade, then dollop it into the flour mix and stir it up – this should make the flour mixture a bit lumpy, but that’s what we want! 

Now it’s time to fry! Get the chicken into the coating and make sure it’s covered all over, then gently into the basket and into the fryer. Give it about 6 minutes in the fryer until it’s lovely, crisp and golden brown then lay onto kitchen roll to drain the excess oil.

Dress your brioche buns in butter, lay them butter side down in a hot pan. Keep your eye on them so they don’t burn! Once they’re ready, slather both the top and bottom in the gorgeous spicy mayo, top with some crinkle cut dill pickles (or gherkins). The insanely crispy chicken sits on the top of this, then topped with the final piece of brioche bun. Enjoy this straight away, but make sure to have some water on hand – that spicy sauce has a kick!