Health meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Popeyes Spicy Fried Chicken Recipe


If you’re a fan of Popeyes’ famous spicy fried chicken, you’ll love this homemade version that captures all the flavor and crunch of the original. Perfectly seasoned and deliciously crispy, this recipe will become a staple for your fried chicken cravings. Let’s dive into how you can recreate this iconic dish at home.



  • Chicken:
    • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • Marinade:
    • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Coating:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tbsp paprika
    • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For Frying:
    • Vegetable oil, for frying


Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

  1. Prepare the Buttermilk Marinade:
    • In a large bowl, pour 2 cups of buttermilk.
    • Add the chicken drumsticks, ensuring they are fully submerged in the buttermilk.
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. This will tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.

Step 2: Prepare the Seasoned Flour Coating

  1. Mix the Dry Ingredients:
    • In a large shallow dish, combine the 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried basil, and dried oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    • Mix the dry ingredients well to ensure an even distribution of the spices.

Step 3: Coat the Chicken

  1. Dredge the Chicken:
    • Remove the chicken drumsticks from the buttermilk marinade, letting the excess buttermilk drip off.
    • Roll each drumstick in the seasoned flour mixture, pressing the flour onto the chicken to ensure a good coating. Place the coated drumsticks on a plate or a baking sheet.

Step 4: Fry the Chicken

  1. Heat the Oil:
    • In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C). You’ll need enough oil to submerge the chicken pieces fully.
  2. Fry the Chicken:
    • Carefully place the coated chicken drumsticks into the hot oil, being cautious not to overcrowd the pan.
    • Fry the chicken in batches if necessary. Cook each drumstick for about 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Step 5: Drain and Serve

  1. Drain the Chicken:
    • Use tongs to remove the fried chicken from the oil, placing them on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  2. Serve Hot:
    • Serve the spicy fried chicken hot, paired with your favorite sides like coleslaw, mashed potatoes, or biscuits.

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes:

  • Marinade: Marinating the chicken in buttermilk is essential for tenderizing and flavor. For best results, marinate overnight.
  • Oil Temperature: Maintaining the oil temperature at 350°F (175°C) is crucial for achieving crispy, non-greasy fried chicken.
  • Internal Temperature: Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked and safe to eat.


  • Extra Spicy: Increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the seasoned flour for an extra spicy kick.
  • Herbaceous Flavor: Add finely chopped fresh herbs like rosemary or sage to the flour mixture for an herby twist.
  • Southern Style: Add a tablespoon of hot sauce to the buttermilk marinade for a Southern-style spicy chicken.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Keto Version:

  • Flour Substitute: Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour or a keto-friendly flour blend.
  • Seasoning: Keep the spices the same, ensuring no added sugars.
  • Oil: Use a healthy fat for frying, like avocado oil.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Flour Substitute: Use a combination of almond flour and crushed pork rinds for the coating.
  • Seasoning: Use the same spices, adjusting for taste.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use different chicken parts for this recipe?

A: Yes, you can use any chicken parts like thighs, breasts, or wings. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure all pieces are cooked through.


Q: How do I ensure my chicken stays crispy?

A: To keep your chicken crispy, ensure the oil temperature stays consistent at 350°F (175°C). Avoid overcrowding the pan and let the chicken drain on a wire rack.


Q: Can I bake this chicken instead of frying it?

A: Yes, you can bake the chicken. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C), place the coated chicken on a baking sheet, and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until crispy and cooked through.


Q: What dipping sauces go well with spicy fried chicken?

A: Ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, honey mustard, and hot sauce are all excellent dipping options for spicy fried chicken.


Popeyes Spicy Fried Chicken is a delightful dish that brings together the perfect balance of spice and crunch. This homemade version allows you to enjoy this iconic flavor in the comfort of your own home. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with keto and low-carb variations, you’re sure to have a meal that’s both delicious and satisfying. Enjoy your homemade Popeyes Spicy Fried Chicken with your favorite sides and dipping sauces for a meal that everyone will love!