When I opened my Popeyes box with the new Sweet & Crunchy Tenders, it smelled as if I opened a box of donuts.
That’s due to the shortbread cookie coating on the all white meat chicken. Yes, I did just type these have a cookie coating and, no, I did not misspell “shortening cooked coating” or “shorthair cat coating.”
From what I could tell, there aren’t shortbread cookie pieces in the coating, but these have a jaw-rattling crunch. If you examine a piece, it looks like the hardened skin of a golden brown Godzilla protecting the perfectly cooked chicken underneath. But after eating all three tenders in the box, I realized it might be too crunchy because I ended up with a mild case of Cap’n Crunch Mouth.
The coating has a noticeable sweetness, but it doesn’t remind me of shortbread cookies or, sadly, donuts. Being shortbread, I was expecting a butteriness, but I didn’t taste any.
I haven’t had other Popeyes products that had a sweet coating, like the Chicken Waffle Tenders and Southern Fair Chicken Tenders, so I also can’t say these remind me of any of their previous limited time offerings. But I can say, if by some chance your Popeyes forgets to include a sauce with your tenders, eating them sans sauce won’t be too bad.
While the sweet and savory tenders are good enough that they could be eaten without sauce, they are wonderful with the Smokin’ Pepper Jam Sauce. When I tasted it by itself with my pinky finger, it instantly reminded me of the sweet chili sauce that comes with the spring rolls from my favorite Thai restaurants. It’s slightly more sweet than peppery and when combined with the tenders it enhances the shortbread coating’s sweetness and adds a nice peppery element as a contrast to the sweetness.
Popeyes Sweet & Crunchy Tenders with Smokin’ Pepper Jam Sauce is a great tasting limited time offering. Even though it gave me Cap’n Crunch Mouth. I’d recommend giving it a try while it’s around.
So now that Popeyes has a coating made from cookies, maybe the chicken chain could try making one with another snack — potato chips.
(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website.)
Purchased Price: $7.00* (meal)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Smells like donuts. Coating is made with frickin’ shortbread cookies. Crunchy. Smokin’ Pepper Jam Sauce is wonderful and reminds me of sweet chili sauces for Thai spring rolls.
Cons: Might be too crunchy; gave me a mild case of Cap’n Crunch mouth. Limited time offering.
*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.