It is undeniable the impact the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich continues to have on the fast food landscape over three years since it first debuted. With its newest offering, Popeyes is looking at the unbreaded chicken sandwich options and raising the bar yet again. The Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich starts with a 12-hour marinated filet that is finished with a unique blend of spices that give the item a signature blackened flavor. After frying it, it’s placed on a brioche bun with crisp pickles and mayo (or spicy sauce if you opt for the Spicy version).
While I am a huge fan of the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, I was a little worried about this new version. Unbreaded (“grilled”) chicken sandwiches at fast food restaurants are usually awful in my experience. They are often a bizarre textural blend of wet on the outside but dry on the inside. I also wanted to find out how the blackened flavor would be as I’ve had some instances where it overpowered the protein it’s used on.
The aromatic smell of the spices was absolutely delightful as I took the sandwich out of its bag. In case you’re not familiar, blackened seasoning is a blend of spices that usually has paprika as the base with cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, and garlic. Popeyes’ version adds three types of pepper (red, black, white) and cumin to give it a unique flavor profile.
The blend that Popeyes developed for this sandwich was perfect. It’s well balanced to have a bit of the peppery spice but not cross into painfully spicy. There was even a bit of sweetness in the seasoning that really pushed it over the edge in terms of deliciousness. Since this was an unbreaded filet, I was incredibly curious about how it would come out. My worries about it being overly dry were immediately put to rest as I cut the sandwich in half.
The outside of the filet was crisp but not dry, and the inside was incredibly juicy and tender. The mayo and pickles work well with the blackened seasoning by supporting it and not competing with it. The brioche bun elevates the whole thing by adding a slight sweetness. The first few bites were nearly perfect, until the chicken’s succulence started to create a soggy mess. I think the person who made the sandwich went a little heavy on the mayo, and the bun wasn’t nearly toasted enough to stand up to the components as they sat longer.
There is no doubt in my mind that Popeyes continues to set the bar when it comes to chicken sandwiches. Even though it wasn’t made “perfectly,” my sandwich was incredibly delicious. The blackened seasoning works well, the unbreaded chicken filet is extremely tasty, and when you get that bite with all the ingredients, it’s just an enjoyable flavor experience. I will absolutely get this again and look forward to trying the spicy variation.
Purchased Price: $4.99
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 550 calories, 29 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1900 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of protein.