REVIEW: Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich

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.

12 thoughts to “REVIEW: Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich”

  1. Too much mayo will not cause a sandwich to be soggy.
    In fact, at the Culinary Institute, one of the first things they taught us was to make sure sandwich bread was evenly and completely coated with mayo to keep it from becoming soggy.
    Mayonnaise itself does not soak into the bread….it acts as a lipid (fat) barrier between the food and the bread.
    The brioche bun is soft and absorbs moisture readily as opposed to firmer breads.
    Toasting the bread a bit more would have helped a bit.
    Wrapped in paper and the put into a bag, the bun gets steamed from the heat and moisture.
    We eat healthy and rarely ever venture towards fast food….but your well written review made the Popeyes Blackened Chicken seem appealing enough to prompt me to check it out.
    The photo of the cut sandwich showing the meat to be be juicy and perfectly cooked is what eventually sold me.
    I’ll have to give it a try.

    1. I just noticed:
      Among the nutritional facts, the “29 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1900 milligrams of sodium” really throws me for a loop.
      I may have to pass on this…..: {

    2. Mayo is flat out disgusting and this sandwich will be so much better without it. I can’t wait to order one without mayo.

      1. it still isnt worth it,just buy some bread,blackening seasoning,and a chicken breast from the store and grill it and season it.would probably be cheaper anyway since america wants to cater to the high school dropout crowd who want to much money for jobs that require little to no education

        1. jay, as glad as i am that you’ve ostensibly learned how to cook a decent chicken sandwich… i don’t see how your whingey and poorly spelled classist ideology has a place in the comments section. this is a fun review website and i believe we would all appreciate a fun comment that doesn’t punch down onto people that dare to ask for livable wages while being working class. after all, by your own rationale, they can all make an excellent chicken sandwich… should diner cooks not be paid due to the inherent simplicity of a diner menu?
          i hope you get better someday, jay. maybe try getting a job two understand that working generally involves work

  2. You’ve got like three times as much chicken as I and many other people have had. Mine was so small, dry, and chewy. Mayo was great though, but I already knew that.

  3. This is the same blackening seasoning that Popeye’s uses on their blackened tenders, which are also not breaded. If you haven’t tried those, they are frickin’ amazing with blackened ranch dipping sauce.

    As for the mayo, it was exceedingly heavy on my sandwich. It went way beyond coating the insides of the bun halves and into “gloppy, goopy mess” territory. I’d bet that I’d be happier getting it with no mayo and some blackened ranch to dip it in.

  4. Tried one of these tonight on a buy a combo get a free sandwich deal on the app.

    It was awesome, nice moist chicken, super tender, mayo and pickles worked well with it. I’d order it again in a heartbeat, I hope they keep it permanent.

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