Fast Food Review: Wicked Chicken from Popeyes

What’s in a name?  Popeyes has a new offering which debuted this week called Wicked Chicken.  When you think “Wicked Chicken”, what comes to mind?  I’m thinking maybe a kicked up extra spicy chicken could be behind the “Wicked” title.  It turns out that this new chicken isn’t really spicy at all, but at least there’s a tiny bottle of TABASCO to turn up some heat, right?

OK, so Wicked Chicken… basically it’s breaded chicken strips.  Are they delicious?  Yes.  They are “Wicked” because of their gnarly shape I guess.  Popeyes describes them like this:

Popeyes Wicked Chicken are thin strips of tender, juicy, all white meat marinated in authentic Louisiana seasonings and cooked in our uniquely crispy coating until twisty and curly.  Served with Cajun fries, a buttermilk biscuit and your very own mini bottle of TABASCO sauce.

Popeyes made an accurate description of the Wicked Chicken.  The chicken is indeed tender and juicy and I was honestly quite surprised.  I was kind of expecting there to be an overabundance of fried breading and just not enough meat.  You’ll be happy to know that there is plenty of chicken in the box.   As for the breading, it’s crisp, crunchy and piled on just enough.  I counted around 16 pieces of chicken strips of all various shapes and sizes.  Combine the generous portion of chicken strips with matching biscuit, Cajun fries, ranch dipping sauce and a mini bottle of Tabasco… Wicked Chicken is a steal at only $3.99. 

I’ve heard people say that Popeyes chicken is too spicy.  I never found the Popeyes Louisiana seasonings to be overly powerful at all, but compared to a rival like KFC, there is definitely a little extra kick.  While the Wicked Chicken displays your typical Popeyes taste, I was still expecting a little extra in the taste department.  Don’t get me wrong, I prefer the Popeyes taste over KFC, it’s just that I would’ve liked something a bit more amped up in the batter recipe.  There is risk of turning off consumers who aren’t used to big changes, so Popeyes played it relatively safe with Wicked Chicken.  To counter this minor gripe, the mini bottle of hot sauce is a really nice touch and provides for control over the heat.  Add in the ranch dipping sauce and you’ve got a little more going on.  How about drizzling some TABASCO into the ranch?  I didn’t try this but it sounds like a good idea in my head.  I won’t get into details of the fries, but just know that they are tasty and in abundance.  As for the biscuit, I like Popeyes biscuits and never encounter a crusty, old stale imposter.  With the Wicked Chicken combo box, you are in for a greasy box of grub… and I’m certain I’ve said that before in previous Popeyes reviews. 

In closing, yes Popeyes new Wicked Chicken is indeed a success.  Not really wicked enough to earn the title of Wicked Chicken, but I’ll leave that up to your interpretation.  I would be doing you all a diservice if I didn’t mention that I shelled out some extra cash for a drink.  The new Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea is truly the perfect drink for this chicken and probably any other item at Popeyes.  I love this iced tea and I just read that you can try it for free (22 oz size) on June 12th so get it!!!  The only other fast food sweet tea I’ve tried is McD’s and Chick-fil-A… Popeyes Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea is the clear winner.  Combine the tea with the Wicked Chicken like I did and you’ve got a smile on your face for about 5 bucks.

35 comments on “Fast Food Review: Wicked Chicken from Popeyes

  1. Jessica Johnson says:

    I am dying to try these. I love chicken tenders with not very much meat & a little spice! That bottle of tabasco sauce is adorable!

  2. wibia says:

    That is a ton of food for $3.99. Looks good actually and I like the bottle of tabasco, nice touch.

  3. rob says:

    I’m going to get a bunch of those little bottles of sauce and hand them out to kids on Halloween.

  4. Michael says:

    Arrggg, why am I getting hungry at 6 a.m.

  5. Pasquinel says:

    Now this looks like a good deal from a fast food chain I feel doesn’t offer much in the way of value.

    I had Popeyes for the first time last week. I’ve been a loyal KFC customer for decades but wanted to sample the competition. For $4.99 I bought 3 Louisiana Tenders (chicken strips) which I felt were a rip-off considering the miniscule quantity. The strips had very little meat to begin with and what was there was very dry. On the other hand, there was a lot of fried breading. Unlike the GrubGrade reviewers, I love fried breading moreso than the meat that comes with it so these strips definitely delivered on the crunch factor. Reading this Wicked Chicken review, I’m disappointed with the greater meat-to-breading ratio. Still, now having tasted the Popeyes Kool-Aid, I’ll have to try them out for myself :)

  6. They remind me a little of KFC’s chicken fries, only deformed appearance wise.

    • Ryan says:

      I thought that at first…I was expecting something sorta similar. The BK Chicken Fries are sadly dried out and don’t have a bunch of meat.

  7. nighthawk says:

    i just had this for lunch….i was very pleased with the chicken…tasty, moist and some bigger pieces in there….you can also swap the fries with any side if you ask….

    while i didn’t crack open the tabasco bottle (saving it for emergency) i used popeyes hotsauce instead and found myself drowning the chicken in the hot sauce and dunking it in the ranch for a flavor explosion….

    good stuff popeyes….you rarely disappoint…..

    • Pris says:

      Wish our Llafayette La store would let us swap fries for something else. Their fries are a good concept but they are NEVER HOT, they put them onthe bottom of the chicken, biscuit etc so they are mashed together and soggy.

  8. Bob Smith says:

    Popeye’s strips have always been pretty bad compared to their chicken pieces, which are pretty good. Wicked Chicken is no exception. I found it to have no heat at all, compared to their pieces which have some heat (but not nearly enough). Bland is not good. Their new tea was very good, however, and their biscuits had their usual buttery goodness. I didn’t get a Tabasco bottle either.

  9. Raiders757 says:

    I had an order of these today, After suffering shock from getting out of the drive through in under ten minutes, I was able to sit down with these little bad boys. I took them home and enjoyed them with a little Texas Pete(best hot sauce hands down), to crank things up a notch or two. I have to say I enjoyed these quite a bit. Well worth the price.

    • Ryan says:

      Haha… do you usually have problems at drive-thru’s or is your local Popeyes as slow as mine? The one I go to always takes forever, even when you’re the only car there.

      • Raiders757 says:

        Yes, both of the Popeyes near me are beyond slow. It doesn’t matter if nobody is in the drive-thru. A normal visit is no less than 20 minutes. That’s why I hardly every eat there anymore. Of course, one advantage is that the food has always been fresh and hot. We’ve always joked about taking the newspaper or a book to read when going to Popeyes, as your going to be there a while.

  10. Michael T (HaloEleven) says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. What makes them “Wicked”? The tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce? Popeyes’ packet of hot sauce is just as good. By itself, the chicken is not that much different from regular Popcorn Chicken or Chicken Strips. Don’t get me wrong, the quality and taste was good, but the “Wicked” concept made me think there was going to be some spicy heat here – like the delicious Spicy Chicken sandwhich I sampled at Chik-Fil-A yesterday. The Sweet Tea is good though… Nice brewed flavor.

  11. Hi y’all! Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen here! Thanks so much for trying our new Wicked Chicken and Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea. We thank GrubGrade and each of you for your feedback, and are here to say they have been heard. We hope you’ll stop in to your nearest Popeyes soon…especially on June 12, free Tea for all!

    • Jessica J says:

      Please open a Popeye’s in Mount Airy, NC! We need one more than you can imagine.

    • Raiders757 says:

      I hope you payed close attention to the slow drive-thru time part. no matter how good the chicken is, I’m not going to waist my life away waiting around a half hour for a free iced tea.

  12. Justin says:

    I was at work today, and the secretary actually brought some of these back from out of town for another secretary…they’re just that good!

    She was ecstatic. I could not describe her elation. We need a Popeye’s in our area!

  13. jim harbaugh scramble says:

    Just had this for lunch.

    Don’t get me wrong it was good, but I only got 5 pieces of chicken, while you got 16. And the pieces in your picture are all bigger than the pieces I reiceved.

    But for the price I guess I made out ok, as 3 tenders (which would only have slightly more meat than what I reicieved), fries and a biscuit is 6 bucks

    It looks like you got 3 times the chicken and I got 3 times the fries.

    • Raiders757 says:

      Whoa!! Sounds like you got ripped off. I didn’t get 16, but I did get around ten pieces. of course I didn’t get that many fries either, but I’ll take the chicken over more fries.

      • Pris says:

        I think they got ripped off too.We got two orders yesterday and the box was barely closed. more than 10 long pcs, in fact both of us had some left over.

    • L says:

      I also only got about 5 or 6 pieces of chicken. It also did not come in a box, but rather one of those paper deli like half baskets (not sure what they are called). Also did not get any hot sauce or ranch. The chicken tasted fine, it just had really no discernible heat. The fries and biscuit were good, but overall was fairly let down.

      • Ryan says:

        The box is only for to-go or drive-thru orders I think. I would definitely be let down too if I had your experience. I’m now wondering if the reason why I had such an overabundance of chicken had to do with the fact that I had to wait an extra 10min or so for it…? I’d score this product lower if 7 pcs were the norm.

        • L says:

          Yup, I went through the drive thru. Could just be my local branch, although, I’ve always been quite pleased with them before. Perhaps an off day/new manager or something. The lack of hot sauce really made me sad :(

  14. Anga says:

    Tried this today after the commercials and reading your review, lots of chicken! I love chicken especially chicken strips and what not. But… I did not get a lot of chicken with mine either, as Jim Harbaugh said. I got probably 3 larger pieces and 5 smaller pieces. They didn’t even give me the tabasco sauce either.

    • Ryan says:

      Ouch. I’m going to get it again at a different location to see how it compares to my first purchase. There needs to be some consistency.

  15. Francois says:

    I also got a measly amount of chicken (probably 5-6 pieces) and just a few fries. Your picture looks fatty delicious. My box looked anorexic. I’ve only been to Popeyes a few times over the years, but they appear to have a consistency problem.

  16. Lisa says:

    Popeye’s sweet tea is good but Sonic’s is just as good. Maybe all Sonics don’t have the sweet tea option?

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