Review: Beer Can Chicken from Popeyes
There’s only so much you can do with fried chicken and Popeyes has continuously come out with impressive offerings. With almost every new offering we’re getting new marinade seasonings, a new cut, or new dipping sauce. The newest menu item at Popeyes is called Beer Can Chicken and it follows the brands trend with some new flavors.
Popeyes describes their new Beer Can Chicken like this:
Our Beer Can Chicken is tender, juicy, all white meat chicken breast, partially cut into tenders and slow marinated in a blend of traditional beer can chicken seasonings like butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, and cayenne then hand-battered, breaded and fried up fresh in our kitchens.
The Beer Can Chicken entree is available for a limited time and is served in the traditional Popeyes combo-box style with fries and a biscuit for $3.99. There’s also a new Creamy Cayenne Dipping Sauce to go along with the new chicken.
I don’t have much familiarity with traditional beer can chicken beyond seeing a spice rubbed whole chicken sitting on an open beer can atop an outdoor grill. I guess this method of cooking allows some moisture interior moisture and the flavors of the beer to make their way into the chicken. Popeyes Beer Can Chicken doesn’t seem to have much in common with what traditional beer can chicken is as far as the method of cooking goes. The misleading name aside, Popeyes version of Beer Can Chicken is basically Rip’n Chick’n with a new flavor. Not familiar with Rip’n Chick’n? It’s the one that looked like a hand made of fried chicken. When I placed my Beer Can Chicken order, the guy yelled back to the kitchen “mano mano mano”… Spanish for “hand hand hand”.
Popeyes says their Beer Can Chicken is “slow marinated in a blend of traditional beer can chicken seasonings like butter, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, and cayenne”. I tried looking online for a traditional beer can chicken seasonings and found too many different results to think there really is a standard. So how does this new flavor of Rip’n Chick’n taste? I think it had an interesting flavor… unique as far as fast food fried chicken goes. It was hard to pinpoint all the ingredients in the description, but I got mostly a mix of garlic, lemon and rosemary. Either my batch was a little overcooked, or the marinade and the chicken didn’t cooperate too well in the frying process, because this chicken was surprisingly dried out in some areas. I’m a big Popeyes fan, but within a couple of bites I already felt like Beer Can Chicken wasn’t going to live up to everything else that has come before it. The meal was still enjoyable, but not to the level I’ve come to expect. The dried ends made for some greasy, inedible crumbs with chicken breast left exposed. Having the new Creamy Cayenne sauce handy made the issues with dryness a little better for texture. Flavorwise, the Creamy Cayenne sauce was pungent yet decent, not too spicy and nothing too special. Previous dipping sauces did a better job at pairing flavors. The Beer Can Chicken’s flavor was pretty solid and different enough to stand alone without dipping sauce, but the flavor couldn’t help it with moisture.
With a price of $3.99, Popeyes still impressed me with a great value for the amount of grub in the box. Most Popeyes items score in the 8’s and 9’s with me, but their Beer Can Chicken falls short. I thought the marinade was tasty and unique yet suffered from texture problems and an uninspiring dipping sauce.
Pros: Flavorful, unique blend of seasonings in the marinade are unfamiliar grounds in fast food chicken. Only $3.99 with fries and a biscuit.
Cons: Suffered from some dryness. Creamy Cayenne was decent, but I've come to expect more from Popeyes dipping sauces.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10
More Info: http://www.popeyes.com