Review: Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken from Popeyes
Since the newest limited time offer from Popeyes has been available for a week now, it clearly shows I wasn’t overly hyped to try it right away. I guess Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken didn’t really connect with me from just a promotional level. Shame on me, Popeyes rarely disappoints.
Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken is priced at $4.99 and comes with 4 tenderloins, a regular side, biscuit and new Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce. A complete meal and they standard strong value from Popeyes. Since the promo picture shows a side of red beans and rice, I picked that for my side.
The four main components of this new dish from Popeyes is broken down in its name: the Smoky, the Garlic, the Chile, the Chicken. Let’s go in order and start with smoky. The smokiness comes from the chickens marinade with is made with smoked peppers and garlic. I found the smoky qualities of the chicken to be impressive by having a nice balance with the salty Southern style crispy breading. The strong emphasis on garlic is due to the process of smoking whole garlic which results in a more noticeable aromatic quality and adds a little sweetness. If the garlic turned out to be too heavy, the result would be my fears coming true and the reason for being hesistant on trying the new chicken in the first place. For me the garlic was just enough to make for a flavorful and slightly different Popeyes experience. It wasn’t at all overpowering, but it made itself known and proved to me that Popeyes chicken can highlight a LTO with garlic and knock it out of the park.
Using smoked Morita chile peppers in new Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken results in adding to the smokiness to the marinade while also providing a little sweet heat too. On purely a heat level, the impact was minimal so don’t go expecting a major spicy kick. It really is more smoky than anything else and the peppery bite is noticeable, just not a major factor. With all the smoke, garlic, and chile pepper aside, we’re still talking about chicken here. You get four premium tenderloins with this dish and size-wise you’re getting a good fill of food. The tenderloins are the most tender cut of chicken and the difference between this and other white meat offerings at Popeyes wasn’t much of a leap when I originally tried Tear’n Tenderloins. The portion and cut is different with Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken versus Tear’n Tenderloins and it’s obvious just by looks alone. When I first opened the box I was almost disappointed because I thought I received the wrong order. The four breaded chicken tenderloins definitely looked like bone-in chicken wings at first. I shouldn’t have panicked since the smell of garlic was clear and present. Imagine the size of a bone-in chicken wingette/drumette and these were kind of like that. Now imagine there’s no bones, just thick and tender meaty chicken with a decent amount of moisture. I was very impressed with the chicken to breading ratio.
The thickness of the new Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce was just right and had a little citrusy punch that added a new flavor element to go beyond just more garlic on garlic. I found this sauce to be delicous and provided a great complementary flavor. This is one of the better dipping sauces I’ve had at Popeyes.Easily the best fast food item I’ve had this year, Popeyes new Garlic Chile Chicken works on so many levels. It really is an easy decision if you need a fast food chicken fix that will wake up your taste buds and satisfy your appetite. Five bucks for a combo meal (without a drink) is a steal these days and Popeyes still comes through. This is another Popeyes product that comes highly recommended.
Pros: A truly unique new flavor from Popeyes combining smoked garlic, chili peppers and sea salt. Meaty chicken tenderloins. Awesome value. Dipping sauce.
Cons: Only available for a limited time. $1.89 to add a drink. Dipping sauce size could be bigger to better accomodate the amount of dippable food. Nutrition info for LTO's never available on the Popeyes website.
Overall GrubGrade: 9.50/10
More Info: popeyes.com