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 1Smoky 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.

 Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken 2The 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.

Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken 3Using 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.

Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken 4The 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.Popeyes Smoky GarlicEasily 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.

Taste: 9.50/10
Value: 9.50/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 9.50/10

More Info: popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
not available

21 comments on “Review: Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken from Popeyes

  1. Matt says:

    Wow, those are some meaty looking strips !

  2. Alex K says:

    I wish I knew why I don’t have a Popeye’s all that close to me… every other fast food chain that can be found in Michigan is basically in a five mile radius of me, except a Popeye’s.

    • Astrid says:

      Yup, I hear you. I’m from Michigan as well. I would love to try their food, the adds look delicious. But I’m not driving 20 miles for fast food!

  3. Those look incredible! Wish I wasn’t on a diet

  4. JJJ says:

    OK, you convinced me. I was going to make fish tacos for dinner tonight, but I am now trying these instead. I think this is the first time a review from this site has actually made me go out if the way to try something I wasn’t planning on trying (Popeyes is kind of far for me to travel).

    • JJJ says:

      I actually had this last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. The chicken was very tender and flavorful. I did feel that I needed one more piece, as they were kind of small. I know they were trying to keep the price point under $5, but 5 pieces would have been just right to me.

  5. JoeyF says:

    I had this on Sunday and while it was pretty good i wasn’t impressed enough to go back for it yet. My pieces were pretty small and the flavor just wasn’t that great to me. I liked them better with the blackened ranch personally.

  6. Taylor says:

    I was debating on getting Popeye’s for dinner and this review just sealed the deal. My hopes are high!

  7. Dennis says:

    I just wish Popeye’s would include a drink with these deals. Their drinks are highly overpriced to add on.

  8. scram says:

    I tried this a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it. It has an almost smoky BBQ flavor.
    But…I had it a second time on Monday and found myself becoming tired of the flavor quickly. I really relied upon the sauce the second time to cover up a flavor that seemed to wear out it’s welcome quickly on my taste buds. I don’t know…kind of strange that happened…I don’t think I’ll get it again.

  9. Snackeroo says:

    I agree, these strips were very good.

  10. Jody says:

    It was only a dollar to add a drink at the Popeye’s near me.
    Well worth $5.99

  11. Dave says:

    I went to Popeye’s today intending to order something else, but saw the promotional sign for this and gave it a try. Very tasty! I opted for green beans with mine, since I’m assuming the chicken has a pretty hefty amount of calories.

  12. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Got it just now and of course as usual the Popeye’s I went to did not have the correct sauce, this happens way more often than it should and it is getting old. Doesn’t matter what state I am in, this seems to happen a lot. They need to get their act together. Other than that it tastes fine I guess, I wouldn’t pass up Raising Cane’s for it, that’s for sure.

  13. BigBelly says:

    We had it tonight, and both enjoyed it, but I didn’t find anything really special about it. Not much citrus flavor in the sauce that I found, but it was a really good meal for $4.99
    The lemonade icebox pie is really good, especially the crust

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