Fast Food Review: Rip’n Chick’n from Popeyes

Halloween comes early to Popeyes this year with their horrific looking Rip’n Chick’n. They have finally tackled the annoying problem of fried chicken resembling an actual body part of a chicken and made it look like how we all really want it to look… like a deep fried shrunken hand. I tried making a wish and no, it didn’t come true, the fingers didn’t curl, and nothing horrible happened to me or any one close to me. I did however feel that at any moment my horror movie titled Rip’n Chick’n could leap from the box and start killing prostitutes.

The Horror...

My first impressions aside, Popeyes describes it differently:

We cut a plump, all white meat chicken breast into big strips, marinate it in four different peppers and Louisiana seasonings then hand batter and bread it in our signature coating then fry it up crispy. We call it Rip’n Chick’n because you just rip it and dip it. Get it right now with our Cajun fries, buttermilk biscuit and Ranch dipping sauce.

Thanks to An Immovable Feast, I discovered that the “signature coating” is a blend of four peppers; jalepeno, habenero, white and black peppers. While there is no relation between chiles and peppercorns (a pet peeve of mine when a restaurant describes their product), it comes from Popeyes, so I will let it slide. Combine that with batter and hot oil and you should have a winner.

The combo comes with Cajun fries a buttermilk biscuit and Ranch dipping sauce. I opted out on the Ranch; if dipping fried food it a sauce that is 80% oil is your thing, then eat it the way Popeyes recomends. Make sure you have an ambulance on stand by if you do so. I am sick of the Ranch trend that started twenty years ago. Ranch is inescapable at most fast food restaurants, so if that is what people demand I might be alone with that opinion.

While clearly taking the award for ugliest food ever, this was delicious. It is a portion of white meat chicken breast, coated in a spicy blend of awesome. Whatever the “signature blend” of spices is, they need to put it on everything. The “spicy” regular fried chicken takes a back seat to the Rip’n Chick’n. It was moist, crunchy and insanly flavorful. I took it to the next level and dipped it in the Cajun gravy from my mashed potatoes (not pictured). I felt like I was in the french quarter eating food prepaired by a grandmother. Fast food shouldn’t taste this good. Ranch is for suckers. Go for gravy. Couple that with a fresh baked biscuit and this was as close to gastronomic, comfort food heaven as a chain fried chicken joint can get.

The only real fault I see with this is the idiotic novelty of ripping and dipping fried chicken. Popeyes should just fry the regular chicken this way. If so, I would easily rate this a 10 out of 10. I also feel the score would be lower if I dodged the gravy for Ranch. Either way with all the fast food crap on the market right now, Rip’n Chick’n blows about a good 97% of the competitions offerings out of the water. Even if it does look like a science experiment gone wrong.

Pros: Scary but tasty. Fried food making me feel better about my massive ammounts of insecurities.

Cons: Looks like a deep fried face hugger from the Aliens movies. Novelty foods. Americans poor eating habits consisting of dipping food cooked in oil in oil.

Taste: 9.00/10
Value: 8.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: 4.99 meal $5.99 combo with drink

Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10

29 comments on “Fast Food Review: Rip’n Chick’n from Popeyes

  1. I am with you all the way on the anti-ranch thing. Let’s start a movement! Nice B/W treatment on the foto……wooooooooooo!

  2. J.B. says:

    Not a ranch fan myself.
    I do however love a good honey mustard.
    And this is definitely one ugly piece of food.

  3. Adam says:

    Fried food demands ketchup, buffalo, or bbq sauce, in my book… but to each his own. Now you know how I feel when every sandwich in the world is offered with mayo [see Keith, I’m not the only one with a ‘white stuff’ aversion :)]

    • Raiders757 says:

      The “White Stuff Aversion Club” is a lot bigger than most think. I can’t stand it that almost every “special sauce” used to change the name of the same old crap, is mayo based. Even worse, seeing sub shops offer up a creation with a tasty vinegarette dressing, yet still add mayo as standard issue. WTF? (I’m looking at you Firehouse)

      I’m also a member of the “Let us put the condiments on ourselves club”. I’m sick of asking for no mayo on everything, and making double sure they heard me. Just as bad, is getting too much, or too little, of what I do want. Condiments and “special sauces” should be served on the side.

      Anyhow, I just wanted to point out that a tasty combo on many fried fast foods, is ketchup mixed with Texas Pete(or Franks) hot sauce. It’s awesome with Chick-Fil-A, Popeyes, and Bojangles. BBQ works well, but only if it’s not overly sweet, which is sadly the case at most places.

    • Keith says:

      Touche Adam. Honestly, I agree with the anti-ranch sentiment. I’m stick of it. It’s not that I exclude ranch automatically (I don’t exclude any food automatically), but I certainly don’t see the big deal and I do not want to dunk anything into it – ESPECIALLY pizza. That’s plain wrong. Ranch is the ketchup of the white sauce world – it’s overly sweet, bland (not in any way “tangy” or “zesty”) and boring.

      I would much prefer to dip these into a spicy barbecue sauce… but what can I say, American palates still have a long way to go.

      But mayo is such a benign sauce – it really has very little flavor. It’s just oil, lemon juice and egg. What’s the big deal? I hated it, along with most white sauces when I was a kid, but I quickly grew out of it. Mayo is definitely my condiment of choice on a burger. The big problem is most places use way too much of it.

      What I don’t understand about the “White Stuff Aversion Club,” is that you write off every white sauce regardless of the fact that they’re not all that similar. It’s like people who say, “I don’t eat seafood.” What? ALL seafood? I don’t get it – as adults, I think we should try not be such picky eaters and open our horizons to all the culinary possibilities that our parents didn’t have.

      You folks are the reason I’m afraid to have people over for dinner, for fear I might include an ingredient that is on your “exclude” list. I think that’s kind of sad. I understanding liking some things more than others, and ordering food the way you want it… and I get that some people are sensitive tasters that can’t take a lot of flavor action.

      But this is a food blog – at least review food the way it’s presented Mr ketchup on a filet-o-fish 😉

      • Adam says:

        Haha. I have no idea how this “white sauce” fued you and I always seem to banter in originally developed, but let me say for the record, there are some very good “white sauces” in the fast food world. Case in point – Arby’s parmesan and peppercorn ranch spread, any of Einstein Bros. “schmears,” and several varieties of mayos.

        My aversion to mayo is that I just don’t get why it “has” to be included. If I step up to the plate and order a massive burger or chicken sandwich, why do I want a BK or Hardees adding 200 calories worth of something blandish?

        That’s just me, anyways. I have always been into cream cheese though, so I’ll set the record straight there. But I am willing to declare a cease-fire on the whole white sauce issue with you in the name of our collective fast food sanity!

      • Chefprotoss or dan says:

        In Adams defense, we all allready know what a filet o fish tastes like. We got a umm… a different perspective with his filet o fish w/ketchup.

        I didn’t even try dipping this in ranch because I allready knew it would anger my tounge. So I didn’t technicly review this the way it comes from popeyes either. So I understand where Adam was coming from. Yes, I flip floped on this one.

        Lets face it, people come to food blogs to be entertained way more than for an honest consumer report. We aren’t reviewing washers and dryers. This is food porn. If the reviewer deviates(a little) from how the item comes, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

        While I seldom agree with Adam, I do like his different perspective. Ketchup over tartar sauce baffles me, but it is contraversal. It also leads to debate, which is half the fun of comming to a food blog. This debate though is a dead horse. I was hoping to bring about a discussion of fried chicken + gravy = awesome, so lets hate on differen’t sauces now. Like ranch =P

        • Adam says:

          I thought you didn’t try it because it was unhealthy and you didn’t have an ambulance on standby 🙂 ?

          And count me as someone who actually does come for honest reviews and NOT food porn. Reviews on GrubGrade and other sites have stopped me from wasting money on stuff ranging from Subway’s pulled pork to those horrible shrimp tacos at taco bell.

          • Chefprotoss or dan says:

            Your right. I should have worded that differently. I don’t think anyone dishonestly reviews food, but their is a clear difference between yelp and sites like wibia or tib. I have no intention of ever going to indy but I still read all wibia.coms reviews. Judging by your comments on the site you do too. While providing a service these kind of sites provide well written pieces that in my opinion are also food porn. I read all your utah reviews because they were fun to read and unlike yelp, they have personality. Trust me. I am never going to utah. That was and is my long winded point broseph. =)

          • Keith says:

            Let it be known that Adam and I have declared a white sauce cease fire!

            I can appreciate the different perspective, and I also enjoy the tongue-in-cheek nature of the reviews here. I started reading GrubGrade because Ryan turned me onto it when another fast food review site shut down, and that is why I come here – the fast food reviews. I also learned to avoid the Taco Bell shrimp tacos thanks to Ryan’s great review.

            But hey, you have a discerning audience and being a blogger means taking some criticism from time to time. It’s all in good fun. Honestly Adam, I skip over all of your pre-packaged supermarket reviews, like for cereal, granola bars and ice cream. I think maybe your lifestyle is too healthy for that of a fast food blogger. Certainly not a bad thing for you… and your cholesterol.

            My favorite reviews, by far, are for stuff like this – new items offered up by fast food joints and an honest take on whether or not they’re worth checking out and with a humorous twist. I personally almost never special-order fast food items though, and it’s hard for me to judge what something will be like if crucial condiments have been omitted or substituted. But that’s me – I think others like the suggested alternatives.

            You’ll never live down the ketchup on the filet o fish with me, Adam – tartar sauce really is delicious – but I’m ready to bury the white sauce war.

            It was all in good fun 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    Where have you been? In any event, I am glad to see you back reviewing. You’re funny and a joy to read.

    • Jimmy James says:

      Actually it reminds me of the scene in Beetle Juice where the shrimp cocktail grabs everyone’s face.

  5. Manavee says:

    I got this today and tried it….I can’t believe how close your review is to my thoughts, right down to how much this thing resembled a creepy, polydactylic (mine had a lot more fingers than yours) chicken hand.

    The taste was great, but the “rip’n” concept is pointless and gimmicky. I also thought the accompanying ranch dip was uninspired. As usual, I really liked the fries and really loved the biscuit.

    I don’t hate ranch as much as some of you. I think it counterbalances nicely with really stronger flavors (like Buffalo wings). However, I definitely agree it’s way overused and didn’t complement the flavor of this chicken well at all.

  6. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    Correction- the four pepper blend has cayenne not jalepeno. Not that anyone would be able to tell anyway. I need to take better notes.

  7. Crysta says:

    The chicken sounds pretty good, but my nearest Popeyes is over an hour away, so I won’t be trying it. 🙁

    I like ranch, but it doesn’t go well with fried chicken. Any time I’ve tried to eat it that way, it isn’t the taste that turns me off; it really does make me sick.

    And mayo…ehhhh. A tiny, tiny bit that I put on a sandwich myself is okay. The amount restaurants tend to use is gross.

    • Keith says:

      I think this tends to be the biggest problem with mayo – some places really overdo it.

      And what’s up with chicken, bacon and ranch sandwiches? I see these everywhere now. Why would you ruin a perfectly good sandwich containing chicken and bacon with ranch dressing?

      Speaking of bacon, I really think there needs to be more reviews here of foods containing bacon.

  8. Adam says:

    +For your use of Broseph, dan.

  9. Charlotte says:

    I am so happy to have found another person who has a strong opinion on Ranch too. I wrote a blog post railing against this “dressing” a few years ago and people thought I was nuts! The only thing Ranch is ever good on is cheddar cheesy fries and even then it’s a bit iffy and obviously unhealthy. When people get it on their salads, I judge them. When people put it on pizza or chicken fingers, I shun them. The whole “wrap” trend is another thing that should die a slow and painful death. Any kind of wrap with Ranch on it makes me actually angry.

    This chicken sounds good but it’s scary looking.

  10. maxchain says:

    I managed to get the combo for $4 thanks to what I’m pretty sure was a cashier error. The whole ripping deal is stupid, yes, but I’m impressed with how moist and flavorful the chicken is. You taking notes, KFC? Crispy chicken doesn’t have to be dry inside. (And that goes double for biscuits.)

  11. Razzle says:

    I am SO GLAD that someone else is completely creeped out by the fact that the Rip’n Chick’n looks like a breaded, deep fried, HUMAN HAND!
    Does Popeye’s have anyone in their marketing department who isn’t BLIND?
    I can not bring myself to order it.
    (Seriously, go to a Popeye’s at lunchtime; it looks like the zombie apocalypse is happening right now!)
    And I agree about the ubiquitous Ranch dressing thing- I can’t stand it. I also am driven crazy by how every other dipping sauce is sugary sweet. I tend to like something tangy. I always ask for lemon slices to put on stuff. Or hot sauce. Spicy mustard is good, too. In England, they have vinegar as a dipping sauce, and that’s great. I love Buffalo sauce, but that is just a heart attack in a cup, so I don’t get it… (it’s just grease and Tabasco…)

  12. Gaby says:

    I think that the rip’n aspect probably just allows for more surface space to be covered and coated. In that case, they should just make it a breast chicken strips with new and improved seasonings. 🙂

  13. Kenny says:

    I like the rip n chicken its moist and have a little kick I have it with the spicy sweet n sour sauce but I will try it with the Cajun gravy next time.

  14. […] our Cajun fries, buttermilk biscuit and Ranch dipping sauce – all for only $3.99!We have a FULL REVIEW of Popeyes Rip’n Chick’n from its run last year.Tags: Popeyes Rip'n Chick'n, Popeyes Rip'n Chick'n Review, Rip'n […]

  15. Kristiang says:

    Like gravy is any healthier then ranch dressing

  16. johann says:

    American Fatties….all of you.

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