Review: Magnolia Blossom Chicken from Popeyes

Innovation in fried chicken doesn’t stretch too far beyond flavors and way its presented.  With new Magnolia Blossom Chicken from Popeyes, we are treated to subtle changes to make the product worthy of being called “new”, but is it new enough to be worthy of a buy?  Let’s review.
Magnolia Blossom Chicken PopeyesThe cut of the chicken isn’t new to Popeyes as they’ve given us “pullable and dippable” products in recent years (see Dip’n Chick’n and Rip’n Chick’n).  With new Magnolia Blossom Chicken, the all-white chicken breast is marinated with a blend of orange flavors and spices and is cut in a way to resemble the petals of the Louisiana state flower. The idea is simply pluck the chicken petals to dip into the new Spicy Orange dipping sauce.   Mine didn’t turn out too convincing looking, but it served its purpose.Magnolia Blossom Chicken PopeyesEven though my particular piece of chicken didn’t exactly end up resembling a fried chicken magnolia blossom like the promo images, I still appreciate that Popeyes pays attention to Louisiana heritage with their new products.  They always seem to incorporate specific peppers, spices, flavors, and in this case the state flower.  The scent of a magnolia blossom can be described as citrusy and sweet and the marinade for Magnolia Blossom Chicken attempts to follow that idea.  I found the flavor of the breading to be light on the sweetness and citrus, but I’d have to say citrus is a bit more obvious and the traditional Popeyes chicken flavor still comes through.  Admittedly, I was searching for the sweet, summery orange flavors in the chicken and still hit me as too mellow to be a standout quality.  Something that I noticed that was a little different from what I’m used to with Popeyes chicken is that the breading was light and airy like Japanese tempura.  The texture of the breading was a plus because of this tempura-like quality, but it ended up separating itself from the chicken too much in some spots and I found it resulted in a couple of extra chewy and dried out chicken morsels.  After sampling the chicken on its own, I dove into the Spicy Orange dipping sauce to complete the experience.
Magnolia Blossom Chicken PopeyesI’ve got to say, cut your chicken to resemble a blossomed flower and marinate it with sweet, citrus all you want, the Spicy Orange dipping sauce ends up carrying Magnolia Blossom Chicken.  The sauce is reminiscent of the orange sauce you get at any Chinese takeout to smother your egg rolls in, but with a peppery kick to it.  Its sweet, not too spicy, and quite syrupy.  There’s a good amount of honey-sweet, citrusy orange flavor blended with the heat and it made for an interesting new Popeyes chicken experience.  I only wish the sauce wasn’t so runny.
Magnolia Blossom Chicken PopeyesAt a price of $3.99, Magnolia Blossom Chicken is priced beyond fair.  You get a hearty portion of chicken, plus a pretty solid dipping sauce, plus a side and biscuit.  There’s no drink included for $3.99, but that rarely matters to me.
Magnolia Blossom Chicken PopeyesWhile new Magnolia Blossom Chicken doesn’t really standout from a flavor perspective on its own, the new Spicy Orange sauce complements the meal to save it.  I think the product overall falls short from most Popeyes LTO’s, but the Popeyes track record is so solid that I have no choice to put it on a pedestal.  This isn’t one of their best, but definitely worth a curious taste at $3.99.

Pros: Great value. Flavor of the Spicy Orange dipping sauce. Tempura-like chicken crust.

Cons: Sweet, citrus marinade of the chicken doesn't stand out enough on its own to be memorable. Consistency of the Spicy Orange dipping sauce is too runny. A couple of extra chewy chicken pieces.

Taste: 6.50/10
Value: 8.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.75/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.75/10

More Info: popeyes.com
Nutrition Facts:
not available

18 comments on “Review: Magnolia Blossom Chicken from Popeyes

  1. Johnnyboy says:

    Had it today, suave is spicy food. Chicken tastes like regular chicken.

  2. Johnnyboy says:

    Sauce is spicyly good, great price.

  3. Matt says:

    Tried it today. The sauce is not my thing. It tastes like Sunkist soda reduced to a syrup with some hot pepper flakes added. Way too much sugar. I like Sunkist too, but I wouldn’t pour it on fried chicken. Most Chinese restaurants make a better balanced orange sauce.

    The amount of chicken equals about 1.5 – 2 of Popeyes usual tenders. The chicken itself was good, but I would have loved to have another flower thrown in for a dollar more.

    • Rob says:

      I either got lucky today or my Popeyes felt bad for making me wait. I was given 2 “blossoms”, and I definitely would have thought that one is not enough.

  4. Coulson says:

    That looks like a deep fried whole baby octopus.

  5. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Had it today, it was kind of meh. The sauce is pretty spicy but sweet also. It is also kind of small. It’s alright I guess. Spicy going down, spicy coming out if you know what I mean;)

  6. Tania Thomas says:

    I had this today and it was horrible. The flavor was not good at all and it looked like a small piece off of a chicken breast.

  7. Ryan says:

    Ryan, are there any fast food places that you look forward to reviewing their new products? Like we all know hoe much you “look forward” to reviewing BK fare, but is there any place that’s #1 on your wishlist?

    • Ryan says:

      Good question… I get eager to try something from certain places seem to be on a dry streak with new LTO’s. Domino’s Pizza hasn’t come out with something new in a while so I’m looking forward to whatever they come out with next that they deem worthy of breaking the streak. Other places on my current list are similar to my Domino’s reason… McDonald’s is one, KFC has been quiet since the Nashville promo…. oh and Chick-fil-A. I live in the midatlantic region of the country so we don’t have Jack in the Box or Carl’s Jr., Whataburger, or In-N-Out (the list is long) so whenever I get the chance to review something from those places I try to.

      • Ryan says:

        Well In-N-Out hasn’t had anything new since they opened. And don’t you have Hardee’s there? It’s the same as Carl’s. Do you ever expect BK to change its ways and be good again? Or do you think it will keep coming up with things even a stoner wouldn’t eat?

        • AM says:

          Sadly, that seems to be what BK mostly does nowadays, limited time food items that trend toward the gimmicky side. Though when I tried their dogs recently when they came out(just the regular dog and chili cheese, but not the Whopper Dog yet), they were actually not bad as far as BK food goes, and better than a lot of their other recent limited time offerings I wasn’t wild about.

          Jack in the Box is decent, but too bad there aren’t any in the Chicago area. They mainly have locations around Saint Louis, a few in Indy and Cincy(as of recently), and mostly are in western states. Hardee’s interestingly made a comeback in the Chicago area a few years ago, though unfortunately the location closest to me closed. Liked In-N-Out when I did try them on a San Francisco trip, and I hope to try Whataburger someday.

  8. jr says:

    Thing looks like an enlarged ant’s head.

  9. Mike R says:

    Was spicier than I thought it would be and they didn’t give me the orange sauce or any sauce with it either. I don’t know if it was this or something else, but something messed me up bad.

  10. Mike Mc says:

    Spot-on review. I had the combo for $5.49, a solid value. Liked the taste, but didn’t like the separation of breading and chicken. Found myself going in for a bite of breading to meet the chicken whose space it just vacated. Would buy again.

  11. Jessica O. says:

    I really didn’t like the orange sauce. Tasted like orange or apricot pancake syrup but thinner and even more citrus-y, and then spiciness added.

    The chicken, though was fantastic as always.

    • AM says:

      I also didn’t dig the orange sauce that came with the Magnolia Blossom chicken tenders, but the fact I also got a ranch sauce(forget the name) along with the orange sauce made up for that. The tenders weren’t bad, but I thought they’d have more of a unique flavor that’d stand out.

  12. BigBelly says:

    We both thought it was very good, no problem with breading separating (we ate it there.) The sauce was good, had a little kick to it (which you will rarely see me post) and I didn’t really find it thicker then others, maybe a little at first because it had been chilled, but after a dip or two it was fine… tasted like spicy orange marmalade

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