Review: Southern Fair Chicken Tenders from Popeyes
Popeyes ended 2015 with a bit of a rare dud with their Spice Packed Wings. Four months have gone by without a new chicken LTO from Popeyes until today. New Southern Fair Chicken Tenders are now available and they aim to please those looking for the taste of fair food mixed in with traditional Louisiana seasonings.
New Southern Fair Chicken Tenders are marinated in authentic Louisiana seasonings before being breaded in sweet cornmeal then fried. They are paired up with new Wild Honey Mustard dipping sauce and served with Cajun fries and a Buttermilk Biscuit for $4.99.
Right along with Arby’s, Popeyes is consistently good fast food. New Southern Fair Chicken Tenders continue the solid flow of limited time offerings by making sure three very important things are followed:
- New marinade or breading… check
- New dipping sauce flavor… check
- Priced under the five dollar mark… check
This formula is effective and simple. Popeyes doesn’t stretch too far trying to invent gimmicky products for cheap attention. They also don’t seem to follow flavor trends as much as other places do and that usually leaves us with some original flavors that are executed in a familiar way. If you remember Chicken Waffle Tenders from the summer of 2013, the texture of new Southern Fair Chicken Tenders will be somewhat familiar. Its crisp, crunchy coating will leave a crumbly mess, but it’s a satisfying fried chicken crust. The light sweetness of the cornmeal breading is subtle enough to be effective and not overpowering to the all white meat chicken. I would think the frying process would be tricky when trying to retain the flavor of the breading and having the texture come out just right. My tenders had no off-putting oily residue or overcooked areas that can ruin a product like this. The tenders are impressively meaty and I really felt I got my money’s worth considering my three tenders have about the same amount of meat as a ten piece order of chicken nuggets. The crusty areas that crumbled off were still picked at and eaten and that’s as good a compliment as you can get. I enjoyed the Wild Honey Mustard dipping sauce a lot more than I expected to. It’s got the sweetness of your standard honey mustard with a little spicy finish to it that went well with the chicken, Cajun fries and even the biscuit. The spicy finish of the Wild Honey Mustard is thanks to a little creole mustard to give the sauce a uniquely Louisiana flavor. I have the same issue with all my favorite dipping sauces at Popeyes… the container should be bigger.I wouldn’t say I got the flavor of cornmeal breading that would rival a corn dog, but I’m wondering if maybe that’s a good thing. The cornmeal sweetness was light and balanced enough to work as an effective chicken tender that didn’t reach gimmick territory by going too far. The Wild Honey Mustard dipping sauce was a tasty standout that paired well with the chicken and it shows once again that Popeyes goes a step beyond ordinary fast food and they continue to do it at a great value.
Pros: Crispy, crunchy breading that complements the meaty chicken tenders. Light cornmeal sweetness. Creole mustard added to honey mustard makes for an exceptional dip. Value.
Cons: Wanted: Bigger dipping sauce container
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.75/10
Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10
More Info: popeyes.com