Meandering Musings

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Psuedo Popeyes Chicken

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This is my attempt to replicate Popeyes chicken in the Ninja Foodi. It is somewhat close so I will likely be adjusting it over time. It is a much healthier option since there is little oil being added.

Spicy Chicken

  2 bone-in chicken breasts

  3 eggs
  1/2 cup water
  3 cups of buttermilk
  2 cups of flour

  8 tbsp hot sauce
  4 tsp ground red pepper
  1 tbsp black or white pepper
  1 tbsp salt
  2 tsp smoked ground paprika
  1 tsp garlic powder      
  Crushed red pepper - optional
  Peanut oil


  1. Mix buttermilk, crushed red pepper and 4 tbsp of hot sauce in a large bowl or baking pan. Cover it, shake it up and refrigerate overnight, no longer than 2 nights.
  2. Mix eggs, 4 tbsp of hot sauce and water in a bowl.
  3. In a different bowl mix flour(s) and spices. Add as little or as much crushed red pepper as you like.
  4. Soak the chicken in the egg mixture and coat thoroughly with the flour.
  5. Place chicken bone side up in the crisper basket and spray both sides with peanut oil.
  6. Set Air Fry function, temperature to 400F and the timer to 13 minutes.
  7. After the alarm goes off turn the chicken at set the timer to 10 minutes - It may take a little less or more time. Check it starting at 8 minutes with a good meat thermometer
  8. The chicken is done when the thermometer reads 165F.

Notes

A good thermometer is a must. This one is great, it only takes a few seconds to get the reading. Be sure to babysit it at the 8-minute mark, it does not take long to scorch the chicken.

I have never seen peanut oil in a sprayable container but there are many oil spray bottles on Amazon and at cooking supply stores. If you don’t have one you can brush it on.

I used a mixture of flours - wheat, quinoa and oat.

The recipe can be adjusted for spiciness. Popeyes Chicken isn’t very spicy and I wish it were hotter. Feel free to add other spices, experimentation often leads to something great or at least a great disaster which is exciting also. This recipe is deliberately generic and made as safe as possible. Of course, if you are allergic to peanuts, try another oil that can be used in deep frying. I am not sure how olive oil would react to this temperature.

I am not convinced 400F is the optimal temperature, it might work better and lower the risk of scorching the coating at 375F.

For hot sauce, anything you use will be okay. A red pepper sauce will get you closer to what it should taste like. I guess Tabasco would work okay but I am not a fan of that. Popeyes is vaguely Cajun so I used a vaguely Cajun hot sauce: Zatarain’s Cajun Hot Sauce. Real Cajun food items are impossible to get where I live but I got a Cajun cookbook so I can learn more about it.

Next time I might try a habanero, scotch bonnet or even a ghost pepper sauce.

The two times I tested this recipe I used white pepper because I generally like it better than black but I think black pepper’s different bite would be more appropriate for this recipe. The crushed red pepper is just to make it a little hotter and it adds something in my opinion.

Two pieces of bone-in chicken are all that will fit so if you need to make more than that there are other options. If you want to use thighs, reduce the cooking time carefully. If you wish to use boneless greatly reduce the time, in the recipe book that came with the Foodi it will have cooking times for boneless chicken. Adjust the recipe for more chicken pieces.

I suppose you could pressure cook it before coating the chicken and then air-fry it for a greatly reduced time. I have not tried it though.

If you do not have a Foodi, you can heat oil in a large skillet on the stove. If you have a deep fryer follow any instructions it has.

This recipe goes well with red beans and rice. I might develop a good recipe and post it. I made spicy red beans and quinoa that I made up on the fly.

The flour mixture is also great on fish such as cod, pollack and halibut.

I will add healthy recipes. I don’t eat like this often but why have a Foodi if you are not going to have fun?

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