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Better Than Popeyes: Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Sauce

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The fast food chain Popeyes hit it out of the ballpark in August, 2019, when they introduced their deep-fried chicken sandwich. Of course, the umps called “fowl” when Popeyes ran out of the instantly-popular sandwich just two weeks into its launch. But you know Raichlen’s Rule: If it tastes good boiled, broiled, baked, sautéed, or deep-fried, there’s probably a way to make it taste even better on the grill.

So here’s the Raichlen take on Popeyes’ chicken sandwich.

First, pound the chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer between sheets of plastic wrap to help them cook evenly.

Brine them in buttermilk and spices to boost flavor, tenderize the chicken, and maintain succulence.

Next, season the chicken with a simple rub. (Popeyes doesn’t use a rub, but does incorporate spices into the flour coating.)

Then, and this is VERY important: grill the chicken breasts over a hot fire—preferably wood or wood enhanced.

We’ve even added our own spicy copycat secret sauce.

Finally, don’t neglect the package: serve, if you can, on a real brioche bun (buttered and grilled, of course) with crisp lettuce, luscious ripe red tomatoes, tangy pickles, and mayonnaise or the aforementioned sauce. We wouldn’t say no to strips of crispy bacon. Just sayin’.

The Raichlen version of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich: A lot more flavor. A lot less fat. And while no one cares to watch you deep-fry (or air-fry), everyone loves to gather around the grill. It’s Popeyes’ chicken sandwich—only better.

Better Than Popeyes: Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Sauce

Better Than Popeyes: Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Sauce

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