Copycat Popeyes Popcorn Chicken

It’s a treat when I get to fire up my deep fryer. And because I’m a sucker for being influenced by cheesy ads on TV for fast food joints, I had to make a copycat of the popcorn chicken you can get at Popeyes. I couldn’t help myself. I was weak. Crunchy, spicy and addicting, I gobbled them up just like Annie (the lady on the Popeyes commercials) said I would.
I figured I needed a few dipping sauces for my copycat Popeyes popcorn chicken. I decided to pick up a few bottles of Sweet Baby Ray’s dipping sauces at the store. SBR makes great BBQ sauces (perfect as-is or as a base for your own creation), so I was pretty darn sure that their dipping sauces would be great too. And they were. Between the popcorn chicken and the dipping sauces and a few fries, it was a happy deep-frying kind of day!

Also try my chipotle popcorn chicken bites. Chicken with a kick!

Copycat Popeyes Popcorn Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into small pieces.
  2. Heat 3" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  3. Combine flour, salt, white and cayenne pepper and paprika in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
  4. Whisk together the eggs in a separate shallow bowl or pie plate.
  5. Working in batches, dip chicken pieces into the egg.
  6. Shake off excess and transfer to the flour mixture, coating well.
  7. Shake off excess and place into the hot oil.
  8. Fry 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel-lines plate.
  9. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Copycat Quizno’s Italian Sub

I used to work just down the street from a Quizno’s. I went there often for lunch. Ok, very often. I loved their toasted bread and great meats and toppings. Now I work from home and I prefer to make my own lunch, so I make a copycat of the classic Quizno’s Italian sub, my favorite item on their menu. The sweet balsamic dressing and pesto are what really make this sandwich memorable. Even if you don’t follow the recipe for the toppings exactly, make the dressing and add the pesto.
I find pepperoncini peppers to be a must-have on a sub. And on a pizza for that matter. I prefer them over pickles. They’re crunchier and tangier and really wake up whatever you put them on.

Also check out my copycat of the Battalion Chief Sub from Firehouse Subs and Subway’s Italian BMT.

Copycat Quizno's Italian Sub
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
For the sandwiches
  • 6 sub rolls (or 2 loaves French bread, each cut into 3 equal sizes)
  • Sweet balsamic dressing (see below)
  • Basil pesto (I used store-bought)
  • 1/3 pound sliced salami
  • 1/3 pound sliced pepperoni
  • 1/3 pound sliced ham
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • Dried oregano
  • 12 thin slices tomato
  • 12 thin slices onion
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 1 8 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • Pepperoncini peppers
For the sweet balsamic dressing
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
For the sandwiches
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  2. Split rolls horizontally and place onto baking sheet(s).
  3. Brush one cut side of the bread with the dressing.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pesto onto the other side of the cut bread.
  5. Add meats and cheese and sprinkle lightly with the oregano.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Add remaining ingredients and serve.
For the sweet balsamic dressing
  1. Whisk all ingredients until well combined.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Thai Curry Wings

The first time I tried the Thai Curry Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings I was blown away. It was in West Chester, Ohio, and I remember it like it was yesterday because I absolutely loved the combination of coconut, curry and just a bit of heat. I could’ve just licked the sauce off the wings, but then we were in a public place and that would’ve been awkward. Ever since I’ve been looking for a copycat of BW3’s sauce, and here it is. Now I can lick the sauce off the wings in the privacy of my own home!
I could not find Thai chile peppers in our supermarket, so I had to go to plan B. I picked up a few packages of dried cayenne peppers, reconstituted them, and chopped them up. It was a great save.

I found the Shan chicken white karahi mix in the Pakistani section of our international supermarket. If you can’t find it nearby you can always order it online.

Also try my copycats of BW3s spicy garlic and Parmesan garlic wings.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Thai Curry Wings
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
You might end up with leftover sauce. That's a good thing.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Wing Sauce
  • 12-24 Thai peppers (see my note)
  • 1 (5 ounce) bottle green pepper Tabasco sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) can lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (more or less, to taste) ginger paste
  • 2 packages Shan chicken white karahi mix (found in the Pakistani section of your grocery store)
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce (start cooking when you start the wings)
  1. Mince the peppers and then pound in a mortar and pestle or grind into a paste using the side of a knife blade. You want the peppers to form a paste.
  2. Place the peppers and remaining ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir until the ingredients are combined.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, while the wings are cooking. You want the sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. NOTE: I could not find Thai peppers at our grocery store. You can substitute jalapenos or seranos for more heat. Preferably you want to use a red pepper. I bought dried cayenne peppers, which I then reconstituted in hot water for 1 hour. I then removed the seeds and minced the peppers into a paste.

Copycat Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

I admit that back in my bachelor gotta-make-something-for-dinner-but-I-can’t-cook days I went through my share of boxes of Hamburger Helper. Easy to make and hearty, any flavor of Hamburger Helper would do. That’s why I just had to make this copycat version of the classic cheeseburger mix. Just as easy as the stuff out of the box and darn tasty too!
You can easily modify this recipe and make your own. Add jalapenos or a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a little kick. Swap Monterey Jack cheese for the cheddar. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef and add a pinch or two of dried sage. Your copycat cheeseburger Hamburger Helper doesn’t have to be exactly like the stuff out of the box, but it’s ok if it is!

Copycat Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium high heat and cook until done. Drain off any excess fat.
  2. Stir in the all but the cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
  3. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  4. Remove from heat, uncover and let rest 5 minutes before serving topped with additional cheese.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan Garlic Wings

I love any restaurant, chain or not, that serves chicken wings. I have my favorites for sure, and Buffalo Wild Wings is one of them. BW3s Parmesan garlic wing sauce is to die for. It’s creamy, a little nutty thanks to the Parmesan cheese, and definitely packed with garlic. This copycat of the chain sauce is spot-on crazy good. I absolutely could not stop eating it. So much so that I made wings covered in the Parmesan garlic sauce two days in a row. Is that wrong?

I say without hesitation that you should double the amount of sauce. It’s not so much that you need to drown the wings in it, no. It’s because it’s good on sandwiches and subs too. Crazy garlicky good.

Also try my copycat of BW3s spicy garlic and Thai curry wings.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan Garlic Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Note: Make the sauce a day ahead so that the flavors get time to 'get happy'.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the sauce
  • 1 medium head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce
  1. Heat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut the bottom of the head of the garlic off. Drizzle with just a bit of oil then wrap in foil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until softened.
  3. Remove the garlic from the foil and let cool slightly. Squeeze the head to extract the garlic cloves. Transfer to a blender or small food chopper.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Pulse a few times until smooth and the garlic has been chopped.
  6. Refrigerate overnight before using.

Copycat Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt

Anita requested that I make patty melts for dinner. So, I made patty melts for dinner. But not just my usual patty melts. No, it was time to bring out the big guns – a copycat of Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt. This is what a patty melt should be. Griddled patties, sauteed onions, a delicious sauce and of course, cheese. And thick bread. You have to have thick bread or you’ll end up with sandwich sadness. No one wants to have their patty melt fall apart when they take a bite.
The sauce is best with a clove of roasted garlic mixed in. I roasted an entire head of garlic ahead of time. I squeezed out one clove for this recipe and saved the rest for something else. It really makes this Applebee’s Classic Patty Melt better than the rest, so don’t skip the effort.

Also check out my copycats of Steak’n Shakes Frisco Melt and Applebee’s Clubhouse grill.

Copycat Applebee's Classic Patty Melt
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (4 ounce) hamburger patties
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 clove roasted garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 4 thick pieces Italian bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Fire up a grill or heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the burger with salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook until done.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and saute until softened.
  4. Combine the mayo, garlic and mustard and slather on one side of each slice of bread.
  5. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the bread slices, mayonnaise mix side up, and swirl around to coat in the butter.
  7. Add one slice of Swiss to two of the bread slices, and one slice of cheddar to the other.
  8. Assemble sandwich by placing cooked patties on top of the two bread slices with Swiss, add the onions and then the top bread slices.

Copycat Church’s Fried Chicken Using the Vortex

I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done.
There are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.

Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex. You can also use off-the-shelf fried chicken coating to make spectacular chicken on the Vortex. Check out my Kentucky Kernel chicken too!

Copycat Church's Fried Chicken Using the Vortex
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8 pieces
 
Ingredients
  • 4-8 pieces of chicken (I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
For the dry mixture
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1 envelope Italian dressing mix
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
For the wet mixture
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water
For a crispier coating
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill with the Vortex BBQ. Let the coals get good and hot.
  2. Combine all of the dry mixture ingredients in a pie plate.
  3. In another pie plate, whisk together the eggs and water.
  4. Working in batches, dip the chicken into the wet mixture, then into the dry mixture.
  5. One more time, dip the chicken into the wet mixture and then the dry mixture.
  6. Transfer chicken to your grill grate around the Vortex and cook until done, about 45 minutes.
  7. Lightly brush the chicken with oil the last 5 minutes of cooking to get a crispier skin.

Slow Cooker Copycat Snapple Tea

It’s summer. That means iced tea for me, and in particular, Snapple. This copycat of the fantastic bottled version hits the spot on a hot day for sure. Just toss a few ingredients into your slow cooker and in a few hours you get great tasting tea. I prefer peach- or lemon-flavored tea, but you can use any flavor you’d like.
For lower calorie, lower carb tea use artificial sweetener and any one of the sugar-free fruit flavors of Torani syrup. I’ve found that some syrup flavors can be hard to find locally but thankfully, shipping isn’t bad so I ordered a few bottles online. You don’t have to worry about the syrups expiring either, so don’t be afraid to try several different flavors in your teas.

Slow Cooker Copycat Snapple Tea
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 quarts
 
Ingredients
  • 3 quarts water
  • 4 family-sized tea bags (I used Luzianne decaf)
  • 1 cup sugar (or sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon (bottled is ok)
  • 1/4 cup peach Torani syrup (you can use any flavor you like)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low 3 hours.
  3. Serve cold or over ice.