We Tried Popeyes' New Crispy And Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches And This Is What Happened

Crispy Blackened Golden BBQ sandwiches
Crispy Blackened Golden BBQ sandwiches - Michael Palan / Daily Meal

In the seamlessly neverending chicken sandwich wars between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, each chain keeps trying to top the other with new takes on its original clucky masterpieces. At the end of the summer of 2023, Chick-fil-A introduced a Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich. Months later, Popeyes got tough, and rather spicy, teaming up with fine folks at TRUFF. Not wanting to slow down its attrition on the marketplace, Popeyes' latest salvo in the chicken sandwich wars is a new Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich. Available in two varieties, Crispy and Blackened, it basically sounds like the chain's standard chicken sandwich with a new sauce, so I popped over to my local Popeye's to find out.

Is the Golden BBQ sauce the secret sizzle to kick off a big summer at Popeye's, or should we hold off until Chick-fil-A counters with something else? This chew and review is based on flavor, originality, uniqueness, and overall lovability.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of The Best Fried Chicken Chains

What Does Popeyes' New Crispy Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich Taste Like?

Crispy Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Crispy Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich - Michael Palan / Daily Meal

The Crispy Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich's bun kind of threw me for a loop. Its browned complexion and curvy nature reminded me a little too much of the slices of bread that surround the tiny patty of McDonald's standard hamburger. It even smelled like one too. Popeyes' bun has more of a glossy sheen to it, and by the time I actually tasted it, it didn't really have much of an impact on its overall taste, or stand in the way of its enjoyment.

The main texture I encountered was the crusty bits on the chicken. It's softer and flakier than the skin on Popeyes' regular fried chicken, and has a fun crumble release that comes with each bite. The sandwich I was served seemed to be underserved with the new Golden BBQ sauce, both by looks under the hood and bites of the sandwich. Therefore, the sauce, as served, didn't really add anything to the proceedings. Luckily, the chain's crispy chicken sandwiches are stellar as is, where that great crunchy skin eventually gives way to the thick white meat, which is both tender and satisfyingly succulent. While two pickles are never enough for me, they added a nice, but different kind of crunch to the sandwich. Overall, this was a solid sandwich, but needed more sauce before it could be given a final grade.

What Does Popeyes' New Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich Taste Like?

Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich - Michael Palan / Daily Meal

With Popeyes' Blackened version of the Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich, the McDonald's-esque bun stands out even more. The filet somehow looks like it's hiding inside its breaded shell, like a tortoise with its head and arms tucked away. A closer glance shows that this piece of chicken is no shrinking violet at all; it's actually quite meaty looking, but is dwarfed in size sitting next to its Crispy sister sandwich. I guess all those extra trimmings make it extra large.

To make sure this one was properly dressed with the Golden BBQ sauce, I opened the sandwich before digging in. Sadly, once again, the smattering of the yellow and black-dotted condiment on both the bottom bun and the amber-colored chicken was vaguely present. While there wasn't much sauce to taste, what I could tell is that it's devoid of any spice, but has a creaminess about it. Sadly, it proved too hard to judge this new sandwich versus a regular one that is simply topped with mayo. I guess my initial thought is that the sauce doesn't taste like mayo?

Popeyes' Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches Nutritional Information

open Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
open Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches - Michael Palan / Daily Meal

The Crispy Golden BBQ Chicken is a buttermilk battered all white meat chicken breast that is topped with barrel-cured pickles and dressed with the new BBQ Honey Mustard condiment. It is served on a buttery toasted brioche bun. The single size serving has 620 calories, 32 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,550 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.

The Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich has the same ingredients as the Crispy version, but the fried chicken breast is replaced with a blackened chicken breast. Its nutritional values are 490 calories, 20 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, a whopping 2,020 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of protein.

How To Buy Popeyes' New Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Popeyes menu
Popeyes menu - Michael Palan / Daily Meal

Popeyes' Crispy and Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are sold at participating Popeyes, day or night, while supplies last. They can be purchased a la carte, as a dinner with a regular side, or as a combo with a regular side and a drink. Prices may vary by location, but at my local Manhattan Popeyes, the pricing respectively was $4.99, $8.59, and $10.09 on the app. For members of Popeyes Rewards, the sandwiches can be redeemed for 600 points.

The two Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are listed under the Featured Item menu, as well as the Combo Meals, Sandwiches, and Family Meals menus. They can be ordered in-store at the register or kiosk, or through the drive-thru, where available. Advance ordering for pickup or delivery is also available through the app and website.

The sandwiches can be customized to remove the pickles, or add bacon and/or cheese, for an additional cost. There was not an option on the app to order an extra side of the Golden BBQ sauce, but when I asked for one at the register, they obliged for no extra cost. There is currently no option to order the Golden BBQ Sauce with a spicy Crispy or Blackened chicken filet.

What We Think About Popeyes' New Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

two sandwiches on packaging
two sandwiches on packaging - Michael Palan / Daily Meal

While I really enjoyed the Crispy and Blackened Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, my only disappointment was trying to find an actual clear taste of the promised, yet elusive sauce. I didn't want to leave my meal without knowing, so after a few bites of each, I sought out an extra side of the sauce. It doesn't come in a prepackaged form, so I was handed a small plastic container of it.

In its natural state, the Golden BBQ sauce looks like a jazzy version of McDonald's Big Mac sauce. I dipped my finger in to get a direct taste, and the end result was a smoky honey mustard that is similar to Popeyes' winning wild honey mustard dipping sauce. It's creamy and tangy, but perhaps leans more on honey than mustard. Oddly, it doesn't seem to have any barbecue-ness to it at all, and surprisingly, no spice whatsoever. But I liked it a lot for whatever it was, and after getting more, I drowned the remains of my sandwiches in it.

When it comes to Popeyes' Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, an extra side of sauce is required. You can pour it directly onto the chicken, or do what I did by the end and just dip the sandwich as a whole into the cup. It's worth it.

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