Popeyes introduces Wicked Chicken, iced tea

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has rolled out a new type of spicy chicken strip as its June limited time offer, along with a permanent menu addition of sweet iced tea in time for summer beverage sales.

The Wicked Chicken is the first LTO rolled out globally to all of the chain’s 1,900 restaurants in 28 countries, said AFC Enterprises Inc., Popeyes parent company based in Atlanta.

The iced tea, called Popeyes Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea, is a blend of black and orange pekoe tea, brewed in-restaurant and sweetened with all natural pure cane sugar. It will be available this summer in U.S. restaurants, Popeyes said, and can be ordered sweetened or unsweetened. The price of the new menu item was not immediately available.

Popeyes’ Wicked Chicken will be served by weight, rather than number of strips, with a biscuit, French fries and two sauces — a cool ranch dipping sauce and a miniature bottle of hot pepper sauce — for $3.99. The Wicked Chicken is thinly sliced, marinated, breaded and fried chicken strips that are served in uneven, curly shapes.

“We’re not looking for cookie-cutter shapes and sizes,” said Amy Alarcon, the company’s director of culinary innovation. “It’s kind of a fun, new way to look at doing boneless chicken that’s not just another nugget or strip or boneless wing. It’s kind of a don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously way of eating chicken.

“The shape is really defined by the natural shape of the breast. So there’s no waste,” she added.

Popeyes partnered with its hot sauce producer and is using the leftover hot peppers from the sauce as the base for the Wicked Chicken marinade. Garlic and onion flavor are added, too.

The item is available systemwide through June, and some units will keep it on the menu through July.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]