Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Tuesday plans to introduce a new Blackened Chicken Sandwich systemwide, the company said Monday, which the brand president says expands the popular menu item platform.
Sami Siddiqui, president of the Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc.’s North America division, said in an interview that the new sandwich taps into the brand’s Louisiana roots as well as provides variety to those customers who wanted proteins with no breading. The brand ignited a firestorm of interest with its initial chicken sandwich in 2019.
“Our goal with this one was to build the platform and provide a little bit of variety,” Siddiqui said. “It's our first ever non-breaded chicken sandwich, and it really focuses on blackened cooking, which is a traditional Louisiana style of cooking.”
The sandwich, available for a limited time, features an antibiotic-free, whole chicken breast, marinated for 12 hours, and seasoned with a blend of Cajun and Creole spice. The sandwich starts are $4.99.
Siddiqui said he visited a test market in Raleigh, N.C., and found it appeals to a different guest than the traditional chicken sandwich.
“It speaks to a different guest or a different occasion for our existing guest,” he said. “We’re excited to offer a lighter, non-breaded option.”
The blackening profile goes with the Popeyes brand, he added.
“Blackening is a cooking technique that was developed in Louisiana,” Siddiqui said. “It's all about getting this nice crust of Cajun and Creole spices on the outside while preserving the juiciness of the chicken filet on the inside.
Siddiqui said the kitchen procedures, including the marination, are similar to the existing chicken sandwich. And the sandwich uses the same bun, pickles and sauces, he said.
The company has offered different sauces, such as an LTO buffalo ranch, with the traditional chicken sandwich.
The company said Popeyes Rewards members will receive 200 bonus points – good for free regular fries on their next order — when ordering the LTO sandwich on the Popeyes App or on Popeyes.com.
Popeyes, founded in 1972, has more than 3,300 restaurants globally.
Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless