Food News

We’re Back at Popeyes: This Time, for Turkey?

A whole turkey, brought to you by Popeyes.
A whole turkey, brought to you by Popeyes. TC Fleming
If you’ve been to Popeyes a lot in the last couple of months, you may have noticed that next to their posters for that fried chicken sandwich, they advertise a seasonal Cajun turkey option.

Popeyes could make edible cardboard and I would try it at least once, so I thought I’d see what this Thanksgiving could have in store for me.

The picture shows a very appetizing turkey with a couple of cut slices, and indeed that’s what I expected: a couple of slices of the Thanksgiving meat.

Maybe I could throw in a side of Cajun fries and we would have a meal. With my plan set, I strolled in to my nearest store, but as has become a bit of a pattern, I was told the store was sold out of the item I desired.

This repeated at a second store. At the third, I asked if the turkey was available. The cashier gave no response but to turn and walk away, opening a series of drawers and boxes.

I was a little confused as to why he wasn’t looking in places where they kept warm food, but I was soon distracted by the woman walking in and asking if I had ordered yet. I wasn’t really sure where my order stood, but I let her know I’d need a little more time in front of the register.

It was at that point that my guy emerged from the deep freeze. By now, you may realize what was coming: He was carrying a full, frozen bird, and I was shocked.

click to enlarge Yep, that's a whole bird. - TC FLEMING
Yep, that's a whole bird.
TC Fleming
He slapped down several pounds of completely frozen but fully cooked fowl and slid across an order form for me to fill out. I’ve never needed to give my address to get an order at Popeyes before, but there we were. My friend from in line reacted with some shock, asking if Popeyes did, indeed, sell whole turkeys. I saw no upside in revealing my confusion, so I assured her that, of course, the thing I learned about 2 seconds ago was common knowledge to most.

Regardless of what I had been expecting walking in, my path forward was clear: Our household now needed to cook a full Popeyes turkey.

To get down to actually reviewing some food: This thing had more flavor than any turkey has any right to have. There’s zest packed into every inch, but the real surprise is what’s waiting for you on top: There is some serious heat in the skin.

We threw together an impromptu Friendsgiving party in order to get through this considerable amount of food, and everyone agreed they’d never had a turkey so spicy. Whether that’s a good thing is up to your individual preferences, but I couldn’t get enough.

click to enlarge A recent article from the Dallas Observer had a chef who said you could get your turkey from somewhere else, so why not Popeyes? - TC FLEMING
A recent article from the Dallas Observer had a chef who said you could get your turkey from somewhere else, so why not Popeyes?
TC Fleming
The one knock is that the meat is a touch on the dry side. Of course, some of this could be from the cooking at home, but they do cook the turkey fully before freezing and selling it, so some amount of dryness seems a bit inevitable. That said, it wasn’t a major issue, and the packaging comes with a gravy recipe that did a wonderful job of fixing us right up.

As to whether you should work this in to your Thanksgiving plans, you already have a leg up on me just by knowing what you’re getting into when you order.

Unless your mom is Guy Fieri, I doubt you’ve had such a flavorful turkey from the standard, homemade Thanksgiving offerings. The spice level is probably too serious for a lot of grandparents, but if you can get your family on board, this is quite a treat.

The Popeyes Cajun-style turkey is 13 to 16 pounds and costs $39.99.
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