On Monday, Popeyes re-released their most controversial product yet: deep-fried mutant hands.

Okay, so it’s not Chernobyl hands, but it definitely looks that way. In reality, it’s Rip’n Chick’n, which is described as such:

A whole chicken breast cut into tenders only partially, and left intact at the base for rip-able strips. It’s marinated with a blend of cayenne, habañero, white and black peppers, and then is hand battered, breaded, and cooked up in Popeyes signature crispy batter.

Why they chose the shape they did is beyond me. And what’s the appeal of ripping it apart in the first place? It might be fun for children to rip pieces off, but if it’s for kids then why would they make it spicy? The whole idea of Rip’n Chick’n makes no sense to me. Was there a demand for pieces of chicken shaped like human hands? If you have any insight into this matter, I’d love to hear it in a comment.

Despite the bizarre nature of this product, there were two reasons for me to try it: 1) Eick suggested it for a review, and 2) Popeyes chicken is the shiznit. But even though there are at least 7 locations in the Portland metro area, I rarely eat Popeyes, because none of them are within 15 minutes of my abode. It’s a damn shame, I tell you.

Nonetheless, I set out to git me sum Rip’n Chick’n on a rainy day, which are few and far between in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, we get a mere 154 rainy days per year in these parts. But I wasn’t going to let a few nettlesome nimbus clouds ruin this for me.

I forked over $3.99, and received a box containing Rip’n Chick’n, a good portion of Cajun fries, and a biscuit. Also included were Ranch and Blackened Ranch dipping sauces. My piece of chicken had about 7 appendages (I didn’t count, but I think it was seven), ready for some rip’n and dip’n.

I ate in my car in the Popeyes parking lot, and at one point I looked around and noticed that there was a strip joint directly across the street. I took comfort in knowing that there were naked strippers no more than 50 yards to my left. Also, this place is maybe 4 blocks from a high-school, which I found interesting. Also interesting was the fact that it was open at noon, when I took the following picture. I guess this spot can satisfy a man’s needs at any time of the day. Chicken n’ titties: a match made in man heaven.

Anyway, when I took the first bite, I was taken aback by the piquancy of the chicken. You see, I was unaware that it was marinated in a four-pepper blend. I thought it was just regular Popeyes chicken in a weird shape. But I soon realized that Rip’n Chick’n packs a major punch. The ranch dip was key in quelling the heat, which had me reaching for a drink after nearly every bite.

I have to say, Rip’n Chick’n is delectable. Juicy, tender chicken covered in crispy batter. I would have enjoyed it without the seasoning too, but it certainly added a ton of flavor thanks to the cayenne and habanero peppers. I wasn’t as annoyed by having to rip the chicken apart as I expected, so that’s a positive.

For the record, the Cajun fries were decent; very crispy, but not all that flavorful. Some flavor from the black pepper in the coating, but that was it. The biscuit was awesome. It was super buttery with a crispy exterior and fluffy interior. As far as the ranch sauces, the regular ranch was pretty standard – a little sweet, a little tangy, nothing spectacular. The Blackened Ranch on the other hand, was really good. It was more heavily spiced and had a reddish-pink hue, likely from the paprika. Black pepper was the most prevalent flavor.

Side note: I’m starting to notice that there are quite a few foodies/food bloggers who hate on ranch a lot, and I don’t get why. It’s one thing to not like ranch. That’s totally fine; I’m sure there are plenty of things you like that I don’t. To each his own. Taste is subjective, so 100 people can taste something and have totally different feelings about it.

What I don’t understand is why, in some people’s minds, liking ranch automatically qualifies you as some sort of fat idiot who knows nothing about food. If it was so god damn terrible, it wouldn’t be so ubiquitous in this country. You might say, well that’s because this country is a bunch of fat idiots who know nothing about food. So in essence, what you’re saying is that you are better than other people at deciding what tastes good and what doesn’t. But that’s just the problem; there is no such thing as good taste or bad taste, only different tastes. But that’s a rant for another day.

With all that said, I definitely recommend giving Popeyes Rip’n Chick’n a try, especially if you have a penchant for spicy fare. It’s super-flavorful chicken, and for $3.99 it comes with fries and a biscuit. You could do much worse with 4 simoleons. You’d better hurry though, because this is a very limited time offer (until June 24 to be exact). Giddy up!

9 Responses

  1. Mark

    That sounds delicious. I wish I had a Popeyes close to me. As far as chicken chains go it is my favorite and I only get it while I travel. As for ranch, it has been painted with the same brush as Ketchup by many people. The thinking is that if you have to slather your food with ranch or ketchup then you can’t be serious about food.

  2. Mikey F Baby

    I had my doubts but after reading your review I’d like to check it out. Too bad the only Popeye’s around in the…shall we say “hood”. If I ever make a wrong turn and find myself near one, I’ll check it.

    Quite a fancy strip club you guys have there lol.

  3. Ken

    I suspect that the meat industry is having a difficult time keeping employees. The turnover rates for these jobs are pretty high. The fact that they will create such a product (Rip’n Chick’n) is a testament to this. It allows for the elimination of one leg of the process or should we say one hand. I think what they are trying to tell us “metaphorically speaking,” in the creation of an odd-looking hand to eat. It is that they are in need of a hand, on how to treat their employees humanly as well as the animals that they slaughter every day.

  4. Joshua Dail

    I completely agree with your take on Ranch dressing snobs. I like ranch, and everyone I’ve cooked for says I’m a great cook, and I’m far from an idiot. I’m a little fat, I’ll give the food snobs that much. Taste, is definitely subjective with food, as with anything else. Fashion, music, movies are all subjective forms of pleasure that have variations as diverse as the spectrum of colors in a rainbow. Your review made me hungry as hell, I’m gonna have to fry some chicken tonight, whatever shape I make it into it will be delicious.

  5. steve

    it was bland. super salty yes. spicy not at all. my 21 month old daughter ate it. why call it spicy? why say it is marinated in habeneros? when it is so mild?


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