Ring Finger Lickin' Good
February 20, 2007 8:02 PM   Subscribe

I need a "copycat" recipe for Bojangles fried chicken, but hours of web searching have proven futile. My southern boyfriend loves the stuff, but I have never had it, so I don't even know where to begin to reproduce it. Has anyone who has eaten it have any recipe ideas? The man said he'd marry me if I could make it, that's how much this chicken means to him.
posted by evilcupcakes to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder if it's in any of the Top Secret Recipe books? You might flip through them at the store. It's not on their Web site, but only 15% of the recipes in their books are on the site.
posted by GaelFC at 8:19 PM on February 20, 2007

My favorite list of copycat recipes has KFC but not Bojangles. You could start there and see if it's close.
posted by jessamyn at 9:19 PM on February 20, 2007

Cajun or Southern?
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:23 PM on February 20, 2007

Cajun or Southern?

I am pretty sure he is talking about the Cajun fried chicken :)
posted by evilcupcakes at 9:27 PM on February 20, 2007

Google turned up this one.
posted by tellurian at 9:37 PM on February 20, 2007

Most copycat recipes for fried chicken use pan or deep frying, but KFC (and perhaps other fast-food restaurants) use deep frying in a pressure cooker, which produces a different end product. You might look at this recipe. This technique may be essential to getting it right.
posted by underwater at 10:45 PM on February 20, 2007

I've never eaten at Bojangles, but Cajun spiced stuff tends to be pretty universal in its ingredients. I have a feeling that you just getting a good Cajun spice mix would get you most of the way there.

Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about the recipe in terms of trying to replicate the specific flavorings. Much of the art of making good fried chicken comes in just learning to actually do the frying—and if you don't have a deep fryer at home then it's probably going to be difficult to make restaurant-style chicken at home (though pan-fried can be quite good).

Also, if you can't get the recipe happening, I suggest trying Ezell's—I've only been to the one in the Central District, but they do appear to have a location in Lynnwood. Their spicy chicken may be close to what he's missing. (I'm another Southern transplant to Seattle, and this is the only respectable chicken I've found out here so far.)
posted by camcgee at 11:01 PM on February 20, 2007

KFC (and perhaps other fast-food restaurants) use deep frying in a pressure cooker

Actually, it's a pressure fryer. Using a pressure cooker to fry is a tricky and possibly dangerous deed.

And Chick-Fil-A pretty much invented the pressure fryer. And there are zero Chick-Fil-A's in Seattle. Damnit.

There's a Popeye's in Renton (also Fed Way, Tacoma, and Port Orchard). It's similar to Bojangles; their stuff is Cajun. Otherwise, Ezell's.

Is Thompson's Point Of View (in the CD) still around? They did a nice Cajun fried chicken.
posted by dw at 11:13 PM on February 20, 2007

Another ex-Southerner here endorsing Ezell's: nobody else (including Flying Fish downtown and the IMO overhyped Kingfish Cafe) gets the right crispy skin / juicy meat combo.

I wish I knew how to fry chicken myself.
posted by goetter at 11:52 PM on February 20, 2007

Notable to Bojangles is that the spice is not so much in the coating, on the meat. If you follow a good southern fried chicken recipe (soak the meat in buttermilk) and follow with a quick simple marinade (make sure tabasco is a major ingredient) and deep-fry, you should get good results.
posted by desuetude at 6:01 AM on February 21, 2007

I second the buttermilk-soak-then-marinate technique. It's important that the marinade in the second step be fairly salty as well as spicy — the trendy word for what you're doing is "brining" the meat.

Buttermilk is a natural tenderizer; brining tends to make meat seem moister and juicier. Both steps will get you closer to the texture you're looking for. Another trick I've seen is air-drying the meat for a while once it's out of the marinade, the idea being that too much moisture will make the breading clump up and keep it from browning right.

But that's all general southern-fried-chicken advice. I've never had Bojangles chicken, so I can't help you with specific seasonings. Still, if you've got the basic technique, you can always tinker with the marinade later.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:21 AM on February 21, 2007

This recipe (revealed in this thread of mine) gives you a good start. Sub in cayenne pepper and hot red pepper for the masala and Bob's yer uncle. Throw in a little garlic salt and a touch of paprika too, I think they're in there somewhere, a pinch of basil adds back in a little sweetness, or you can just got for brown sugar.

I'm a southerner, who has been tweaking my recipe for a while to do a slightly hotter Bojanges/Popeye's chicken for a while now... feel free to email for amy further questions.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:24 AM on February 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Grrr.. got=go, amy=any
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:28 AM on February 21, 2007

In case anyone missed the earlier comment: the recipe in this comment is potentially dangerous; it calls for using a pressure cooker in a way not recommended by any manufacturer I know of and will result in having a bomb filled with 6 cups of pressurized, flammable oil sitting on your stove. There is some good cooking advice in this thread, but please do not deep fry in a pressure cooker! There are commercial pressure fryers for this purpose, but they are not likely to be in most home kitchens; they sell for thousands of dollars.
posted by TedW at 9:41 AM on February 21, 2007

Me again. I thought I should mention that I do have a deep fryer on hand. The boyfriend bought it to help with my fried chicken experiments. Did I mention how serious he is about his chicken? :P
posted by evilcupcakes at 9:44 AM on February 21, 2007

I thought I should mention that I do have a deep fryer on hand.

Oh, you're home free then. You're not going to be able to get the Chick-Fil-A tenderness, but if you have a good fryer (one with a basket and a temperature control) you can still do well. Just remember to marinade. My guess is that Bojangles got around this by using some sort of brine or marinade.

Oh, and set yourself up a draining rig for after the fry -- put a cooling rack upside down on some newspaper. The oil will follow the wire into the newspaper and not stay on the chicken itself.
posted by dw at 10:02 AM on February 21, 2007

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