‘They Are Just As Bad For You As The Other’: Popeyes Employee Shares Psa About Blackened Chicken Tenders

A Popeyes employee has taken to TikTok to share a PSA about the chain’s blackened chicken tenders—and how they’re really cooked.

TikTok user Georgia (@geo.clairebear) claims in a recent clip that the chain actually deep-fries its blackened chicken tenders, rather than grilling them, and shows off racks of fried food from inside of a Popeyes location while doing so.

In a text overlay, Georgia writes, “I normally cook but I learned that a lot of people think ‘blackened’ tenders are grilled. They are not. Just deep fried.”

It appears that there are others online who make the same claim about the Popeyes dish, like The Donut Whole, which states, “Yes, Popeyes blackened tenders are fried. The exact process for making these tenders is a closely guarded Popeyes secret. However, the general consensus is that these tenders have a lightly dusted coating of a blend of spices.”

In the culinary world, blackened refers to a specific means of preparing a dish, usually proteins, that differs greatly from “charred.” The main difference? It’s all about herbs and spices.

“While blackening and charring both intentionally flirt with the thin line between food being burnt and well-cooked, blackening always involves the use of herbs and spices,” The Kitchn writes.

The outlet continues to define what blackening food means, stating that it’s “a cooking technique most commonly used with firm-fleshed fish, chicken, steak, and other meats. This method of cooking is typically associated with Cajun cuisine and was popularized in the 1980s to replicate the flavor of charcoal grilling in a commercial kitchen.

In the caption of her post, Georgia suggests that the blackened tenders are “just as bad for you” as the fried ones. However, according to the nutritional information on Popeyes’ website, this is not the case. Though the blackened tenders are fried, a 3-piece contains only 2 grams of fat and 2 grams of carbohydrates, whereas 3 of the fried tenders contain 21 grams of fat and 29 grams of carbohydrates. The

In the comments, some users didn’t seem to mind that the blackened tenders technically weren’t “blackened” as per the popular definition of the term.

“They are fried but I still feel better [than] the breaded,” one user wrote.

Another penned, “Generally blackened is something coated in certain spices then cooked in oven or pan till spices are ‘blackened.'”

“Still a decent alternative. No batter which soaks up a ton of oil,” a further commenter said.

Georgia agreed, replying, “definitely not as heavy on the stomach. we have an old lady that comes in daily and orders then grilled and I don’t have the [heart] to tell her.”

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