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Popeyes' Honey Lemon Pepper Wings Review: A Roller Coaster Of Flavor Worth Riding

Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wings
Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wings - Michael Palan / Static Media

When it comes to chicken wings, Popeyes is not resting on its laurels. In 2023, its flight plan started to take shape when Popeyes' Ghost Pepper Wings returned, followed by the introduction of Sweet 'N Spicy Wings, which had a craveworthy kick. In the fall, Popeyes went a step further -- well, three steps further -- dropping the three tasty flavors Honey BBQ, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, and Signature Hot into the mix. As the weather is finally just about to heat up in 2024, Popeyes is now giving a sixth flavor a limited-time run -- Honey Lemon Pepper Wings.

Amy Alarcon, vice president of culinary innovation at Popeyes, said in a press release (via Business Wire), "We're on a mission to continue transforming the wing game and elevate the wing flavors consumers know and love in a way only Popeyes can." She added, "By introducing Honey Lemon Pepper Wings, we're doing more than expanding our menu; we're inviting our guests to rethink what they know about great wings. It's a bold move, sure. But, bold is what we do best."

So, are the Honey Lemon Pepper Wings the missing link in Popeyes' newish lineup of wings? Or should we wish them well when they fly off into the sunset after their limited-time run? I moseyed on over to my local Popeyes to see, feel, and taste what exactly they were all about. This chew and review is based on flavor, texture, likelihood of reordering, and overall lovability.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of The Best Fried Chicken Chains

What Do Popeyes' Honey Lemon Pepper Wings Taste Like?

Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wing
Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wing - Michael Palan / Static Media

Like the rest of the saucy wings Popeyes offers, these new Honey Lemon Pepper ones are housed in a block clamshell box, sadly free of the company's logo and signature burnt orange and white color scheme. Cracking the box open, these glistening wings shine with plenty of orange hue to brighten things up. While they look very wet, the wings still give off the visual impression that their beautifully fried skin remains super crispy.

A quick whiff reveals a scent reminiscent of an artificial lemony cleaning product. Picking these sticky fellers up for further examination, the sauce has a translucent, watery honey look to it, with sprinkles of pepper flakes within. The first bite confirms that the skin has retained its crispness, the interior chicken is thankfully succulent, and this new sauce is certainly nuanced with multiple layers of flavors. The lemon is pretty dominant and, when meshing with the honey, almost has a medicinal taste to it, which may help with the onset of allergy season.

After downing a handful of these wings, the lemon flavoring certainly was a bit puzzling but also alluring nonetheless. The mouth goes through a roller coaster, from sweet, to tangy, to citrusy, and finally a little bit of heat to polish things off. There's a lot going on in this Honey Lemon Pepper sauce, and I was more than satisfied trying to unpack it all wing after wing.

Popeyes' Honey Lemon Pepper Wings' Nutritional Information

Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wing sauce
Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wing sauce - Michael Palan / Static Media

Popeyes' Honey Lemon Pepper Wings come in their usual array of flats and drumettes, both very dippable. They're fried up and then outfitted with a sauce containing the three aforementioned ingredients in its name.

A six-piece serving size is good for a whopping 1,305 calories, 59 grams of fat, 25 grams of saturated fat, 2.4 grams of trans fat, 202 milligrams of cholesterol, an eye-opening 3,609 milligrams of sodium, 134 grams of carbohydrates, 3.7 grams of fiber, 53 grams of sugar, and 60 grams of protein.

How To Buy Popeyes' Honey Lemon Pepper Wings

Popeyes menu
Popeyes menu - Michael Palan / Static Media

From March 19 to March 31, the new Honey Lemon Pepper Wings are exclusively sold through Popeyes' app or at Popeyes.com, at select locations. From April 1, the wings will be available to purchase on the app, website, or in person nationwide, while supplies last. The app and website allow for advance ordering for pickup or delivery. While they're on sale nationwide, the wings can be ordered at the front register, or by kiosk or drive-thru where available.

The Honey Lemon Pepper Wings can be ordered as an a la carte six-piece or 12-piece box, 18-piece wing group pack, or in a 24-wing box set. The six- and 12-piece boxes can be turned into a dinner, which includes a regular side of your choosing, or into a combo, which also includes a side plus a drink. Popeyes also allows for the option for any wing sauce to be put on the side. A six-piece at my local Manhattan Popeyes location retailed for $5.99. Prices vary by location and may be higher through delivery.

During the initial release period from March 19 to 31, Popeyes Rewards members get a free six-piece wings, including the Honey Lemon Pepper ones, with a $10 minimum purchase at participating locations.

The Final Verdict

Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wings
Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wings - Michael Palan / Static Media

To fully appreciate these new, limited-time Honey Lemon Pepper Wings and their sauce, I ordered a dozen done up two different ways — half slathered, and the other half with the sauce on the side. The slathered ones had plenty of sauce to go around, but I came to appreciate the sauce even more when it was served as a side dipping sauce.

In a nondescript plastic cup, the sauce almost looks like an amber salad dressing. It's very fluid but also has a slow, honey-like movement to it. Dipping a plain wing into it actually smothers it even more than if Popeyes did it for you and makes the whole experience feel somehow fresher. Not only that, but I was free to dip whatever else I ordered into this sauce. And you know what -- a biscuit and fried shrimp taste just as great in it. I actually think it'd make a great dip for spring rolls, which is something Popeyes doesn't offer ... yet.

The sauce has a very strong aftertaste to it, so it helps to take a break from it between wing bites. A biscuit works well for this purpose, as does Popeyes' cooling coleslaw (one of the best fast food coleslaws out there). Regardless of how you want to handle the wings and this new Honey Lemon Pepper sauce, I recommend you go out and give it a whirl. They're a zesty way to welcome in the spring.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.