Popeyes' fried chicken recipe is worth $43 million, apparently

Popeye's fried chicken
Dan Gentile

If you thought the key to making stupidly expensive food was edible gold and Dom Perignon, well, you'd be right. But you can still score major cash off a simple family recipe, as long your family is the one behind Popeyes. The fast food chain finally bought its core recipes from founder Al Copeland's family on Monday, and that Louisiana chicken ain't cheap. The whole set cost the company a steep $43 million. While they'll still pay the Copeland family for spices, the move will save Popeyes from paying the annual $3.1 million in recipe royalties they had been shelling out annually.

Wondering why this weird deal was even in place? You're not alone. Copeland relinquished control of the chain in 1992, but held onto the recipes in the change-over, landing Popeyes in a tricky predicament that required them to basically pay rent to use them each year. We're assuming that the Popeyes legal team celebrated the victory with an all night honey/maple sauce bender. But we're probably wrong.

Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist. She owns a copy of her mom's signature cupcakes, but it ISN'T FOR SALE. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.