Popeyes will launch, for a limited time, Chicken Waffle Tenders.  The new product draws its inspiration from the West Coast, which is a departure for the chain that likes to tout its Louisiana roots.  The boneless chicken strips with a waffle batter, served with a honey maple dipping sauce, were inspired by the dietary habits of jazz musicians in Los Angeles during 1940s and 1950s.

“Jazz is so embedded in the culture of New Orleans that we didn’t have to look too hard to find” a connection, said Dick Lynch, chef global brand officer at Popeyes. “We’re looking to real culinary trends, no matter where they came from. The odder the better, frankly,”  Lynch said.  He explained that jazz players finished so late that, if they wanted a meal, restaurants and diners would still have fried chicken available while prepping waffle batter.  “Chicken and waffles is an incredibly trendy, popular, and kind of unexpected product right now,” Lynch said.  A ad campaign supporting the product launches July 29

The product is the first in what will be a series of limited-time “flavor proliferations” of the chicken tenders the chain introduced last year.  Lynch declined to name future offshoots, but said the success of the chicken tender waffles will help determine how many there will be.

Business has been good for Popeyes in recent years. The chain’s U.S. sales increased 14.4 percent in 2012 to just over $2 billion, according to Technomic. It is the third-largest chicken chain in the United States with 10.9-percent market share, trailing only KFC and Chick-Fil-A.