McDonald’s recently revamped their crispy chicken sandwich line to join the fried chicken sandwich war. Let’s take a look and see how they did.
McDonald’s describes their Crispy Chicken Sandwich like this:
This southern style fried chicken sandwich is crispy, juicy and tender perfection. It’s topped with crinkle-cut pickles and served on a new toasted, buttered potato roll. The Crispy Chicken sandwich has 470 calories.
McDonald’s has also released a spicy and deluxe variety of this sandwich. The Spicy variety adds a brand new “spicy pepper sauce” while the Deluxe variety adds lettuce, tomato, and mayo. For testing purposes we got our hands on the OG and Spicy.
You may notice that the World War of Fried Chicken Sandwiches first started with two combatants, namely Chick Fil A (the reigning champ) and the #1 contender Popeye’s (stabworthy sandwich). In the last 6 months, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and KFC have all reimagined, revitalized, and remixed their offerings to provide what they consider worthy competition.
Back in late October, we reviewed Wendy’s new “Classic Chicken”. The sandwich properties itself were old and sad, but the actual chicken itself was definitely an improvement. Also coming soon will be reviews on KFC’s and Popeye’s offerings.
No matter what your thoughts are regarding the “Golden Arches”, it always is mainstream news whenever the red haired clown enters into a fray. You’ll notice that the ingredients on the standard Crispy Chicken sandwich mirror Chick-fil-a’s exactly. No sauce, no pizzazz, no riff raff, just chicken, pickles and potato bun. This takes gusto, because it’s hard to hide dismal chicken with no accompanying forces.
When opening up and the sandwiches, you’ll notice that first off, the McDonald’s sandwiches decided that pickle placement should be on top of the chicken, as opposed to Chick-fil-a’s customary bottom bun. The pickles are definitely bigger, thicker, and have a more ridged appearance compared to the standard flat, soggy approach.
The buns are also toasted to an extreme factor. The almost black, caked on look of the bun, looks like the buns were augmented with a blow torch and not carefully buttered and then “lightly” toasted.
The small smattering of spicy sauce on the sandwich was lackluster at best. Keeping in mind that this is the only differentiating factor between the two sandwiches, it would have been fairly reasonable to expect a healthy dollop of sauce. What was there, definitely was pretty spicy. Spicy to the point where if you’re not into spicy, you’d want to avoid it. Good sauce, just not nearly enough of it.
The chicken fillet itself was crispy, tasty, yet nothing profound. It had a fairly rudimentary and prefab feel to it, with the chicken not feeling like it was freshly fried whatsoever. That classic “this was just nuked on high” feeling comes to mind. When you’re coming for the King, you best not nuke.
Overall, the regular Crispy Chicken sandwich was screaming for a sauce, even a standard mayo like Popeye’s and KFC is offering on their original varieties. Chick-fil-a can get away with no sauce, because their chicken is a true standout of preparation and seasoning, this just didn’t have that. The spicy variety was definitely far superior, thanks to the added sauce element and spice (if you’re into that).
McDonald’s offering is new, but nothing special. Wendy’s and McDonald’s are still clearly a tier below Chick-Fil-A. We’ll soon see how KFC and Popeye’s stand up.
McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 4/10
McDonald’s Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 6/10
McDonald’s new Crispy Chicken Fillet: 6/10