Sometimes, I forget that Church’s Chicken exists.
And I do not mean this as a slight to what is arguably one of the more popular fast food fried chicken restaurants in the United States. (In 2018, there were 1,000+ Church’s locations, which put it behind places like KFC and Popeyes, but ahead of shops like Zaxby’s, Bojangles, and Raising Cane’s.)
It sometimes takes me driving past a Church’s to remember that Church’s is a place. And then I go, “Do they have these everywhere?” And then I think about Kendrick Lamar saying, “Park it in front of Lueders, next to that Church’s Chicken” in “Backseat Freestyle,” and I go, “Well, they have them in Compton and in Kansas City, so, yeah, probably everywhere.”
All this to say, I’m usually well past the Church’s by the time I consider stopping. And that’s a shame because, if you didn’t know, Church’s has the absolute best biscuit in fast food fried chicken. The secret, you see, is that they slather them with honey butter right when they come out of the oven. I’m not exaggerating when I say I could happily eat seven or eight of them in one sitting. (And then feel very terrible about myself, sure, so I won’t. But it’s a fun thought.)
And it is this very same honey butter that Church’s hopes will set it apart from the competition as it joins the Great Fast Food Chicken Sandwich War that Popeyes started in 2019.
But does it work? Let’s discuss.
Aside from the honey-butter brushed brioche bun, the rest of the setup is pretty standard chicken sandwich fare — dill pickle slices, a slathering of mayo, and a chicken breast filet. As with most competitors, Church’s offers an original and a “spicy” variety. The latter includes, you guessed it, spicy mayo, and in an interesting twist, a pickled jalapeño pepper that Church’s suggests “squeezing” over the filet, “San Antonio-style.” (I’m serious. The steps are all right there on the website.) Anyway, for the sake of this review, I went with the regular one.
The filet itself was a little bit bigger than Chick-fil-A’s, but a bit smaller than Popeyes. It had more of a crunch than either, which was nice. That said, it didn’t have as much flavor, either. It is a relatively muted chicken, with little discernible seasoning beyond salt and garlic powder. It was very juicy, though, which definitely scored it points.
The pickles were boring fast food pickles. They provided a nice acidity, but they were floppy and chewy, almost entirely void of crunch. Similarly, there was too little mayo on the sandwich for me to notice what kind of impact it may or may not have had.
Which leaves us with the bun.
This soft, sweet pillow of delight is what sets this chicken sandwich apart from the pack. Think King’s Hawaiian wedded with a nice stick of butter, and you’re on your way to imagining this taste. The bun could have used a bit more toasting — it was chewy around some edges — but overall, it was an A+.
So, while the chicken itself was only moderately above average, and the other two inclusions were boring and lacking, the bun elevated the entire experience to new heights, giving fast food fans a welcome new chicken sandwich option.
Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 651 calories, 34.5 grams of fat, 7.18 grams of saturated fat, 63.7 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,770 milligrams of sodium, 53.4 grams of carbohydrates, 3.36 grams of fiber, 8.49 grams of sugar, and 31.79 grams of protein.
Click here for our previous fast food reviews.