REVIEW: McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich (2021)

McDonald s Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2021 Full

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, there’s been a fast food crispy chicken sandwich war going on, thanks to Popeyes launching a chicken sandwich that was so popular, it sold out.

Since then, the number of restaurant chains that have attempted to replicate that deep-fried success goes beyond the eleven fingers on my hands. The latest to enter the war is a little fast food chain called McDonald’s.

McDonald s Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2021 Wrapper

The Golden Arches is offering three versions of its new Crispy Chicken Sandwich that feature a new southern-style fried chicken fillet — Regular (with pickles and a toasted, buttered potato roll), Spicy (with pickles, Original Spicy Sauce, and a toasted potato roll), and Deluxe (with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, and a toasted potato roll). I ordered the first two.

Coming off those wonderful Spicy Chicken McNuggets, I felt the chain was going to do an excellent job with its new Crispy Chicken Sandwich. But, oh my goodness, they went beyond my expectations. Oh wait, wrote, “beyond.” I meant to write, “below.”

And there’s another B-word I’d like to use to describe the two sandwiches I had — bland.

McDonald s Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2021 Split

With both, the issue with them mainly starts and ends with the new fried chicken fillet. It doesn’t have any distinctive flavors that would make me want to eat it on its own. Combining that with just pickles and a buttered potato roll with the regular one ends up being a joyless event.

McDonald s Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2021 Juicy

However, I will admit that texturally these are the best chicken fillets I’ve had from McDonald’s. The breading has a nice crispiness to it, and the fillets in my sandwiches were juicy and tender. I could squeeze them and some liquid would ooze out. Its thickness was also impressive.

McDonald s Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2021 Spicy Full

McDonald s Crispy Chicken Sandwich 2021 Spicy Top

While the Spicy version includes the Original Spicy Sauce, said sauce is also as bland as the fillets and its name. It does bring some heat that’s significantly below McDonald’s Mighty Hot Sauce, but hotter than the chain’s Hot Mustard. It’s just spicy, though, thanks to the habanero peppers in it. McDonald’s puts out some tasty sauces, so I’m surprised this doesn’t have any flavor.

The only real highlight of the sandwiches was the new potato roll, which has a nice fluffiness and slight sweetness. Besides that, the pickles do bring a tangy kick to the proceedings. But both aren’t enough to save either sandwich. Maybe what’s on the Deluxe version will help.

Purchased Price: $4.99*
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10 (both version)
Nutrition Facts: Regular – 470 calories, 20 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 1100 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 27 grams of protein. Spicy – 530 calories, 26 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 1230 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 27 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

24 thoughts to “REVIEW: McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich (2021)”

  1. I just don’t get pickles with chicken – never have. I’ll stick to the Deluxe because it sounds more complete a sandwich.

    1. I just don’t get pickles with literally anything!!!!!!! I never have. I’ll stick with Branston’s pickle, which is f’ing delicious!!!!! 😀

  2. this is one of the worst chicken sandwiches i’ve had…& i’ve tried them all…dry…thin…chewy…hard…yuk…not sure what they were thinking!

    1. Sounds like you got a bad one because mine wasn’t like that at all. Mine was moist and juicy. Not the best sandwich I’ve had but not at all dry or thin or chewy.

  3. I’ve seen more multiple reviews claim that the deluxe is the best of the three, and that’s what I’ll be getting. Honestly, if I wanted either of the other two versions, I’d just go to Popeye’s instead.

  4. “ The latest to enter the war is a little fast food chain called McDonald’s.” Huh, never heard of it. I really need to get out more and discover what’s out there. 😛

  5. Hmmm… seems I’m in the minority, but I actually thought it was pretty good. Chicken was juicy (the coating almost reminded me of a McNugget), bun was soft yet sturdy, and on the spicy version, the sauce actually had a little sweetness to it in addition to the heat — characteristic to habanero peppers. It was spicy, but definitely not overwhelming at all.

    I also tried the standard version but with mayonnaise. Obviously, if you don’t like mayo, you won’t like this, but I thought the “white stuff” greatly improved what would’ve been an otherwise boring sandwich. Curious as to why McD’s thought just pickles on a chicken sandwich would be good enough.

    Are these the best fried chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had? No. But are they “one of the worst chicken sandwiches” (per Shay) I’ve ever had? Definitely not. If you’re hankering for a fast food fried chicken sandwich, and Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A are nowhere to be found, this is definitely a serviceable alternative.

    1. “Curious as to why McD’s thought just pickles on a chicken sandwich would be good enough.” Are you serious right now? They’re trying to compete with Chick-Fil-A, obviously, and failing miserably judging from what I’ve heard.

  6. Tried the regular crispy and the spicy – both were pretty bland. The chicken cutlet was much thicker than their usual, but not as thick as Popeyes. Also, the breading was not as crispy as Popeyes. Didn’t really live up to the hype.

  7. I had one that wasn’t even hot (temperature-wise). What’s the point of bagging them like Chick-Fil-A if the food is cold to begin with?

  8. Had one yesterday, mine didn’t come in a bag, the bun was falling apart and the chicken wan’t even crispy. It had a sweet taste to me and I do think they were trying to copy CFA more than Popeye’s flavor and texture wise with the not super crispy/craggy breading. Big fail for me, probably won’t order it again.

  9. When I get a chicken sandwich at McD’s, I always just ask for it plain with a packet of BBQ sauce.

  10. I think it was better than KFC’s sandwich, tied with Chick-Fil-A, but not as good as Popeye’s. Given the abundance of McDonald’s and my preference of their fries, I would choose this as my top sandwich. I felt the spicy sauce had good flavor and a good kick.

  11. McDonald’s crispy chicken sandwich was mediocre and pretty bland. I had to try it to compare it with the other fast food chicken sandwiches. The best chicken sandwich is Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Deluxe, then Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, followed by Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I still need to try Burger King’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich and the new KFC Chicken Sandwich that just came out (maybe not at all locations yet). It’s brand new.

  12. Just finished my first McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich. And, my last. Bun was burned. Bread coating was thick and very dry. Absolutely no seasoning. Chicken was mediocre.
    I’m sticking to Chick Fil A. Never a problem there.

  13. I had one of the chicken Deluxe sandwiches and it was so bad that I couldn’t’ eat it, but wanted to give it a fair try so i went back a few days later and bought another one and it was just as bad, almost burnt with NO TASTE, will not order another one

  14. Absolute WORST excuse for a chicken sandwich that I have ever eaten. You better fire the person who picked this sandwich as a competitor to Chic Filet and Popeye’s.

  15. The worst thing I ever ate. A bun, piece of chicken, and a pickle. No sauce no nothing. $3.89 plus tax. They should take it off the menu. Contacted McDonalds and didn’t make it right. $4.08 down the drain.

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