The origin of fried chicken and waffles has been hotly contested as the dish has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade. I’m inclined to believe the Well’s Supper Club story, a restaurant started in 1930s Harlem that hosted hungry jazz musicians after their late night sets. Having leftover fried chicken from the night before and waffle batter ready for the impending breakfast service, the cooks would throw together the now iconic dish out of necessity. It quickly became popular around the clock.
Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. has now introduced a sandwich version, placing their hand breaded chicken breast between a Belgian waffle and adding a drizzle of maple butter sauce. The inviting maple syrup smell wafts out of the fast food bag, while the less inviting $5.99 price tag for a breakfast sandwich sets the expectations high.
The hand breaded chicken breast has a light crispy coating that is fried to perfection. While it could benefit from a stronger punch of spices in the breading, they are well balanced with one another. The brined chicken is extremely juicy and flavorful with the one drawback of being just on the verge of too salty.
The waffle walks the line admirably of being durable enough to not make a mess yet still tender enough to be pleasant to eat. It is slightly dense for a Belgian waffle but has the right subtle hint of sweetness. The main issue is that it is a small waffle that was then split in half to make the sandwich as opposed to utilizing two small waffles together. This leaves the waffle bun very thin and easily overpowered in flavor and texture by the chicken.
The maple butter sauce glazes the top of the chicken perfectly but predictably seems to be butter-flavored pancake syrup or maple-flavored corn syrup. It adds a necessary sweetness and maple flavor that ties the sandwich together. Not using real whipped maple butter seems like a missed opportunity that would have easily elevated the offering. Regardless, there was just the right amount of sauce without turning the waffle soggy and making the whole sandwich a sticky mess.
In my opinion, a plate of chicken and waffles is not complete without hot sauce, so I requested some at the drive-thru window. But despite assurances, I drove off with none in my bag. After evaluating the sandwich on its own merits, I used a cayenne hot sauce I had at home to see how it would fair with the addition. The heat and vinegar paired perfectly with the chicken and waffle sandwich, making me instantly regret already giving the second sandwich to my wife.
Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. has made the Chicken and Waffle sandwich available all day. It makes a good pairing with your morning coffee or a late night snack to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings. Just be sure to bring a coupon and have your own hot sauce ready.
Purchased Price: 2 for $6 with coupon (regularly $5.99)
Purchased at: Carl’s Jr.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 560 calories (other nutritional numbers weren’t available at time of publication)
8 thoughts to “REVIEW: Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s Hand-Breaded Chicken and Waffle Sandwich”
$6 for a breakfast sandwich? Good lord! I’d expect way more than that for the price tag! Great review by the way :D.
Thanks for the review, Id been hesitant to try this one because i was worried two full size waffles would be to “bready” but now I’ll give it a shot (with the coupon)
Do the waffles have any pearl sugar beads in them?
Have you had the classic or bacon & Swiss version, if so, is the chicken breast the same size in this one? It was huge in the other two
Pass. I’m boycotting Hardee’s/Carl Jr’s until they bring back the Froot Loops donuts. I used to buy five boxes at a time, about every 2-3 days. No joke. Those things are more addictive than heroin!
I wonder: are many people really going to pay $6 (ok, $5.99) for a breakfast sandwich? The price seems to doom the offering to failure from the get-go . . . .
How about combing a “Value menu” chicken sandwich at some fast-food place with an order of waffles and maple syrup, for the cheap guy’s alternative? 😉
What’s wrong with $6? That’s cheap!
For a fast food breakfast sandwich? Maybe in California that’s cheap but otherwise that’s crazy. On the east coast I mainly see 3-5 range with 5 being a super deluxe breakfast sandwich thing.
I tried one of these today. Results?
Waffles kind of doughy, should have a crispy crunch. Off-putting texture, and the waffles sort of sloughed soggily away from the chicken after a couple of bites.
“Syrup” is a crummy ersatz maple syrup
Chicken is crispy and OK but why can’t any of these chicken sammich clones match Chik-fil-A or Popeyes’ ?
Overpackaged in a huge square cardboard box
I tried the chicken waffle yesterday. The waffle is too small. Can’t really call it a sandwich. Certainly not worth the price.
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