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.
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.
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.
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.
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*
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.