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Wendy's Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich
Photograph: Courtesy Wendy's

Does Wendy’s new Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich pop or flop?

We taste-tested the saucy new sando.

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

The Fast Food Chicken Wars show no sign of ending amicably. Case in point? Just a week before McDonald's is slated to drop three new fried chicken sandwiches, Wendy's has stolen the mic to announce its latest menu item: the Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich.

Now, before you lose your mind, it's worth noting that this isn't an entirely new crispy chicken sandwich. As The Takeout rightly notes, it's the brand's usual fillet and bun that's been zhuzhed up with jalapeño cream cheese, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese sauce, pepper jack cheese and jalapeño slices. Calling it the "next big thing," as Wendy's has in an official press release, feels overzealous, but these are strange times.

Without further ado, let's get down to business. How does Wendy's Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich stack up? To do a thorough taste-test, I ordered both the original and spicy versions of the handheld (you can also get it grilled or on a salad). There's not much of a difference between the two, but if you're craving a bit more heat, go spicy. Wendy's crispy chicken fillet stands up to the extra ingredients—the white-meat interior is juicy, while the breading delivers adequate seasoning and crunch.

Here's where things will get divisive. If you're like me and you crave lots of sauce and "wet stuff" on your chicken sandwich, you'll get a kick out of this new menu item. The jalapeño cream cheese is especially delicious, and the cheddar cheese sauce only ups the ante. I could personally do without the pepper jack cheese (honestly, I'm not even sure if I saw it on either sandwich), but the sliced pickled jalapeños mustn't be skipped.

Chicken sandwich purists will probably find this menu item excessive. I get it—there's a lot going on. But if you're looking to amp up your typical order, Wendy’s Jalapeño Popper Chicken Sandwich is worth a try. Just be sure to ask for some extra napkins.

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