Can you really call yourself a fast food chain in 2021 if you haven't recently rolled out a new and improved fried chicken sandwich? We didn't think so either. The latest entry to the Chicken Sandwich Wars comes from an unlikely candidate: Burger King, home of the Whopper and other beefy delights.
You might brush off Burger King as a benign contender or a pitifully late entry to a three-year-old battle. But that, dear reader, would be a massive mistake. You see, the King and his culinary minions have been developing their Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich since 2019, and select locations have been quietly testing the sando since September 2020. I managed to get my hands on the new menu item recently in Chicago to see how it stacks up against the competition.
The first thing you should know is that there are three options—you can get your hand-breaded chicken plain, spicy or topped with lettuce and tomato. They're all served on a toasted potato bun with pickles and BK's savory signature sauce (akin to mayo). No matter which route you take, you'll get to taste what sets this sandwich apart: The newly improved thick-cut, white-meat fillet that's hand-breaded to craggy perfection. Seriously, this thing has more peaks and valleys than the Rocky Mountains, resulting in an earth-shatteringly crispy crunch.
The meat inside is mostly thick and juicy, except around the edges, where it tends to dry out a bit. But if the sauce and pickles are evenly distributed, you won't find much to complain about. It's worth noting that because the sandwich is still technically being tested, you might notice some small discrepancies from store to store—especially when it comes to breading and dressing.
After trying all three versions of the sandwich (you're welcome), my vote goes to the spicy option, which is coated in a slightly sweet, highly addictive hot sauce that won't decimate your taste buds. If you don't do spice, the plain version is fine enough, but you might want to have some condiments on hand to zhuzh it up at home.
The verdict? Burger King's long-awaited Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a surprising and worthy contender in the Chicken Sandwich Wars. I'd even go as far as to say that its closest peers are Popeyes and KFC, which is the highest of compliments. It may have taken Burger King three years to perfect the recipe, but this sandwich is totally worth the wait.
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