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Sep 27, 2020
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So you're tired of the usual fast-food burger and want to switch things up with a chicken sandwich. But which chain is serving up the best fast-food chicken sandwich? We had eight staffers test the chicken offerings from six popular chains to see which chicken sandwich was the crispiest and most flavorful.

The chicken sandwiches we tried included the Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich, the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, the McDonald's Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, the Shake Shack Chick'n Shack, and the Wendy's Homestyle Chicken Sandwich.

You might think that the new Popeyes sandwich or the old standbys like Chick-fil-A would take the top spot, but the winner of this taste test was a total upset. Here's what we thought of each chicken sandwich we tried, along with our rankings, from worst to best.

Both of these sandwiches tied for last in our taste-test, although one editor did rank Wendy's in the first-place spot. The other sandwich options just tasted better, but we'd still be happy to eat one of these sandwiches if it was the only option.

One editor said that the McDonald's patty "tasted like it was pulled out of a freezer and cooked," which isn't exactly what you want at a restaurant. "The flavors don't coincide. Everything tastes separate," one person said.

McDonald's did win our tasters over with its presentation, though--two people in the test commented that the McDonald's sandwich looked like a Krabby Patty from SpongeBob SquarePants. With its fresh tomato slices and shiny bun, the McDonald's chicken sandwich was ready for its closeup.

As for Wendy's, this chicken sandwich had a very thick patty, which not all of our tasters enjoyed. There was also a thick layer of mayo on this sandwich, which our editors thought was too much. "This one tastes like nothing but mayo," one editor said. "The chicken had no flavor, the veggies had no flavor, and it was drenched."

"Very messy and tastes really bland," another taster said of the Wendy's sandwich. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to mayo.

On the opposite end of things, the Chick-fil-A sandwich was docked for its lack of sauce and general dryness. Our tasters wanted some kind of mayo or aioli, just not one that overpowered the whole meal.

Several tasters commented that the Chick-fil-A sandwich would be better with sauce or a slice of cheese. While the McDonald's and Wendy's options came with mayo, lettuce, and tomato, the Chick-fil-A sandwich is just chicken and pickles on a bun. Even the editor who ranked Chick-fil-A in second place said that this sandwich "could definitely use a little dressing."

As a true Popeyes stan, I'm sad to report that the fried chicken chain ranked third in our taste test. While I personally love the crispy Popeyes chicken sandwich, others were unimpressed. "The pickles had no flavor and mine lacked in sauce content," one editor wrote.

"I don't understand the hype behind this sandwich," another taster said. "It has a slimy texture and the flavor is truly underwhelming."


Shake Shack
The winner of our chicken nugget taste test was ready for another round in this taste test. This chicken sandwich had a strong pickle flavor, which many testers found appealing. One editor said the strong pickle flavor "makes the sandwich that much better."

"The chicken is seasoned, the bun is buttery!" one editor raved. "Couldn't ask for a better sandwich."

In a shocking upset, Burger King took home the grand prize for the best chicken sandwich. This sandwich was surprisingly crispy, with a fresh and buttery bun. "The chicken is crispy despite the sauce and veggies," one taster said. Another described the bun as having "a homestyle vibe." And a third taster said she was "taken by storm" after biting into this sandwich.

"In our milkshake taste test, Burger King blew me away. And let me tell you, the monarch has done it again," one editor wrote. "This chicken sandwich has the best balance of them all, and the chicken crust was easily the most flavorful. It was well dressed, but not overpowering. Really, the true king."

While our tasters didn't love the Burger King burger, the chain established itself as the Chicken King in this test.
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