February 5, 2023

Paris Crepe 80903

Do It With Food

I Compared the Fried-Chicken Sandwiches From 3 Fast-Food Chains

A dense bun landed McDonald’s at the bottom of this ranking.

A hand holding a McDonald's crispy chicken sandwich with a bite taken out.

McDonald’s crispy chicken sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Insider

While the bun McDonald’s chose for this sandwich was pleasantly sweet, it was also dense and damp from the steam that gathered inside the foil-lined packet. I thought the chain’s classic hamburger bun would have been a better choice.

The fillet was nice and crispy, as advertised, and had a flavor profile reminiscent of other chicken products at the chain.

It came dressed with pickles and without sauce.

On the left, a bun and chicken fillet from McDonald's crispy chicken sandwich on a white wrapper. On the right, the other bun with two small pickle slices.

An open-faced view of McDonald’s crispy chicken sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Pickles provided some acidity to this sandwich, but they were thin and small, so their flavor came through only in certain bites.

While I do appreciate the opportunity to choose your own saucy adventure, I believe the flavors of the sandwich would have benefited from something tangy and sweet.

In my opinion, it felt incomplete without sauce.

The breading on Wendy’s chicken sandwich wasn’t as enjoyable as McDonald’s, but it was an overall better sandwich.

A hand holding a Wendy's fried-chicken sandwich with several bites taken out.

Wendy’s classic chicken sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The golden fry on Wendy’s fillet looked like it would be crisp and filled with flavor. Unfortunately, only half of my predictions came true.

It had a flavor similar in sweetness to McDonald’s sandwich, but the texture didn’t hold up. It wasn’t super crispy or crunchy, just a bit limp and soft.

The bun — dark, slightly chewy, light, and fluffy — helped salvage this sandwich.

The addition of pickles, mayo, lettuce, and tomato made it feel and taste more complete.

On the left, a bun from Wendy's fried-chicken sandwich with three small pickle slices and mayo. On the right, a bun with tomato and lettuce.

An open-faced view of Wendy’s classic chicken sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The three pickles and the tangy mayo offered acidity, and the lettuce and tomato brought freshness.

While this wasn’t a perfect sandwich, and it wasn’t bursting with flavor in every bite, it did satisfy my craving.

The simplicity and flavor execution of Burger King’s sandwich landed it in the top spot.

A hand holding a Burger King fried-chicken sandwich.

Burger King’s Ch’King sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Visually, this sandwich blew the others out of the water. A large, rippling, golden piece of fried chicken sat between two halves of a sweet bun, topped with two large pickle chips and a tasty sauce.

The fillet had a luxe and crunchy exterior, while the bun was soft and pillowy.

Pickles and sauce enhanced the crunchy texture of the statement-making breading.

On the left, a large fried-chicken fillet and some yellow sauce on a bun of Burger King's Ch'King sandwich. On the left, a bun half with two medium pickle slices and yellow sauce.

An open-faced view of Burger King’s Ch’King sandwich.

Rachel Askinasi/Insider

A small amount of sauce that tasted like a mix of honey mustard and mayonnaise on both the top and the bottom buns made for a well-rounded flavor experience.

I also appreciated the size of the pickle chips here. They were big enough to cover most of the chicken and ensure a briny bite almost every time — almost.