7. Jack in the Box’s chicken sandwich
For some reason, Jack in the Crack’s chicken sandwich looks — and feels — like fried tofu. Even if its “late-night menu” clientele is sometimes too smacked to notice the difference, we gotta take demerits for the perfect pre-fab roundness of the patty. This isn’t a school lunch, y’all.
6. McDonald’s McChicken
Not only is the fast food titan coming through with the paltriest lettuce game in the industry, but its very insistence on selling a sandwich when the McNugget already exists leads us to question its marketing acumen in the first place. Do people really need mayo that bad?
5. KFC’s Crispy Colonel Sandwich
Real talk, if you want to make the top five, all you need is pickles. Not only does its briny hit even out the (shudder) creamy tang of mayo, but they help cushion your gums when that preternaturally crunchy breading inevitably shatters. Your periodontist will thank you.
4. Burger King’s Crispy Chicken
The Kang’s decision to switch up its poorly received TenderCrisp formula in 2017 paid dividends. A smaller chicken breast and a new marinade keep the meat fresh and juicy. And who doesn’t enjoy juicy meats?
3. Chick-fil-A Spicy Deluxe
It’s impossible to corroborate its claim of being the first in the game to throw a rooster on a roll, but these problematic faves have been the godfather since MLK was alive. These days, the Spicy Deluxe in particular is the crown jewel. That combo of butter bun, crunchy lettuce, and Chick-fil-A Sauce combo (basically a mashup of mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, and honey) is a go-to. Just don’t fuck with the Sabbath.
Fuck the “chicken sandwich wars” — while Chick-fil-A and Popeyes were trading shots, Wendy’s minded its ginger-head-ass business and kept its chicken sandwich as bankable as it’s been from the jump. Like most of its menu, the chicken sandwich is just a classic mayo-lettuce-tomato situation, but Wendys plays the hits well. And we have to give it up for an above-average quality of chicken to boot. It really makes a difference. Try its new one if you’re curious, but don’t feel ashamed about sticking with the hits.
Good lord, where do we even begin? Let’s talk about the brioche bun because the girl is so toasty and warm it’s like a Snuggie for chicken sandwich ingredients. The chicken itself is Popeyes classic recipe, complete with that crispy-ass skin that you really can’t get anywhere else. The pickles are generally crunchy (though there’s some variance in these delivery-first times), and the sweet heat of its Cajun sauce elevates things to damn near perfection levels.