Fast Food Geek puts an end to the fried chicken sandwich war by reviewing a sandwich that deserves to be stung.
Popeye describes his chicken sandwich this way:
The sandwich features a chicken breast marinated in Louisiana spices, then breaded and coated in a new buttermilk bowl coating. Fillet served with barrel pickles and classic or spicy mayonnaise on a toasted buttered roll.
If you’ve been paying attention to fast food in recent years, you know that Popeye’s launched its chicken sandwich in 2019 to huge fanfare, long lines and even a tragic stabbing. It was so popular when it was released in the summer, that the entire chain ran out and had to cut back in order to fully release the sandwich in November 2019.
Although many years have passed, the sandwich’s popularity continues as a new Popeye’s has been under construction near the Fast Food Geek’s home for nearly 6 months. The forecast reached boiling point, and traffic jams developed all day after the traffic control opened.
Enough of this history lesson, we must move on to the fried chicken. After standing in line for an unreasonably long time, we got the famous sandwich. Following the trend of fried chicken sandwiches, Popeye wraps his chicken sandwich in a foil-lined paper bag. One day I pack my bags and knit a blanket that tastes like roast chicken.
When the sandwich was found, it was also wrapped in a makeshift transparent bag. It turned out to be a coaster for eating a sandwich, but honestly it was more or less a useless dirty napkin.
We chose the savory option, so you’ll see the relatively familiar creamy yellow-orange mayonnaise in all the photos. Like the KFC chicken sandwich, the Popeye sandwich is quite large, with the chicken sticking out of the bun.
As you can see, the boneless breast was nothing more than uniform, but random crunchy twig-like bits grew in all directions. With the front of the beast open, you can see that there was a fairly generous amount of sauce on the top and bottom bun, so much so that the pickles were almost sunken into it and unnoticeable.
Despite a good amount of sauce, the sandwich was not very sloppy, contrary to what the photos suggested. So let’s try, because that’s all that matters. The chicken breast itself was what fried chicken dreams are made of. Crispy and delicious with a powerful Cajun flavor that is distinctly different from the KFC mix. There was plenty of texture and the bread was baked just right, so it wasn’t mushy or greasy at all.
The pickles were nice and big, with a classic dill flavor, but their texture is perhaps a bit drowned in a river of tangy mayonnaise. The mayonnaise itself was very tasty, but also very spicy. I can get used to fast food calling things spicy, and there is only a hint of spiciness, but on the KFC sandwich and now the Popeye sandwich, the spicy mayo is dragon breath. Now I really like spices, so this was a great experience for me, but if you don’t like spices at all, you shouldn’t accidentally pick up this variety.
A buttered and toasted brioche bun was enough. The bun was large and padded, but sturdy enough to hold a large chicken breast and a generous layer of mayo without becoming noticeably softer.
Although I doubted the chicken papaya sandwich would live up to its reputation, I was simply delighted. The sandwich has a dynamic and varied flavor that I enjoyed. As the kids would say, the cooking and roasting was first rate. The portion was generous and had not the slightest hint of mass-produced chicken pie. While I probably wouldn’t slaughter anyone for that sandwich, I would definitely wait 30 minutes longer in line for a sandwich.
Although the fried chicken war will never end, my current champion is Popeye, followed by KFC. Chick Fil A and his old classic won the bronze medal, while McDonald’s and Wendy’s finished a distant fourth and fifth.
Popeye’s chicken sandwich: 9/10
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