Ran across this article.
Welcome to Eater’s fast-food fried chicken bracket
- Popeyes signature fried chicken (1): If there’s a favorite to take it all, this is it. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s chicken sandwich was a bedlam-causing sensation; the biscuits are a surefire party hit. But here we’ll focus on its signature fried chicken.
- KFC original recipe fried chicken (2): The Colonel’s secret recipe is known the world over. And the brand — from its ads to its merch — is strong, but how does its fried chicken stack up in terms of taste?
- Jollibee Chickenjoy (3): The Filipino fried chicken chain made its U.S. debut in 1998 and has since developed a cult following for its chickenjoy, what the chain calls its bone-in fried chicken, as well as its meat-topped spaghetti (though that won’t be a factor for judging here).
- Church’s original fried chicken (4): Church’s started in Texas but has since grown to 890 locations in 26 states plus Washington, D.C.
- Wendy’s Spicy Nuggets (1): Wendy’s spicy nuggets have some serious fans among the Eater staff, but how will they stack up in a head-to-head?
- McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (2): These are the chicken nuggets that are almost a proprietary eponym.
- Burger King chicken fries (3): Burger King does have chicken nuggets, but it also has chicken fries, and whether or not this is the superior shape will be determined herewith.
- White Castle Chicken Rings (4): Perhaps the most baffling of fried chicken shapes, the chicken ring is, for those unfamiliar, like a nugget but shaped like a small, flat doughnut.
- Chick-fil-A Original chicken sandwich (1): Chick-fil-A is deservedly criticized for its donations to anti-LGBTQ groups. Despite this, some people love Chick-fil-A for items like its chicken sandwich, a boneless chicken breast, breaded and fried in peanut oil, plus dill pickle chips on a buttered, toasted bun.
- Shake Shack Chick’n Shack (2): Danny Meyer’s ever-growing burger chain debuted its chicken sandwich to much fanfare in 2015. It’s still made with breast meat, lettuce, pickles, and a buttermilk herb mayo.
- Fuku chicken sandwich (3): The same year Shake Shack entered the chicken sandwich wars, David Chang launched Fuku to compete with Chick-fil-A. Fuku has since reached five states, and they happen to be states where we have staffers. Although the first Fuku sandwiches prioritized thigh meat, these days they’re made with habanero-brined chicken breasts.
- Bojangles chicken biscuit (4): Bojangles is famous for its chicken and biscuits — and was thus the natural choice as the lone biscuit sandwich contender on this list.
- Bonchon combo with half-and-half (1): This order from the Korean fried chicken chain evades any hard choices: You get both wings and drumsticks, half with soy garlic sauce and half with a spicy, gochujang-based sauce.
- Wingstop wings and sauces (2): Wingstop is all about the wings, but it is also about the sauce, of which there are 11 options. Taste testers were empowered to order based on their preferences.
- Panda Express Orange Chicken (3): Yes, the American Chinese food chain’s signature dish (and the runner-up in 2020’s Bowl Bowl) counts for this, too.
- Del Taco crispy chicken taco (4): The Mexican-ish chain puts a fried chicken strip on a soft-shell taco, topped with lettuce, cheese, and sauce.