Considering how much marketing might goes into heralding the arrival of a new chicken sandwich these days – this particular release debuted with a relative whimper. In case you missed the news – and many did – Burger King recently nixed their “hand breaded” Ch’King sandwiches and instead, quietly replaced them with the revised BK Royal Crispy Chicken. Before we get onto the newcomer, you first might want to read our 2021 review of the original Ch’King here. Our thoughts back then?
“The chicken itself was surprisingly bland. It’s not the rubbery or reformed horror of sandwiches of old, but nor does it stand out in any notable way. It never reaches the savory heights of Popeyes, KFC, Shake Shack or The Habit Burger. Overall, a solid effort, but one that fails to move out of the middle of the pack. The $5 price tag (here in Salt Lake City) is also a little higher too.”
What of this 2022 arrival then? First thing first, off to the BK website for the full and formal description. The new Royal Crispy is listed at $5.19 and is described as:
“Crispy white meat breast fillet topped with royal sauce, lettuce and juicy tomatoes on a toasted potato bun.”
If you’re feeling especially rich, there are also a three other variants, upgrading the base sandwich as follows:
- Spicy BK Royal Crispy Chicken, $5.69
- BK Bacon and Swiss Royal Crispy Chicken, $6.19
- BBQ Bacon and Cheese BK Royal Crispy Chicken, $6.19
I snagged a regular sandwich and the spicy by way of comparison. Here’s what I thought of these two new releases from Burger King. But first, some pictures:
The immediate item that hits you, this is visually a downgrade on the Ch’King. Right from the packaging of the sandwich. The fancy foil wrap of last years sandwich has been ditched, in it’s place, we now get simpler paper wraps.
The sandwich too is notably less striking. There’s less prominent ridges and crust and crisp on the chicken. The whole patty is notably flatter and more uniform. In comparing the new sandwich to pictures from last year’s hand breaded sandwich, the chicken appears thinner overall. I also remember last year’s release had a weightier, more impressive feel in the hand.
The new sandwiches also ditch the ‘pickle and mayo’ for a more pedestrian ‘tomato, lettuce and mayo’ topping. I found myself quickly missing the acidic hit of pickle, though I should note that last years Ch’King almost brought tears to my eyes writing that the “limp and listless pickles were a disappointing lowlight” – so maybe that’s best there not here eh? I note that BK list the sandwich as sporting “Royal Sauce” but any differences to mayo sailed past me unnoticed.
The chicken patty breading is definitely more restrained here, and dare I say it, just plain boring in comparison to last year’s effort. It also quickly deteriorated in terms of crunch, the breading become too soft, too fast. I swear the Popeye’s breading on their sandwich could stay crisp for weeks on end.
The chicken itself is ho hum, mercifully not too salty as some sandwiches can dare – looking at you Zaxby’s. There was an ever so rubbery, processed nature to it, but nothing terrible. Those mediocre points were sadly the highlights of the sandwich. The bun very quickly became a soggy mess, and for my money it’s too sweet; I am just not a fan of this style of bun. BK lists it as a potato bun, but it tasted like a rich and sweet brioche. Gimme a regular Whopper bun any day of the week please. Something that can hold up to the heft of proceedings. The toppings were also scant and I kept finding myself missing that bite of pickle.
I will say that the Spicy version elevated things ever so slightly. The “triple pepper spicy glaze” that BK applies brings some spark, zip, and a little sweetness too. It lends an otherwise bland sandwich a tad more excitement, but frankly not enough to cause me to pick it over Popeye’s, KFC or Habit Burger.
Here’s a few more pics, these are the spicy version:
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic Salt Lake City, and a former freelance restaurant critic. I’ve worked extensively with local, regional and national food and drink organizations. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have been writing about food and drink for more than fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. I don’t mind admitting to a certain secret obsession with fast food as well – and that’s where Menu And Price comes in…