News broke about BK’s new Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwiches earlier in the year; ever since I’ve been keenly tracking the menu boards at my local branches for a roll out here in Utah. Well, finally I spotted them, and the moment I did, I had to see how they rated. First up the stats.
The new Hand-Breaded sandwiches come in four different versions:
- Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich – 4.99
- Spicy Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich – 4.99
- Hand-Breaded Lettuce & Tomato Crispy Chicken Sandwich – $5.29
- Spicy Hand-Breaded Lettuce & Tomato Crispy Chicken Sandwich – $5.29
The lineup stops short of McDonald’s trio of sandwiches, but it still feels like an option too far. Charging extra for lettuce and tomato just seems stingy in my book. Leave it in, leave it out, but don’t confuse matters with endless menu options.
At any rate I wanted to get a feel for both the basic Crispy Chicken and the Spicy, so ordered those. Sadly the restaurant decided to give me two Spicy sandwiches, so I’m unable to comment on the regular version (other reviewers have said the Spicy wins out for what it’s worth). That said, the difference between even the two Spicy sandwiches I received was pretty big. Check out these pictures to see what I mean:
As you can see, sandwich 1 features a nice big piece of chicken, while sandwich 2 was something of an uneven mess. At the very least this underscores the hand-made nature of the sandwich which is something; just be prepared for some variances sandwich to sandwich.
The sandwich follows in the familiar footsteps of the Popeye’s and KFC sandwiches – which is to say – big craggy ridges of deep fried batter – the stuff that makes you want to stop and admire for a second or three. Compared to those sandwiches though, BK’s effort is heavier handed. The batter has a great crunch but the heaviness increases the more you eat. My palate start to wane toward the end. I much prefer the tempura like lightness of Popeyes and KFC.
The chicken itself was surprinsgly 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.
If the limp and listless pickles were a disappointing lowlight, the star of the show is undoubtedly the spiciness; unlike several brands that simply add a dressing to the chicken patty, the heat here is locked up in the crisp breading itself. It’s a relatively mild spice, packing in some back of the throat cayenne-esque heat – there’s a sweet honey like note in there too which adds a whole other dimension. It’s a very enjoyable flavor overall, enough that it just about carries the bland chicken.
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.
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