Dear God what have I done: Behold the KFC Skinwich

Illustration for article titled Dear God what have I done: Behold the KFC Skinwich
Photo: Kevin Pang

The year was 2010. KFC’s Double Down sandwich was unleashed to the masses. The country did not know whether it was intended as a practical joke. That a sandwich would employ fried chicken as buns was, on its face, too absurd to be taken for real. Where KFC underestimated was that America often takes parody and subsumes it into legitimacy. The Double Down became a very real, very successful thing.


Around that time, I thought to myself: What can top the ridiculousness of the Double Down? I began brainstorming: The most delicious part of KFC is the seasoned crisp skin of its Original Recipe chicken. Growing up, KFC was special treat food, and that 11 herbs-and-spices flavor is one I fondly associate with childhood.

So what about a sandwich comprised entirely of chicken skin? And thus, the KFC Skinwich™ was born, my attempt at satirizing satire:

My first attempt at a KFC Skinwich sometime around 2010.
My first attempt at a KFC Skinwich sometime around 2010.
Photo: Kevin Pang

That was 2010. Life went on. I got married, became a father. Years passed, I grew up. Then I became editor of a food website. Somewhere in the recess of my brain, a tiny dormant brain cell wormed its way to the forefront (I’m pretty sure this is how brains work). And then it whispered to me: “Kevin, make me again. You will be filled with regret. You will hate yourself. But think of how much you love turning stupid shit into page views. Will somebody please think about the page views?!”

Last night, I made it again. And I ate it. It was, in every sense, a fat sandwich. A sandwich of fat. It’s simultaneously flaccid and crisp and chewy, as if a truck bomb of salt and MSG detonated in your mouth. It tastes exactly what you’d expect a sandwich with an 8-piece bucket worth of chicken skin shingled between bread would taste like. It has the flavor density of fried chicken factorial.

There is only one proper way of eating this, and that is as the French do with whole ortolan birds—beneath a white cloth to shield your shame from God.

We don’t own a white cloth, but we found this bathmat
We don’t own a white cloth, but we found this bathmat

KFC Skinwich™

Feeds/kills one

  • One 8-piece bucket of KFC Original Recipe chicken, thighs and breasts only
  • Potato bun
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pickles

Slather mayonnaise onto potato bun and add a few slices of pickles. Then, carefully remove the skin—in one piece, if possible—of the four chicken thighs and four breasts. Shingle pieces of skin between bun. Recite passages from the Book of Revelations. Eat immediately.


Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.



What have you done? I’ll tell you. You’ve made a sandwich that is arguably the best and worst sandwich at the same time. Health-wise the worst and taste-wise the best. You’ve made a sandwich that drives one person to ecstasy and several others to agony when they’re left with a bucket of skinless chicken to enjoy.

This is Schrodinger’s sandwich.