Looking back at 2020 in fried chicken sandwiches

fried chicken sandwich
TORONTO, ON - FEB. 7:The classic chicken sandwich from P.G Clucks, a compact new fried chicken shop
Photo: Anne-Marie Jackson / Contributor (Getty Images)

This year saw a metric buttload of fried chicken sandwiches. It’s like Popeye’s lit a fried chicken sandwich fuse last year and the whole chicken bomb went off, dropping sandwiches out of the sky, left and right. Like, holy shit, how many chicken sandwiches have we gotten?

Trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News has compiled a year-end slideshow of them (I know how much you all love those), and it’s long. Which makes sense: fried chicken sandwiches are pretty easy to slap together. Maybe there’s pickles, maybe there’s sauce, but a lot of them really don’t take much to top, unlike, say, a cheeseburger or something, where the sky’s the limit. That’s what makes this slideshow both interesting and at times monotonous: you can see which chains ran wild with their chicken sandwich offerings and which just sort of hopped on board the wagon to be there with the cool kids.

Some items on here I’d completely forgotten about. Remember that KFC donut and fried chicken sandwich? There’s a brand on here I’d never heard of before, but has the best name ever: Curry Up Now. And apparently Hardee’s went the way of fried chicken and waffle sandwich too, but in test locations only. And also, some of these are tacos, but who’s counting at this point?

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There’s a lot of chains on here we don’t have in the Midwest, so even if I haven’t been near 200 miles of one of these places, it’s still cool to see what I’m missing out on in your neck of the woods. I particularly like reading about local chains, so if you all have a local chain included in this slideshow that you’re crazy about, let me know so I have something to look forward to on a road trip someday.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

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DISCUSSION

token-liberal
lone_liberal

A Chik-fil-A just opened in my city. Since I’m not willing to wait 5 hours in line for a chicken sandwich I haven’t had the opportunity to test it out yet. The fact that some people ARE willing to wait in their cars, blocking lanes of traffic, for 5+ hours to get fast food chicken befuddles the fuck out of me.