Jack in the Box's Really Big Chicken Sandwich Quad is outrageous to a fault

Photo: Fox Doucette

Sometimes a fast food item debuts that is so outrageous on its face, it generates attention the way a 30-car pileup on the freeway at rush hour generates attention. Jack in the Box added the option to order a four-patty chicken sandwich, then in an effort to top its own cheekiness, named it the Really Big Chicken Sandwich. This is just the sort of moment that goes down in the annals of drive-thru history.

As The Takeout’s Aimee Levitt wrote last week, the debut left two questions unanswered, namely, “How do you fit that into your mouth if you don’t have a detachable jaw?” and “Would the slippery ingredients like mayo, tomato, and cheese cause everything to slither out of the sandwich and land on your shirt just as soon as you picked it up to take a bite, sort of like a Really Big Chicken Slip ’n Slide?”

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On a cloudy morning, I set out to answer those two questions, plus a third: Is this thing any good?

First off, the answer to how you fit such a monstrous sandwich into your mouth is that you mash that sucker into your face with no pretense of dignity and hope for the best. Everything that makes Wendy’s triple cheeseburger more than a mouthful is amplified here. There is no way to eat this in a way that looks dignified, so don’t even attempt it.

The answer to the second question lies in the adhesive power of Jack’s Swiss-like cheese substance, a cheese regular Jack’s eaters will recognize as “the white cheese” from the bicolor fromage offerings atop the Ultimate Cheeseburger. These four patties fused together into a sort of Voltron McNugget on steroids all the way to the last bite. A more effective mortar I can hardly imagine.

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The toppings, meanwhile... If you omit all the chicken patties from this sandwich, what you’re left with is a standard BLT with mayonnaise. The bacon is glued to the top patty of the stack by the top cheese slice, while the tomato slice and lettuce leaf will slide loose on the first few bites, eventually leaving you with a bacon-and-cheese chicken sandwich before you’re halfway through it. Sadly, by the time I got all the way through this sandwich, the toppings had sloughed off at the halfway mark to leave just a single-combat battle between me and a Sisyphean chicken nugget on a bun.

Not that you’d notice. There are two flavors that run this show from the very first bite: One, of course, is chicken, and it’s surprisingly moist for all-white meat. I’m not sure whether there’s a wet brine involved or if it’s just grease from the fryer, but it’s notably juicy. The other is a combination of the breading’s robust toasted flavor and a brain-exploding 3,180 milligrams of sodium.

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But let’s face it: You’re not eating this because you give a toot about your health. This is mighty tasty chicken. Staring at the nearly completed sandwich, toppings fallen by the wayside, I was left with a few thoughts. Thoughts like “What idiot thought this would be a good idea?” (Oh yeah, that was me, aided and abetted by this website.)

All things considered, the quad version of this sandwich is a stunt. It’s a tasty stunt, and a stunt that at just $5.99 with fries and a drink is a lot of food for not a lot of loot just like its value-menu origins foretold. But there’s a less chaotic two-patty version of this sandwich available with those same fries and drink for $3.99, and I would (and will) order that sandwich over the quad any day.

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