Whose Chicken Sandwich Reigns Supreme?


The headline is a fakeout, kids, because I will admit to you that I do not care which of the fast food restaurants has the best chicken sandwich. None of them have the “best” chicken sandwich but I’m sure all of them are edible.

I suppose I should disclose ab initio, that I have a philosophical problem with “chicken sandwiches.” If you are going to eat fried chicken, eat fried chicken as God intended: on the bone and most of the time from Popeye’s. They and the other big fried chicken chains have perfected making the dish and while they’re never going to compete with the chicken your grandmother made, they’re almost certainly going to do it better than you or I can.

I will admit that I make things using boneless, skinless chicken breasts now and again, but it is generally a request from my kids who, God love ‘em, are Philistines. One exception is my middle daughter’s occasional request for paneéd chicken with lemon-caper sauce.

Do any of the chain restaurants have lemon-caper sauce on their chicken sandwiches? I think not.

You may feel that I am a snob and that it’s not fair for me to criticize chicken sandwiches that I haven’t eaten. That’s a fair cop, but I’ve been called worse and I’m technically not criticizing the sandwiches. I have no specific complaints about their taste, texture or appearance. I’m criticizing their existence, and then only as compared to actual fried chicken.

To end I’d like to note the passing of a friend and bon vivant with whom I shared more than a few meals over the years. Leslie Hodge was a force of nature, sharp as a tack and funnier than three clowns in a barrel full of monkeys. She was also an excellent cook and knew good food when she ate it. I know a lot of people who read this column are going to miss her, as will I.


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