Chicken Sandwich Taste-Off: Fuku Vs. Shake Shack Vs. Chick-fil-A
Who wins the chicken sandwich triple threat match?
Chicken sandwiches are hot right now—picture a bunch of chicken and flame emojis here. They’ve been around ever since I can remember at nearly every fast food restaurant. Some were good (A&W crispy chicken used to be my favorite), and some were bad and made of mystery meat. Lately, there’s been a chicken sandwich resurgence due to headlines made by Momofuku mogul David Chang and Shake Shack, but what happens when you put their creations against an original, Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich?
Chick-fil-A: Chicken Sandwich
Price (in New York): $4
What’s good about it? For starters it’s only $4. Otherwise, it’s a white meat, juicy enough patty. I prefer their Spicy Chicken Sandwich for a little added heat and you can throw on a condiment of your choice (I always go with honey mustard).
What’s not? It’s a sad looking sandwich and like most fast food joints, it looks nothing like it does in commercials and advertising photos. It tends to lack the necessary crispiness that a chicken sandwich should have.
Fuku (or Fuku+): Spicy Chicken at Fuku; MiniMe Spicy Chicken at Fuku+
Price: At Fuku: $8 for the Spicy Chicken, $6 for the MiniMe
What’s good about it? It’s a bit spicier than most chicken sandwiches living up to its name. Chang also switched things up by using pounded-out thigh meat over the breast, making it more flavorful than most sandwiches, and the coating is well-seasoned and crispy. It’s served on a Martin’s Potato Bun and I don’t hate that. You can also choose to add ketchup (don’t do that, please), the way more preferred Ssäm Sauce for more heat, or honey for some sweetness. I like a blend of Ssäm Sauce and honey (you’re welcome). For a dollar more you can make it a Koreano and that translates to the addition of vinegary daikon radish for an extra pop of freshness and texture.
What’s not? I’ve had mixed experiences with consistency in regards to the crispiness of the chicken. Also, with thigh meat you can get chunks of gristle, tendons, and veins that some folks aren’t down with. Being a true carnivore, that won’t stop me from loving this sandwich.
Shake Shack: Chick’n Shack
What’s good about it? Umm…Everything. It’s batter dipped, well-coated, fried up with a thick, crispy exterior, and even though it’s white meat, it’s incredibly juicy. The herbed mayo is plentiful, the lettuce adds some freshness, but there’s not an excessive amount, and there’s practically a pickle in every bite. Like Fuku, it’s also served on a toasted Martin’s Potato Bun that has become a trend if you eat enough sandwiches. I liken Shake Shack’s Chick’n Shack to a fancied up version of a McChicken, only not nasty.
What’s not? It’s perfection on a bun. Imagine it with cheese, or bacon, or both! The only problem is I want one on a regular basis.