Hollis Johnson

In parts of the country, you can’t mention a chicken sandwich without invoking praise for Chick-fil-A.

Its sandwich has reigned supreme for a while, and McDonald’s is taking notice.

The iconic fast-food burger chain overhauled its chicken sandwich with a new buttermilk recipe that it hopes can stand up to Chick-fil-A’s fowl hegemony.

We decided to put the two chicken-sandwich rivals to the ultimate test. Can McDonald’s iteration take on the reigning champion of chicken sandwiches?

So here they are, safe, sound, and steaming hot in their respective packages.

So here they are, safe, sound, and steaming hot in their respective packages.
Hollis Johnson

McDonald’s clearly pushes the descriptions of the food a bit more, while Chick-fil-A relies simply on its name to get the idea of tender crispy chicken across.

McDonald's clearly pushes the descriptions of the food a bit more, while Chick-fil-A relies simply on its name to get the idea of tender crispy chicken across.
Hollis Johnson

Let the chicken championship commence!

Let the chicken championship commence!
Hollis Johnson

The McDonald’s offering has cooled a bit in its cardboard box, while Chick-fil-A’s insulated baggie keeps the sandwich steaming hot, even after being delivered to our offices.

The McDonald's offering has cooled a bit in its cardboard box, while Chick-fil-A's insulated baggie keeps the sandwich steaming hot, even after being delivered to our offices.
Whose fried-chicken sandwich will emerge as the chicken supreme?

Hollis Johnson

Out of the package, McDonald’s has an early advantage: The sandwich is prettier. Bright green lettuce and a substantial tomato slice peek out from under a fancy bun, while Chick-fil-A’s chicken sits humbly on a bed of tiny pickle slices between an average bun.

Out of the package, McDonald's has an early advantage: The sandwich is prettier. Bright green lettuce and a substantial tomato slice peek out from under a fancy bun, while Chick-fil-A's chicken sits humbly on a bed of tiny pickle slices between an average bun.
Hollis Johnson

Buns off for a closer inspection. Chick-fil-A’s sandwich, on the left, is slightly smaller than the one from McDonald’s — and the chicken sure looks different.

Buns off for a closer inspection. Chick-fil-A's sandwich, on the left, is slightly smaller than the one from McDonald's — and the chicken sure looks different.
Hollis Johnson

Way different. Chick-fil-A’s breading looks more natural; McDonald’s almost looks as though it’s trying too hard to be fried chicken.

Way different. Chick-fil-A's breading looks more natural; McDonald's...