The Chicken Chronicles — Popeyes and KFC Are Doing The Damned Thing

I did not study journalism and communications at two of the greatest public universities in the world (Go Blue! On Wisconsin!) to write about fast food chicken joints.

But here we are. And I’d have it no other way. This is some bad assed bird.

Before I tell you about KFC’s exciting new menu item, let me tell you about my journey to get my lips around one of Popeyes new chicken sandwiches.

Well, around two of them. You know I had to try the standard one and the spicy one.

I have tried for years to eschew restaurants with drive thru windows, for the sake of my blood pressure. I make occasional exceptions. Sunday was one of them.

The location closest to me, on the corner of Watt and El Camino in Sacramento, had sold out of the new sandwiches when I arrived that eve. They don’t expect another shipment in for another two weeks.

When I asked the young woman behind the counter about how quickly that location had sold out, she replied, with a sigh, “Fast. We got our shipment in Saturday, and we sold out Saturday!”

My husband and I hopped back in the car and shot over to the location down El Camino just past I-80, in the hope of tracking down some of the new yard bird.

(Speaking of my husband, when you have a man who’ll drive to not one but two Popeye’s in search of a sandwich for you, you know you’ve got a keeper.)

After ordering, we waited for almost an hour for those two sandwiches. Roughly 30 people ahead of us were waiting for food, taking up tables in the dining room, clutching their receipts and fidgeting with their cell phones to distract themselves from their hunger.

Then, they called our number. I felt as if we’d hit the lottery. We flew home, and speedily unwrapped the fancy aluminum-lined bags that kept our Popeye’s sandwiches piping hot.

The first thing I noticed was the size of those puppies. Popeyes gives you a very amble boneless chicken breast for a more-than-reasonable $3.99.

Words fail me in describing that sandwich. “Ecstasy” is the best one I can summon right now. The standard sandwich is a savory, solid A and the spicy one, with the cayenne pepper mayo soaked into its buttery bun, is an A+. I haven’t had Chick-Fil-A fare since it became known that that chain hates the homos, but honestly, I’ve missed their food.

I will miss Chick-Fil-A no more.

Popeyes new sandwich delivers a manageable 690 calories, which can be worked off with a long bike ride or elliptical workout at the gym. I’m afraid to ask what the sandwich’s sodium count is…so I won’t. Ignorance is chicken-munching bliss.

But a word of caution: that Popeyes location on El Camino Avenue is only selling the new sandwich from 11am-2pm and 5pm-8pm. They’re saving them — hoarding them — for the inevitable lunch and dinner rushes.

And as if THAT is not enough chicken news for you, KFC is launching a test market today of their plant-based Beyond Chicken nuggets and strips. They’re testing them in Atlanta, and will consider a national roll-out if it goes well. That’s the same strategy Burger King used for their new plant-based Impossible Whopper, testing it first in St. Louis last spring before their national roll-out, just a couple of weeks ago. So something tells me we can look forward to KFC’s Beyond Chicken at a local restaurant soon.

But for now, for today, to hell with plant based bird. it’s all about Popeyes new natural chicken sandwich. If you can find it, get it. And then get to the gym.

Published by Michael P Coleman

Freelance writer. I used to talk to strangers and get punished. Now I talk to strangers and get published.

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