McDonald's Fried Chicken Sandwich: What To Know Before You Order

It's a great day for McDonald's fans — the chain has finally gone nationwide with its latest entry into the Great Chicken Sandwich War. No, they haven't yet rolled out their long-anticipated Crispy McChicken, which, despite containing the controversial ingredient MSG, has been having a successful trial run in several test markets. No, these latest additions to Mickey D's menu are chicken breakfast sandwiches, word of which leaked out last October. A McDonald's rep broke the news to People with the following slogan: "What came first, the chicken or the egg? Set your alarm for more reasons to visit McDonald's for breakfast in 2020."

Linda Van Gosen, McDonald's vice president in charge of menu innovation, told CNN Business that these chicken sandwiches were developed in response to "demand for more chicken offerings and more breakfast offerings," and she expects that the chain can now "satisfy both of these cravings with Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuits." McDonald's former CEO Steve Easterbrook explained McDonald's menu expansion in a less customer-centric way, admitting (via People) that a successful breakfast sandwich launch would "ensure that the market share fight remains as competitive as ever." Yeah, we sure wouldn't want Mickey D's going out of business 'cuz we're all going to Chick-fil-A instead, would we? Better go buy some chicken breakfast sandwiches so the Golden Arches can feel the love, too.

What types of chicken breakfast sandwich is McDonald's offering?

So what, exactly, are these new McDonald's menu items we're all supposed to be so excited about? One of them is a McChicken Biscuit, which is meant as their answer to Chick-fil-A's über-popular chicken biscuit only, you know, with a meh McChicken patty rather than one of Chick-fil-A's yummy fried chicken filets.

The other offering, a Chicken McGriddle, is somewhat more unique in that it puts the chicken patty between two maple-flavored pancakes — a menu item perhaps inspired by the fact that people have been hacking the chicken-with-hotcakes sandwich for years. Of the two chicken breakfast items, the McGriddle is actually the healthier of the two, with a mere 390 calories and 14 grams of fat as compared to the 420 calories and 20 fat grams you'll take in from ingesting a McChicken Biscuit.

How do McDonald's new chicken breakfast sandwiches taste?

The McChicken Biscuit is the menu item with the most to prove, especially since Chick-fil-A's been setting the standard for awhile. Is there anything McDonald's can do to make its chicken biscuits stand out? Survey says... not really. Thrillist describes the biscuit itself as disappointing with its doughy center and brittle exterior, while the chicken patty was "unexciting." Umm, it's a McChicken, they've been failing to excite people since the 80s (via Y94). 

The Impulsive Buy also wasn't too impressed with McDonald's take on the chicken biscuit sandwich, remarking that a dry chicken patty paired with a dry biscuit just cries out to be slathered with some kind of sauce — which is something you'll have to ask for on the side, as it does not come as part of the standard McChicken Biscuit order.

The Chicken McGriddle, at least, met with a more favorable response from reviewers. Business Insider went so far as to call it "the sandwich heard 'round the fast-food breakfast world," and positively gushed over how the soft-sweet, maple-flavored bun goes a long way towards overcoming any dryness inherent in the chicken patty itself. The Impulsive Buy came to much the same conclusion, although somewhat less lyrically, saying "[t]he grease and maple syrup pockets of the McGriddle cakes provided the lubricant... that the biscuit lacked." The reviewer did mention, though, that this sandwich would be truly outstanding if only it was made with, say, Popeyes chicken instead of that boring old McChicken.

When can you get these new chicken sandwiches?

The chicken breakfast sandwiches should now be available at all U.S. McDonald's restaurants, although the question is, for how long? While these two menu items are supposed to be available "for a limited time," Van Gosen clarifies that individual restaurants can decide to keep the chicken sandwiches on their menus for a longer time.

As they have already been at about half the chain's locations for the past few months, there probably won't be any Popeyes-style sellouts or violent clashes, nor are you likely to have to stand in any mile-long lines to get your hands on these latest spins on the McChicken. If you're really dying to try these items, though, you might want to do it fairly soon, just in case they don't sell well and end up joining the growing scrap heap of McDonald's past failures.