Two People Tried Fried Chicken From 4 Fast Food Chains—And The Winner Was Clear

Fried chicken is almost always someone’s favorite food. What with all that deep fried goodness and a side of biscuit and/or fries as well, it’s hard to go wrong with this simple yet delicious meal. While there are plenty of fast food chains that serve fried chicken, the question remains: which one reigns supreme and which one packs the most flavorful punch?

Two writers from Insider decided to undergo this truly mouthwatering experiment and find out once and for all which fast food chain has the best fried chicken. Sarah Schmalbruch, who produces video and writes about food and travel for Insider, and Ciara Appelbaum, a writer for Insider, decided to pit Popeye’s, Church’s, Chick-fil-A and KFC all against each other.

In their article on Insider, the two women defined what makes a good piece of fried chicken: ‘a good piece of fried chicken has to achieve the difficult balance of being crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside. Not all restaurants get it right — which is why we set out to find which ones do.’

Church’s chicken was one of the fast food chains that the two women tested. This chain has more than 1,700 locations around the world and they are traded both in North America as well as Asia. The two women ordered the original chicken 3-piece meal which also comes with a biscuit for a grand total of five dollars and 43 cents. Their review of the chicken was this: ‘at first bite, we were struck by the overall juiciness of the chicken and the perfect crunch of the breading. However, while the chicken itself was full of flavor, the batter was pretty bland.’

Next up was Chick-fil-A. The two women had high hopes for this particular chain. They ordered the 3-piece chicken strip which cost a little over 5 dollars and said: ‘Our first reaction upon seeing the strips was disappointment. They seemed small compared to Church’s. That said, part of the size discrepancy stemmed from the fact that this chicken does not come on-the-bone, and appears to be ground up meat —essentially a glorified chicken nugget. But once we took a bite, it was hard not to love this chicken. The breading was bursting with flavor (unlike Church’s), and the chicken had just the right amount of tenderness. While Chick-fil-A was delicious, it tasted more like a chicken nugget than true, on-the-bone fried chicken.’

Third up was Popeye’s. They are known for their chicken which has been ‘marinated for at least 12 hours then hand-battered, hand-breaded, and bursting with bold Louisiana flavor.’ The taste testers were surprised at how good this particular meal was: ‘we were immediately impressed with the first bite. This chicken had everything. The inside was just as juicy as Church’s, yet the breading was full of delicious flavor and seasoning.’

And finally, KFC was ready to join the battle. The two women put KFC to the test by ordering a six dollar two-piece meal. They said: ‘at first bite, we were super disappointed. The chicken was very mediocre. The meat was incredibly dry compared to the others, and the breading was thin and tasteless. Although the batter did have some flavor, the chicken was hard and lacked the flaky crunch the others had.’ In the end, according to the taste buds and opinions of Ciara and Sarah from Insider, they rated Popeye’s number one, followed by Church’s, then Chick-fil-A and finally KFC.

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