Fast Food Chicken Chains Ranked Worst To Best


As America falls deeper in love with chicken,
the number of chicken chains seem to be growing
by the day.
However, you don’t need to go out and try
each restaurant.
Instead, dig in to this finger-licking good
ranking of the most popular fast food chicken
chains, in order from the worst to the best.
You can find Champs Chicken in gas stations
and convenience stores all across the country.
That fact shouldn’t deter you from trying
it, though, because lots of great food can
be found in gas stations.
What should steer you away from Champs Chicken
is the fact that they have terrible chicken.
First of all, Champs Chicken apparently hunts
down the scrawniest chickens available.
Then they manage to simultaneously undercook
the skin while overcooking the meat.
The result is mealy and fatty skin wrapped
around tasteless slivers of meat.
Order a drumstick and you’ll feel like you’re
gnawing on a sandy shoe.
Champs Chicken exists because it’s conveniently
located and inexpensive.
If you actually care about what your chicken
tastes like, you’ll go a few extra miles and
spend a little bit more money to find an alternative
worth eating.
Boston Market has been known for their homestyle
meals and amazing rotisserie chicken for decades.
However, in recent years, the quality of their
chicken has drastically declined.
What used to be a dependable spot to find
juicy, tender chicken and other delicious
offerings is now an inconsistent eatery where
the chicken is often more rubbery than juicy,
and the seasoning is more bland than ever.
It’s not just the quality of the chicken that
seems to be causing the demise of Boston Market.
It’s the fact that you can find rotisserie
chicken in almost every grocery store these
days.
When you can get a perfectly cooked bird at
Costco for $4.99, why would you venture to
Boston Market for a more expensive and less
appetizing meal?
KFC used to be the go-to chicken place for
just about everybody in the country.
But over the years, their inconsistency has
made many people turn to other alternatives.
Sometimes, you’ll hit the jackpot and the
chicken will be perfect, but those times are
few and far between these days.
“It’s still finger-lickin’ good!”
The breading on their Original Recipe is usually
peppery and flavorful, but the chicken meat
itself is typically greasy.
If you bow out of the Original Recipe and
opt for Extra Crispy instead, it’s almost
always too crispy.
Though you want to feel the crunch, chicken
shouldn’t be difficult to bite into.
Sometimes it’s so overcooked that the chicken
meat inside has practically turned into dust.
What KFC still does right is their mashed
potatoes and gravy, and their buttery, flaky
biscuits.
So, if you want to grab your sides at KFC
and get your chicken elsewhere, that’s perfectly
acceptable.
The Lee in Lee’s Famous is Lee Cummings, and
if that name doesn’t sound famous to you,
you surely know his uncle: Harland Sanders,
as in Colonel Sanders of KFC.
The story goes that Cummings had access to
the Sanders family spice mix, since he was
the one who helped Sanders sell his chicken
in the early days.
Before long, he developed his own famous recipe.
Of course, many surmise that Lee’s Famous
Recipe has the same 11 herbs and spices as
the Colonel’s.
Lee’s is definitely in the KFC range of flavors.
It may actually be better.
Lee’s packs a bit more pepper than KFC, and
the chicken is much more consistent.
It’s cooked fresh, never frozen, and has a
more succulent flavor than the Colonel’s.
The breading really shines on the breast strips.
You might try Lee’s for the novelty of the
KFC comparison, but then find yourself pleasantly
surprised enough with the flavor to make it
a regular dining option.
When it comes to the breading on fried chicken,
Church’s Chicken delivers some of the best.
The crispness, the seasoning, everything is
just perfect.
But then when you take a giant bite, your
mouth quickly fills with disappointment.
The chicken quality just isn’t there.
While sometimes you can luck out and get a
fresh piece of chicken, most visits to Church’s
Chicken result in the feeling that this chicken
meat sat a day or two too long in the freezer.
Where Church’s redeems themselves is with
their biscuits.
If you haven’t had Church’s biscuits, you
have been missing out.
These biscuits are buttery and flaky, and
glazed in sticky honey butter heaven.
Does the bliss of these biscuits make up for
their iffy chicken?
Almost, but not quite.
When it comes to chicken restaurants, Zaxby’s
is firmly in the middle of the pack.
While the chicken quality is outstanding at
some Zaxby’s locations, others fail with tough
meat that just tastes, well, old.
It truly depends on the location and the time
of day.
At Zaxby’s, if you’re in the mood for a sandwich,
stay away from their Chicken Fingers Sandwich.
It just doesn’t work.
Instead, go for their Kickin’ Chicken on Texas
Toast.
The use of ranch dressing and their Tongue
Torch sauce truly delivers a memorable flavor
combination.
While they have a lot to offer on their menu,
including Zalads, Zappetizers, and sides,
their traditional bone-in wings are their
only other chicken offering worthy of a hearty
recommendation.
How many types of chicken does Raising Cane’s
offer?
Just one: chicken fingers.
Sure, you can have them in different size
combos or laying across a kaiser roll in their
sandwich, but the entire menu is still just
chicken fingers.
In other words, they’re a one-trick pony – and
if you only have one trick, you better do
it well.
Luckily for Cane’s, they’re pretty good
at it.
Their breading isn’t overly spicy, and that
is probably because they’re counting on
you to dip the fingers into their “Cane’s
Sauce”.
Even on its own Cane’s chicken holds up
with some juicy fingers and just the right
crunch to make it the fingers place that you’ll
want to frequent.
Sometimes just doing one thing is enough when
you do it right.
If it’s chicken wings you crave, look for
the nearest Bonchon.
However, don’t expect to find traditional
wings when you peruse their menu.
Their perfectly seasoned chicken is deep fried
twice to deliver crunchy, juicy wings that
are some of the best you’ll ever have.
You don’t have a lot of flavor choices at
Bonchon.
It’s either Soy Garlic, Spicy, or Half N’
Half.
And, honestly, the Half N’ Half is your best
bet, because both Soy Garlic and Spicy are
so good.
Bonchon wings may be a little more pricey
than those from the mainstream wing chains,
but you do get a free side, which can range
from fries to rice to pickled radishes.
If you’ve got a hankering for some wings,
from a national chain, your best choice undoubtedly
is Wingstop.
Whether you prefer bone-in or boneless, Wingstop’s
wings are always plump, fresh, and juicy.
You’ll never feel like you’re getting short-changed
when it comes to the meat.
The true joy of these perfect wings, however,
comes from the flavor options.
If you want to bring on the heat, their Atomic
wings deliver.
Mango Habanero is another spicy flavor that
Wingstop has perfected.
However, if you’re a bit of a coward when
it comes to spicy foods, don’t worry, you
have plenty of other delicious choices.
From the Mild flavor, to their amazingly buttery
Garlic Parmesan, to their sweet yet tangy
Hawaiian, there’s something for everyone at
Wingstop.
Look, we get it, it’s wings, and if you’re
in the mood for chicken you’re probably
not getting wings, but let’s give credit
where credit is due – Wingstop does chicken
well.
Bojangles’ Famous Chicken
‘n Biscuits is the go-to place for many a
fan – with all day breakfast and out-of-this-universe
biscuits, it’s easy to swing in any time
and grab some delicous chicken.
But, alas, there is one issue that even the
biggest Bo-fan will peep about – the consistency
varies from store to store.
If you’re blessed with more than one Bojangles
in your neck of the woods, you might classify
them as the “good one” and the “bad
one.”
This is a common issue with Bojangles – when
it’s good it’s oh so delicious, but when
it’s not it’s just another generic chicken
joint.
It’d be unfair to rank them too high because
of that.
If you like spicy, flavorful chicken, you’ll
love Krispy Krunchy Chicken.
Like Champs, KKC is often found in convenience
stores and gas stations.
But unlike Champs, KKC is scrumptious.
KKC offers crispy bone-in chicken, juicy tenders,
and delicious sandwiches.
They’ve also got an impressive array of sides
including fries, honey butter biscuits, jambalaya,
mac and cheese, red beans and rice, and several
others.
When visiting, your best bet is to keep things
simple and load up on the chicken and biscuits,
as none of the sides are a true standout.
The chicken is meaty, never stringy or dry,
and the crispy Cajun coating is what you’d
expect to find in a Southern food joint.
Jollibee offers a wide variety of dishes on
their menu, from their Jolly Spaghetti in
its sweet sauce made from banana ketchup to
their Halo-Halo dessert, which is surprisingly
good even though it’s made with beans.
But, let’s talk about the star of the show
at Jollibee: the chicken.
Whether you’re having the breakfast chicken
sandwich, the boneless chicken dippers, or
their bone-in Chickenjoy, this fried chicken
is exactly what it should be.
It’s well-seasoned and never dry.
Also, the skin of the chicken is perfectly
cooked always crunchy, never rubbery.
It’s what most fried chicken is striving to
be.
You won’t find fried chicken at El Pollo Loco,
but instead citrus-marinated, fire-grilled,
super-yummy chicken.
You can get whole pieces of chicken served
with your choice of sides and tortillas, or
burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and other specials.
Though their combinations are simple, they
are anything but basic.
What makes El Pollo Loco chicken special is
it’s extremely tender and juicy, but never
too soft or slimy.
The skin is never rubbery or burnt.
A word of warning, though: stick with beans
and rice as your sides.
Their mac and cheese is not flavorful and
often a little runny, while their mashed potatoes
and gravy don’t mesh well with the citrus
flavor of their chicken.
And don’t forget to add their salsa to kick
things up a notch.
PDQ stands for People Dedicated to Quality,
though their service is also Pretty Darn Quick.
Their 100 percent natural chicken is hormone-free,
steroid-free, and never frozen, and all of
that makes a huge difference in the taste.
They don’t serve bone-in chicken, instead
focusing on nuggets, salads, sandwiches, and
tenders.
Their Honey Butter Chicken Sandwich is absolutely
delicious.
The crispy chicken is dipped in homemade honey
butter and served on a toasted brioche bun
with crunchy pickle slices.
They also craft all their sauces and salad
dressings every day.
They offer nine tantalizing sauces for their
juicy chicken, but their Buffalo Bleu and
Sweet Sriracha deliver big, bold flavor that
shouldn’t be missed.
In 2020, PDQ announced store closures in Arizona,
after closing all Oklahoma and Texas locations
prior to that – it’s a rough run for the
chain, but that doesn’t mean they’ve slipped
in quality – give em a shot if they’re around
your area and you’ll see just how delicious
it truly is.
If you love spicy fried chicken, Popeyes is
your place.
Their chicken is superbly crunchy on the outside
and exquisitely juicy on the inside.
Bite after bite, location after location,
the excellence is consistent.
And though Popeyes has always been known for
their bone-in fried chicken, in 2019 they
turned the chicken world on its head with
the release of the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich.
“I’ve been trying to make the perfect chicken
sandwich forever.”
“And how does that make you feel?”
“You know me.
It had to be just right.”
This sandwich became an overnight viral sensation
and it sold out all over the country.
It wasn’t complicated, but it was absolutely
one of the best chicken sandwiches ever made.
Thankfully, after a brief absence, it’s now
back for everyone to enjoy.
Even if you’re not a chicken sandwich person,
though, you can’t go wrong with Popeyes’ many
other delicious options.
It’s all good, from the drumsticks to the
spicy tenders.
Here’s the only problem with Popeye’s
– if you don’t like your chicken super crunchy,
this isn’t for you.
And despite the juicy chicken, it tastes like…
well, chicken.
There’s no bonus flavor to it – the spice
comes from the crunchy texture.
So it’s great chicken, but there are reasonable
faults to it.
Year after year, Chick-fil-A tops the American
Customer Service Index to be named the nation’s
best fast food restaurant.
People can’t get enough of their chicken,
and everything else on their menu.
The secret to making the chicken so good is
their brine – with a vinegar base it balances
the perfect tang that really hits the taste
buds in all the right ways.
Chick-fil-A’s nuggets are also a tasty fast
food delicacy, especially when dipped into
their magically sweet Polynesian sauce.
Chicken isn’t the only thing on the menu at
Chick-fil-A, but it’s all equally delicious,
from the milkshakes to their waffle fries.
When it comes to chicken, Chick-fil-A makes
the most tasty one – no gimmicks, no sauces,
no super-crunch – it’s just a superior tasting
bird.
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