Review: Chick-fil-A’s new Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Growing up in the south, in Atlanta in particular, Chick-fil-A was a quintessential part of my childhood. Their signature chicken sandwich and chicken biscuits were in regular rotation, and remain so to this day. It was a perk for those of us fortunate enough to live in this town, one that friends and family who moved out west or up north would routinely complain about missing. That, ranch dressing, and the widespread availability of Coke.

I’ve always been a big fan of spicing up my chicken sandwiches, and it led me to draw a distinction between the Chick-fil-As that I visited. I basically narrowed it down to 2 types of CFAs, based totally on the brand of hot sauce that they carry.

You were either a Texas Pete’s or a Tabasco Chick-fil-A. And I have no time for the Tabasco locations.

So, imagine my jubilation when the big announcement came that Chick-fil-A would finally offer their own Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Now double that excitement when I found out that by simply registering online, I could try one for free before the big release on June 7th. All I had to do was make an appointment.

And it was my favorite price: $Free.99

Today was the big day. I trekked over to my local CFA and handed them my voucher. They offered me the option of adding lettuce, tomato, and pepper jack cheese. While I plan on trying that out in the future, I wanted an unadulterated taste of the meat. I didn’t want any of the new heat to get mixed up in the toppings.

As others have already stated, like John Kessler and First Bite, figuring out if you are going to like this isn’t really rocket science. Do you like Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich? Do you like spicy food? If you said “yes” to both of those questions, this should be right up your alley.

The first thing that I spotted was the noticeable “spices” in the breading, as opposed to the original.

I was surprised at how immediate the onset of the heat was. I’d heard that this is a slow heat, which is absolutely true as the spiciness swells as you progress through the sandwich, but I noticed it before I’d swallowed the first bite.

Given the flavor and the orange tint under the breading, I have to assume that most of the heat comes from a healthy coating of cayenne and black pepper.

Next I tried using the buttermilk ranch sauce that was “highly recommended” by the marketing rep that took my voucher. I have to hand it to the guy…the ranch went with the spicy sandwich wonderfully. I’ll probably take them up on it in the future.

At the end of the day, this isn’t anything revolutionary. A spicy chicken sandwich has been long overdue, which is what has been fueling the highly effective marketing campaign that CFA has put behind its release.

I guess the true test is whether I would order this in the future, or if I would fall back onto my usual coating of Texas Pete’s on top of an Original. While I will never turn my back on the TP + Original combo, I know that this won’t be the last Spicy Chicken Sandwich that I order from CFA. I just can’t wait until they break out the spicy chicken biscuit later this year.

And yes, my mouth is still burning.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted June 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Love your pics! I was too excited to eat to get any good ones :-/

  2. Posted June 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh and also I didn’t get the Ranch recommendation, but now I’m hearing that and bleu cheese are really good accompaniments. Next time!

  3. Posted June 2, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    i screwed up and made my reservation on Monday near my office. Of course, with the office being closed, I was nowhere near there. The local spot did not honor my reservation, but they gave me a voucher for a free sandwich next week, so I guess I will have to wait.

    How ’bout spicy + Texas Pete??

    • Posted June 3, 2010 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      I’m up for the challenge. I think that spicy + texas pete might be a overboard, but I guess overboard is what I do best.

      Bring it.

  4. Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    And now they’ve come out with a spicy chicken biscuit for breakfast! I just got one this morning. Around here, this was the first day they offered them. Absolutely delicious, although I added a good habanero hot sauce to mine (Melinda’s 4x Reserve) to kick it up more. Chic-fil-a’s spicy chicken easily tops Wendy’s, much tastier & spicier.

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