Fast Food Review: Chicken Sandwich from Chick-fil-A

GrubGrade is a couple months shy of it’s 2-year anniversary and I have yet to review one of my favorite fast food chicken sandwiches.  If you are familiar with this blog, you should recognize that I have a fond appreciation for Chick-fil-A grub.  The fast food spot that claims “We Didn’t Invent The Chicken, Just The Chicken Sandwich” has made me a believer.  The Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich review is long overdue, but better late than never.

Let me admit something here right from the start.  When I first had Chick-fil-A about 8 years ago, I started with their original Chicken Sandwich and wasn’t overly impressed.  I found it way too simple and plain.  Blame should go to my lack of familiarity with a “southern-style” chicken sandwich.  Something else I’ll admit to, I grew to LOVE this sandwich and have probably made it a once-a-month habit since.  There must have been something to draw me back in again and again… you really just can’t deny the quality of Chick-fil-A in the quick-serve industry.

The original Chicken Sandwichfrom Chick-fil-A is described like this:

A boneless breast of chicken seasoned to perfection, hand-breaded, pressure cooked in 100% refined peanut oil and served on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips.  Also available on a Golden Wheat bun.

Simple right?  Well sure, ordering the CFA Chicken Sandwich as-is gives you simplicity, but the few ingredients still stand out and can stand alone. There’s no need to cover up the lack of quality with sauces, bacon and cheese like most other places… but lucky for Chick-fil-A, the quality reaches out to the sauces, bacon and variety of cheeses.  My experience with this sandwich started off without alterations and I’ve enjoyed it this way thoroughly.  The 2 “crucial” pickles add a little zing and the addictive delicious chicken patty are enough to win me over every time. The beauty in the CFA Chicken Sandwich is all the possibilities to make something a little extra special.  Over the last few months, I’ve been thinking about doing this review and felt it would be nice to show off some of my creations.  I hope Chick-fil-A takes notice and makes some additions to the menu.  If not, that’s OK too, the options will always be there to mix and match and use your imagination regardless of menu additions.  Chicken is so versatile and a chicken sandwich can have an array of flavors with the help of nugget sauces (free!), three different cheese options (30¢ extra), lettuce/tomato, two different bun choices (20¢ for Golden Wheat) and of course bacon (54¢ extra). Your nugget sauce choices are Barbecue, Buffalo, Buttermilk Ranch, Chick-fil-A Sauce, Honey Mustard, Honey Roasted BBQ and Polynesian.  3 choices of cheese include American, Pepper Jack and Provolone.

Let’s take a look at how the simple Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich can be dressed up to satisfy those looking for something a bit different, while still keeping the chicken patty the star.  A lot of these are no-brainers, but they’re still fun to look at.  :)

Creation #1 – The Club

Upgrade to the Golden Wheat bun, add lettuce, tomato, bacon and ask for a packet of mayo.  A classic taste and an easy recommendation.

Creation #2 – The Spicy Western BBQ

Upgrade to the Golden Wheat bun, add Pepper Jack Cheese, add bacon and ask for Barbecue dipping sauce.  Nice kick of heat from the Pepper Jack cheese mixed with the sweet barbecue sauce make a perfect match.

Creation #3 – The Bacon Ranch

Upgrade to the Golden Wheat bun, add lettuce, tomato, bacon and ask for Buttermilk Ranch dipping sauce.  A traditional and obvious combination of ingredients.

Creation #4 – The Polynesian

Upgrade to the Golden Wheat bun and ask for Polynesian dipping sauce.  This might sound odd, but I always dump my waffle fry nubblets into The Polynesian.  The fry pieces don”t really add too much, but gives the sandwich a little extra salty to mix with the sweet Polynesian sauce… also adds a little heft to the package.

Creation #5 – The Bootleg Gold Rush

Upgrade to the Golden Wheat bun, add American cheese, bacon and ask for a packet of honey.  I reserved this creation as my #5 because of the #5 combo at Roy Rogers… which is obviously, The Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich. The Gold Rush is the gold standard (punny) of fast food chicken sandwiches for me so I had to attempt a CFA copycat.

What combination sounds good to you?  There are many possibilities if you’re willing to spend a little extra and do some work under the hood.  I’ve found that the Golden Wheat bun is a great substitute for the regular buttered bun. The Golden Wheat bun holds together a bigger sandwich a lot better as it’s thicker and heartier.  Also subbing in a Golden Wheat bun will take off 4 grams of fat and add 2 grams of protein. I recommend the Golden Wheat bun highly and especially if you’re going to make some additions.  By changing up the bun, your sandwich will come in the eggshell container instead of the foil-lined bag.

There is good reason my local Chick-fil-A is usually packed with hungry patrons, it’s good stuff!  This write-up is more of an homage rather than a review.  An excuse to gush about one of my favorites and to show off that the simple Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich has the potential to be anything but simple.  It’s among the elite in the realm of fast food chicken sandwiches and I wouldn’t expect anything less from a place that claims they invented it.  Well done Chick-fil-A.

Pros: Juicy, never-dry hand-breaded chicken patty. Good size, fair price. Many options to make a unique taste.

Cons: Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday!

Taste: 9.50/10
Value: 7.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: 2.79 as is, $3.39 Deluxe (lettuce/tomato/cheese/Golden Wheat bun) Extras Individually Priced: Golden Wheat Bun 20 cents, Cheese 30 cents, Bacon 54 cents

Overall GrubGrade: 9.50/10

More Info: ChickfilA.com
Nutrition Facts:
Chicken Sandwich (as is) see: CFA Nutrition Calculator
Calories -430
Total Fat -17 grams
Saturated Fat - 3.5 grams
Carbs -39 grams
Sodium -1370 milligrams
Cholesterol -65 milligrams
Fiber -3 grams
Sugars -7 grams
Protein - 31 grams

24 comments on “Fast Food Review: Chicken Sandwich from Chick-fil-A

  1. wibia says:

    A true classic and I like all the ideas.

  2. Ike says:

    Those all sound tasty. I’d go for the Bacon Ranch!

  3. The Duke of Prunes says:

    Well done, sir! Chick-fil-A will always have a place in my heart. I used to go to the mall as a child and they would be handing out free samples of nuggets…it was love at first taste.

  4. K. Rock says:

    The Polynesian is exactly what I do with mine. Poly sauce and fries and a pack of ketchup. CFA has the BEST chicken sandwich.

  5. Adam says:

    I always get the classic with extra pickles and no butter on a regular bun. Honestly, it is perfection! But I ALWAYS get bacon on my grilled version. CFA bacon is second to none. Great writeup, Ryan!

  6. Amy says:

    Oh, why oh why do you choose to torture when I live at least two hours from any CFA?!
    Btw, that Polynesian sounds like a really good idea since it’s my favorite sauce for the nuggets.
    Yes, you’re right, it would be worth a little road trip soon!:)

  7. Kat says:

    I opt for the grilled version, extra pickles and douse with chick fil-A sauce!!!

  8. chuck in chicago says:

    Ryan, you make the CFA sandwich sound absolutely irresistible! Unfortunately, here in the Windy City, there are no CFA’s (and no Roy Rogers, either)! Since I’ve never had any of the varieties you’ve rahapsodized about, how does the CFA stack up to the McDonald’s “southern-style” chicken sandwich? I ask only because I had one of those “creations” once and couldn’t finish it because it was so dry and tasteless.

  9. LW says:

    Yes @Kat; the grilled version is also pretty low in calories.

  10. I’ve been a fan of this website for quite some time and this is the first review that made me want to comment. CFA is overrated in my opinion. Their signiture sandwhich is probably the worst fast food sandwhich I have ever had. Sure the chicken is decent, but jesus is it dry. I know there are plenty of condements at my disposal but I feel like their true intention is to serve me an incredibly dry sandwhich. That ruins it for me. Sure the fries and shakes are decent and the other sandwhich options are as well, but I just can’t see how people put this place on the same level as Five Guys or In N out. It’s nothing worth writting home about and it’s certainly no EL Pollo Loco. Different strokes I guess…

    This site seriously kicks ass though!

    • Adam says:

      Dry? Really? I am shocked. That would be the exact opposite of what I would describe a CFA sandwich as.

      • rob says:

        I’ve never had a bad one either, guess he must live near a bad CFA … they are served fresh and what with being pressure cooked don’t have a chance to dry in the cooking process

    • Deb says:

      THANK YOU! OMG – I was beginning to think I was the only one in the world who expects more than two pickles on a dry bun from a “sandwich”. And no – my experience is NOT limited to only one ot two locations (I am from GA – the “home” of CFA), and I have no idea why the author beleives that “southern style” = dry chicken sandwich.

      Yes – the chicken breast itself is well prepared, but other than the spicey chicken sandwich that they sell (which does come “loaded” but is a bit too spicey for my palette – and yet I am more inclined to order this if my party insists on CFA) I am not a fan.

      Thanks for the ideas though – but if I have to make my own sandwich I’d rather opt for a different restaurant.

      To each his/her own – SOMEBODY is definitiely buying them…

  11. Kat says:

    @ Chuck in Chicago, check again, I live in Chicago and 3 locations recently opened!! I love Chick Fil-A, nothing beats it in my opinion :)

    • chuck in chicago says:

      Thanks, Kat, for the update. Although these three locations are in the far-distant ‘burbs, I’ve made a note of them whenever I might get to Aurora, Wheaton, or Orland Park! I’m just not sure it’s worthwhile to drive about forty miles for a chicken sandwich.

  12. stevenp says:

    I *SO* wish there was a CFA nearby!!! There isn’t one that I can get to. I’d be very happy with a Sonic or Steak’n’Shake too!

  13. Shannon says:

    I liked your review. I am envious of you guys and your perfect CFA sandwiches. Most of the time my sandwiches are quite good, but I have come across some troubled ones. I have gotten a few that were pink from being undercooked and some that had quite a bit of fat on them. Never a dry one though.

  14. somesteve says:

    Just had Chick-fil-A recently and I am enjoying their food. This review is cool.

  15. Patrick says:

    mmm, I’d get a golden wheat bun with lettuce, bacon, provolone, and buffalo/bbq sauce :D

  16. Scott Hall says:

    Sweet review GrubGrade! I think I’m going to try that BBQ version. Drool***

  17. biffburgerfan says:

    I’ve been in some lunch rooms down here in the south where when you order a “chicken sandwich” to go, you get the following. One slice of white bread, a fried chicken breast on top of it, a slice of white bread on top of it, wrapped up in wax paper, shoved in a paper sack. Mayo would usually come in a packet dropped in the sack, if you asked for it.

    Sometimes those sandwiches are a quarter of a chicken. The “white meat” model is a breast and wing, the “dark meat” model is a leg and thigh, or a “leg and second joint”, as my grandmother called it.

  18. Nathan says:

    I love CFA, and I don’t think I have ever eaten a sandwich from there where the chicken was dry. I usually like the original sandwich with nothing extra on it, but I do like to dip the sandwich in honey mustard sauce as I eat it. I have never heard of anyone else doing this.

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