The Chicken Sandwich War of 2021 continues to heat up.
Before McDonald’s officially releases three new chicken sandwiches Feb. 24 – including the Spicy Chicken Sandwich with a spicy pepper sauce – it is offering a way to get an early taste. Burger King also unveiled Wednesday that it has its own poultry plan.
Starting at noon ET Thursday, McDonald’s is giving early access through the website CHKNDrop.com. McDonald’s says it costs $5 to “lock in your drop” and it will also sell a limited-edition capsule including a hoodie, while supplies last.
“We’re excited to give fans early access to this sandwich and exclusive swag they can’t get anywhere else to memorialize this great addition to our menu,” David Tovar, the fast-food chain’s vice president of U.S. Communications, said in a news release.
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McDonald’s also will have the Crispy Chicken Sandwich with pickles on a toasted, buttered potato roll and a Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, which includes shredded lettuce, Roma tomatoes and mayonnaise.
The last major chicken sandwich war was in August 2019 after Popeyes launched its New Orleans-style fried chicken sandwich. The chain then started a viral Twitter feud with Chick-fil-A and other restaurants.
Restaurants have been heating up the chicken competition with new spicy products.
Chick-fil-A debuted a new Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich at restaurants nationwide Jan. 22. Boston Market also has a new Nashville Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich, its first-ever crispy chicken sandwich. In early February, McDonald’s brought back its Spicy Chicken McNuggets for a limited time.
Burger King’s new chicken sandwich
Burger King announced Wednesday it will introduce a new hand-breaded chicken sandwich later this year that it promises “will be worth the wait.”
The Miami-based chain said it has been working on the sandwich since 2019 and started testing it in September 2020 in markets including Miami; Huntsville, Alabama; and Phoenix, Arizona.
It will be available in original or spicy and served on a toasty potato bun with deli pickles and a signature sauce.
“What if hand-breading were to chicken what flame-grilling is to burgers? That’s been our guiding filter to bring a delicious chicken sandwich to guests in a way only BK can,” Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer, Burger King North America, said in a news release. “We’ll take the time to get it right and our guests will definitely taste the difference.”
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko