- Popeyes started selling chicken nuggets on July 27.
- I tried them out for myself and thought they were even better than the sandwich.
- They are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and even hold up well after a bit of time.
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There weren’t lines around the block like there were for the release of its chicken sandwich, but people took to Twitter to share their thoughts, and comedian Tiffany Haddish went live on Instagram to share the box she received from the chain. Reactions on Twitter were mixed, with some people saying they were great and others saying they weren’t as good as the sandwich.
I tried them for myself to see if they stood up against the hype of the iconic menu item.
Like Chick-fil-A’s nuggets, and unlike McDonald’s or Wendy’s nuggets, the pieces varied in size. Some were as large as golf balls and others were the size of a nickel. I counted up all the chunks in my 12-piece order and found there were 14 in total, which I felt made up for the few super small ones.
When I pinched a piece of nugget breading between two fingers, it was hard and had no give at all. When I did the same with the sandwich — even a piece that had been unaffected by sauce, pickle, or bun — it smushed right away and released oils that ran down my fingers.
So considering the physical aspects of fried chicken, the white-meat nuggets are better executed than the fillet on the chicken sandwich.
My typical choice for chicken nuggets or tenders is barbecue sauce and honey mustard. So with my Popeyes order, I was intrigued by variations of the two: Mardi Gras Mustard and Sweet Heat Sauce.
While the mustard was both creamy like mayo and nose-tingling like stone-ground mustard, the darker dip was a cross between sweet chili and barbecue sauce. I tried them with the chicken both separately and together and felt that the breading and chicken itself took on both flavors perfectly. They didn’t erase the sweetness of the chicken or the recognizable Popeyes flavor of the breading.
But if you’re someone who values the quality of a good fry, I think Popeyes’ nuggets are the way to go.
The crispiness of the breading combined with the juiciness of the chicken pieces is just better executed in the chain’s nuggets than it is in the sandwich.