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Eat KFC’s Doughnut Chicken Sandwich Before It Eats You

Popeyes could never

A fried chicken filet between two doughnuts on a red-and-white checkered piece of paper. KFC

Just when it seemed like the chicken sandwich wars of summer 2019 were starting to wind down, KFC escalates the finger-lickin’ feud by deploying a new, outlandish creation in three cities across America: the Kentucky Fried Chicken & Donuts Sandwich.

As the name implies, this is a crispy chicken filet between two glazed doughnuts, priced at $5.99 (or $7.99 as a combo meal). At test locations where this dish is available, KFC is also offering a “basket meal” version, with a choice of bone-in chicken or two tenders, plus a single doughnut for $5.49 (or two doughnuts for $7.49). Participating locations are also selling individual doughnuts for one dollar apiece. These items seem much more in KFC’s junk food wheelhouse than the non-chicken nuggets that the chain tested earlier this summer.

Two doughnuts in a basket with chicken tenders and red-and-white-checkered paper.

Though not as ubiquitous as the combo of chicken and waffles, plenty of restaurants across America pair crispy chicken with doughnuts: Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook have built a mini-empire serving theses two items in Philadelphia at their Federal Donuts restaurants, and the Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken chain also sells this combo to customers in both Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, to name just a few purveyors.

The move of putting a fried chicken filet between two doughnuts is, however, less common in the comfort-food kingdom. If anything, the sandwich might be a riff on the “Luther burger,” a bacon cheeseburger rumored to be named after (and by beloved by) late soul legend Luther Vandross, where the buns are replaced by doughnuts. That dish, however, is usually made with one doughnut that’s been sliced in half and griddled before sandwiching the fillings, whereas KFC’s version is made with two whole doughnuts.

KFC started serving these dishes this week, for an unspecified limited time only, at around 40 locations throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. Since the sample size is so small and these items have only been on sale for less than two days, there’s not much in the way of internet taste testing going on (although an AdWeek writer nobly attempted to recreate this dish outside the test zone using two Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a regular KFC fried chicken filet, to unspectacular results).

If the sandwich is a hit with diners — and seriously, how could it not be? — don’t be surprised if KFC rolls out this sweet-and-salty monster nationwide. And if America falls especially hard for this sandwich, perhaps KFC will even launch a Double Down-style version, with two fried chicken patties hugging a doughnut wrapped in bacon and cheese — the grease-stained sky’s the limit.

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Tracking Fried Chicken Sandwich Mania [E]