The KFC Chicken Sandwich, a new offering.

The KFC Chicken Sandwich, a new offering ($3.99). (Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

It was bound to happen. After several fast food chains revamped their fried chicken sandwiches over the past year in the hopes of standing out in the ongoing fried chicken sandwich wars, KFC is finally getting into the game. And as your humble fried chicken sandwich correspondent who once ranked 26 of the fast food options, I obviously had to investigate.

Of course, KFC already had a few fried chicken sandwiches on its menu. But as I found a few years ago, they didn’t seem particularly well loved. It’s main offering, the crispy Colonel sandwich, was weirdly small and not particularly exciting.

The new sandwich, simply called the KFC Chicken Sandwich ($3.99), features a much bigger 1/4-pound piece of all white meat chicken that is double breaded and fried. It’s served on a brioche bun with thick pickles and either regular or spicy mayonnaise. If that sounds awfully similar to Popeye’s own wildly popular offering, you’re definitely not wrong.

But thanks to the chain’s unique spice blend, which we may have uncovered a few years ago, this offering manages to stand apart from the crowd. The crust on the chicken is genuinely crispy, adding a great textural counterpoint to the soft bun. There’s nothing wrong with the regular mayonnaise, but the spicy version adds some much needed heat to each bite.

Unlike the new offering from Wendy’s, which wasn’t that different from its previous version, this one is a serious step up in quality for KFC. I’d probably rank it just after Popeye’s and before Chick-fil-A. Nicely done, KFC.

After testing the sandwich in Orlando, KFC is now offering the sandwich in select markets, before a full rollout later in February. Make sure to check the company’s website before you go to your closest location.

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