Chicken Chaos

Mary Ann Fitzmorris August 29, 2019 05:00 Food For Thought

Popeye’s announced yesterday that it is suspending the sale of its new chicken sandwich, thankfully before chickens were placed on the endangered species list. I was actually worried about that, so when I heard the news I really thought it was that they couldn’t keep up with the demand for chickens. 

Not so. It was an inability to keep up with the need for the brioche bun. This may seem hard to believe, unless you have passed a Popeye’s chicken outlet in the last few weeks. Lines out to the highway everywhere.

How did this happen? A few weeks ago a restaurant in California got busted when someone ratted them out for serving a chicken sandwich that was warmed over Popeye’s chicken strips. The company reacted to the news good-naturedly, creating their own chicken sandwich. Excessive media coverage about this, and the Chicken Chaos was born.

Between all the fast food outlets serving chicken sandwiches, it would be hard to imagine how many chicken sandwiches have been purchased recently, as consumers compared them and argued which was the best. Popeye’s was widely acknowledged as the winner of the contest,  furthering the Chicken Chaos.

I had to see what all the fuss was about, so on the way home the other day I stopped at the Popeye’s closest to the bridge in Mandeville. It didn’t matter, the lines were everywhere. It was 3:30 in the afternoon and the line spilled onto the main road. People were parking in the parking lot of the business next door. (It was Sunday)

After a few minutes in the drive-up and I still hadn’t gotten off the main road, I parked with the others next door and went inside. There weren’t as many people as I expected inside, but the ones that were there were sure excited. I overheard a woman say that she was there to try it because everyone was talking about it. The Popeye’s employee she was talking to mentioned that the day before they had sold 787 in that one day. With that kind of volume it’s no wonder they couldn’t keep up.

What is a wonder, though, is how many of those 787 chicken sandwiches were ordered because someone really wanted to eat a chicken sandwich, or were they purchased because someone wanted to see what all the hoopla was about.?

Finally my name was called and I picked up this superstar sandwich. It was crunchy and spicy and very thick. The pickles got lost in the big mouthful of chicken. I didn't notice the mayo,  and the brioche bun was so unremarkable I could have donated it back to the cause. Half this magic sandwich is still in the refrigerator. But I had to know what it was about, didn't I? Didn't you?

And that is really all there is to say about this. It is a chicken sandwich, after all.