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​Narcity writer Maeve holding a chicken wing. Right: A combo box from Popeye's

Narcity writer Maeve holding a chicken wing. Right: A combo box from Popeye's

This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

As a foodie born and raised in Savannah, GA, fried chicken was an essential part of my food pyramid growing up.

This Southern staple has sparked debates across the country, as popular fast-food chains are in constant competition to claim the title for best chicken.

Popeye's Louisiana Chicken and Kentucky Fried Chicken are two of the most popular fast-food restaurants in America and are in seemingly constant competition for offering the loyalty of hungry customers pressed for time.

I conducted a side-by-side taste test to settle the debate once and for all, on which franchise offers the best bone-in chicken.

Popeye's Fried Chicken

A 4-piece combo box from Popeye's..A 4-piece combo box from Popeye's@maevecbrowne | Instagram

Right off the bat, Popeye's is visually more appealing to me. Their four-piece combo box comes with a small side, a biscuit and a medium drink alongside a mix of drumsticks, wings, and a breast.

In total, after tax, I paid a total of $15.18, but they get bonus points for throwing in an extra wing, making the box actually 5 pieces.

On the first bite, I notice how crispy their breading is. The crunch of biting into a drumstick is extremely satisfying.

For the mild chicken, salt is the most significant flavor as opposed to any sort of spice, but when balanced with the perfect level of greasiness, it works. Besides, it's fast food, you may as well go all in.

Their chicken breast is a tad dry, but when paired with a sweet tea, as all fried chicken should be, it is deliciously savory.


KFC Fried Chicken

A box of chicken from KFC.A box of chicken from KFC.@maevecbrowne | Instagram

Kentucky Fried Chicken's four-piece combo meal was cheaper, costing only $11.76 after tax. Like Popeyes, it comes with a medium drink, biscuit, and small side.

Visually, the chicken has a bit of shine to it from oil, and visible bone where some breading didn't survive the journey from the fryer to the box.

The first thing I notice biting into KFC is the overwhelming amount of grease. Fried chicken SHOULD be greasy, but the KFC box was pooled with excess oil.

The meat was a tad bad juicier than Popeye's, but the flavor fell flat, as well as the texture of the breading which was limp.

The franchise is known for its signature recipe which features "11 secret herbs and spices," but like its competitor, the most prominent taste is salt.


Winner

Though Popeye's is the more expensive option, in my opinion, they are the clear winner here. Though KFC's chicken is a bit meatier, the breading is the star of the show at Popeyes, and it is the pretty amount of greasy without coating your hands and tongue.

Popeye's chicken is texturally satisfying and doesn't overwhelm you with oil when you bite into it.

If you're left to decide between the two, Popeye's is worth the extra $4 when it comes to flavor, texture and overall quality of the meat.

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