I tried Popeyes' new chicken nuggets and thought they were better than the chain's iconic sandwich

·4 min read
I tried Popeyes' new chicken nuggets and thought they were better than the chain's iconic sandwich
popeyes nuggets
The nuggets were both crispy and juicy. Rachel Askinasi/Insider
  • 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.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Popeyes launched its new chicken nuggets on Tuesday.

Popeyes Nuggets
The chain's signature orange color shines bright on the box. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The chain announced its new menu item on July 13. The nuggets are available in an eight-piece order for $3.99, and a 12-piece order for $5.89. (They also come in larger, more shareable order sizes.)

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.

On first look, I thought they were impressive.

Popeyes nuggets
I counted 14 pieces in my 12-piece order. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The nuggets were covered in the same rippling crust that the fried-chicken sandwich is known for having — golden yellow with crunchy-looking bits flying all over the place in every direction.

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.

As I took my first bite, I knew exactly why these were better than the sandwich - at least technically speaking.

Popeyes Nuggets
The nuggets are made with white-meat chicken. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Biting into a large nugget, I heard a crunch and felt crumbs fall off my lips and onto the table. I've tried the Popeyes fried-chicken sandwich multiple times — fresh at the restaurant and through delivery — and each time it was soggy and mushy rather than crunchy in the coating.

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.

The nuggets come with two sauces of the eater's choosing, and I think they take on the added flavors well.

Popeyes nuggets with sauce
I chose Mardi Gras Mustard and Sweet Heat Sauce. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The eight and 12-piece orders come with two sauces, and Popeyes' extensive list of dippings makes it kind of difficult to choose.

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.

Overall, I would say that the nuggets are a better option than the chicken sandwich.

Popeyes nuggets
When I find myself at Popeyes, I'll be ordering the nuggets. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

When considering the actual eating experience, yes, eating a sandwich and eating nuggets are two totally different things. So if you're more about the flavors and toppings that come with a sandwich, you'll likely stick to that order.

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.

Read the original article on Insider