New Spicy Chicken Sandwich heats up the Chik-fil-a menu and the CL Tampa staff's tastebuds

Being a fan of spicy foods, I decided to get some feedback from some of my co-workers for a more fair review. They all agreed that it had a slowly building heat but it wasn't unbearable and that the sandwich still retained the distinctive texture and flavor of Chik-fil-A's other chicken products.

“Our Spicy Chicken Sandwich offers a unique, well-balanced and ‘cravable’ spicy flavor that is perfect for our growing customer constituency that enjoys spicy food. Most spicy chicken sandwiches available today just heat up your mouth and do not boast a distinctive flavor. We wanted to focus on providing customers with a memorable spicy taste experience that you could only enjoy from Chick-fil-A,” said William F. “Woody” Faulk, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of brand strategy and design.

I asked Mark Baldwin, the PR rep for Chik-fil-A who was kind enough to bring by the samples for us, what the spicy new ingredients were. As I assumed, he remained tight-lipped, not wanting to give their secret spice blend away.


Baldwin also informed me that Chik-fil-A has sold over 2 million of these bad boys since their introduction, "with more sales than the iPad in its first two weeks on the market," he bragged.

Having first tested it out in Jacksonville, FL, Baltimore, MD, and various locations in California, customers gave the sandwich a 4.4 out of 5 rating on overall taste. It continues to make up for at least six percent of overall sales at these first test stores since its addition a year ago, adding up to about the same amount of Chick-fil-A Kid’s Meals sold at those stores.

As with the original Chik-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, customers can order the deluxe version of the Spicy Chicken Sandwich (at extra cost) which will kick up the heat a few notches -- decked out in Pepper Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato. I was also informed that one could top it with ranch dressing to cool it down a bit or (if very daring) add Buffalo sauce to amp up the heat further.

If you've already tried this new sandwich addition and are a fan, keep an eye out for the introduction of the Spicy Chicken Biscuit and the Spicy Chicken Nuggets to be added to the Chik-fil-a menu in the future.

Two weeks ago, Chick-fil-A officially released its first new sandwich in 21 years, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and our staff at CL Tampa were able to sample it for ourselves.

The zesty new menu item is much like their original chicken sandwich — hand-breaded, pressure-cooked in 100 percent refined peanut oil and served on a toasted buttered bun with dill pickle chips — but is seasoned with a fiery blend of several peppers for an added kick. Unlike many spicy, deep-fried chicken sandwiches I've had in the past, this one wasn't coated with a thick layer of extra breading. It's hand-breaded the exact same way as its predecessor, and besides the reddish color to it, exactly resembles the original chicken sandwich.

Upon first bite, the spice didn't attack my tongue and set it ablaze the way other versions of this sandwich have done. The taste was still indicative of their original chicken sandwich — I'd almost forgotten I was eating this new version until the piquant aftertaste coated my palate. This one was definitely an "afterburner", which was great because I was able to finish it without having to gulp down my drink to fan the flames and the spices didn't overpower the taste of the chicken. It was after I'd consumed the whole thing that I could really feel the heat, but it wasn't at all unpleasant.

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