The chicken tenders, the nuggets, the chicken sandwich — these are staples at any go-to chicken spot and ones that you'll find on the menus at KFC, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A.
We sampled the most popular or best-selling menu items from each chicken chain, referencing rankings posted by the companies, other publications, and public forums.
We went with Chick-fil-A's chicken nuggets, Popeyes' spicy chicken tenders, and KFC's original fried chicken, to name a few items.
KFC's pieces were large in size, but they were lacking in overall flavor, taste, and crispiness. On top of that, the breading on the KFC chicken was the most uneven out of all three dishes.
But that's just the chicken on its own — how does each chain measure up when it comes to its take on the chicken sandwich?
Let's preface this by saying that, hands down, Chick-fil-A's sandwich reigns supreme — the restaurant has mastered the art of the chicken sandwich.
But KFC and Popeyes have some appetizing equivalents.
But Popeyes' Chicken Po' Boy was especially delicious. Chick-fil-A may have the winning sandwich, but the sheer quality of Popeyes' crispy chicken makes its Po' Boy more than memorable.
For the sides, we went with french fries at Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, since both menu items have been ranked as some of the best that the chains have to offer.
KFC tries to pass its seasoned potato wedges off as french fries, but we don't think that counts. So we opted instead for KFC's classic creamy, gravy-topped mashed potatoes, which were pretty tasty.
Chick-fil-A's waffle fries took the No. 1 spot as the chain's most ordered menu item in 2018. And for good reason — the fries' unique shape, perfectly salty taste, and texture alone would warrant a trip to Chick-fil-A.
KFC came in dead last when compared to its two competitors. The chain offered nothing noteworthy in its chicken tenders and sides.
And while Popeyes came in at a close second, Chick-fil-A wins this taste test for truly mastering its iconic chicken staple items.
But what Chick-fil-A does to single itself out is take each of its menu items and make it entirely its own.