Seeking the ultimate Chicken Sandwich By Bj Bruin

Chicken has been around since the beginning of time! Literally- which came first? The Chicken or the Egg? The first sandwich was not from the Earl of Sandwich… it was from Rabbi Hillel the Elder in the 1st Century B.C. At Passover he made a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs! John Montagu, aka The Earl of Sandwich was in said to be invented around 1762- a bread enclosed meal so he didn’t have to leave the gaming table to take supper.
Given I’m writing this in March and we’re in the throes of Covid-19, I was assigned to research the humble Chicken Sandwich. All the restaurants I went to were drive in only. I appreciate this assignment as I contributed to our restaurant industry!
I visited: KFC, Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, Bojangles, McDonalds, Burger King, Steak ‘n Shake, Zaxby’s, Arby’s
In all my research, Fast Food Chicken Sandwich began here! 1946 Truett Cathy created the chicken sandwich. While that is truly not verified it can be traced back to the introduction of the crispy chicken sandwich on March 21, 1964.
In 1940 in Corbin, Ky Harland Sanders opened Sanders Court & Café. He started cooking chicken but it’s not noted when the first chicken sandwich was introduced. KFC begin in 1952. According to some sources the first was in 2005.
In 1972 Al Copeland started the first Popeyes. Mr. Copeland lived across the street from us when I lived in Metairie before I moved to Ca. I remember his Christmas displays and him coming to my parents restaurant in Fat City (Metairie). He was a hoot for sure! I remember going to one of the first locations off Severn across from the Lakeside Mall in Metairie. He didn’t start with his chicken sandwiches until 2019. We all know what a frenzy that was!
McDonalds didn’t start with their Chicken Sandwich until 2019 either. Mc Donald’s began in San Bernardino in 1955! If you haven’t seen the movie- it’s a must see! And the rest is history!
Burger King started as “Insta-Burger King” in 1953 by two men from Jacksonville, Fl . The interesting fact is they got the idea from seeing the success of the McDonald brothers restaurant in San Bernardino, Ca. The headquarter were in Miami, Fl but got destroyed in Hurricane Andrew. In 1990 they introduced a broiled chicken sandwich. They reformulated their crispy chicken version to join the chicken frenzy in 2019.
Bojangles was started by two veteran restaurant operations in 1977 after seeing the rise of fast food. The first operation was in Charlotte, NC. They are best known for their chicken & biscuits. The All-New Masterpiece Chicken Supremes rolled out in 2017.
Steak ‘n Shake started in Normal, Illinois in 1934! They were famous for their ground steak burgers. The Chicken Burger is listed in their Specialty section.
Zaxby’s was started by two childhood friends in Statesboro, Ga. in 1990. They only operate in 17 states. In 2018 they introduced a new version of a true hand-breaded Southern fried chicken sandwich
Arby’s started in 1964 in Boardman, Ohio. Based on six principles: Dream Big, Work Hard, Get It Done, Play Fair, Have Fun & Make a Difference. That’s something we all can strive for! They introduced their Prime-Cut Chicken sandwich in 2004.