The Original Chicken Sandwich: Is Chick-fil-A Really the Pioneer?

The Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich is a classic. It's a simple combination of a lightly breaded chicken breast, two pickles, and a toasted and buttered bun. But the story behind this iconic sandwich goes back more than 50 years. It's a tale of innovation, creativity, and the influence of African American culture on American cuisine.

The original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich consists of a boneless chicken breast, two dill pickle chips, and a buttered toasted bun. It was invented as a way to use leftover fried chicken, and it quickly became popular for cutlery dinners, lunches, church dinners, and tailgate parties. The chicken is perfectly seasoned, hand-breaded, and pressure-cooked in 100% refined peanut oil. Variations of the chicken sandwich include the chicken burger, the chicken in a bun, the hot chicken, or the chicken salad sandwich.

This type of sandwich can also be called a chicken on a roll or chicken burger in many countries. It is served on a hamburger bun with seasonings and toppings similar to those found in hamburgers. Chicken salad served between slices of bread is another popular variant. Nashville's hot chicken is an example of the deep-rooted influence African Americans have had on American cuisine.

This spicy-style fried chicken originated from the black neighborhood of Nashville about 80 years ago when Thornton Price III opened the original BBQ Chicken Shack. The dish gained popularity when civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks opened Mahalia Jackson's Chicken Systems, a fried chicken franchise chain designed to compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Replacing chicken with turkey would make a hot turkey sandwich and replacing roast beef makes a variety of roast beef sandwich.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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