“Why does this smell so sweet?” my daughter said, wrinkling her nose as she took the drive-thru bag.
She fixed me with a familiar, withering look.
“Oh, that’s right,” she said. “Now I remember.”
Her dad had to order the KFC Fried Chicken & Donuts Sandwich for his silly little food column. When I learned that KFC was not only offering doughnuts as a side to their fried chicken but selling a sandwich on which doughnuts are the bun, I knew it was something I had to try.
The sad thing is that this isn’t the first time I’ve had a sandwich where the “bread” was a doughnut. At the Wisconsin State Fair a few years ago, I ate a cheeseburger with two glazed doughnut halves as the bun. It was underwhelming, but I blame that on the flash-frozen burger patty being blah.
Ale Asylum had a specialty burger featuring a doughnut from Hurts Donut that was fantastic. Dunkin’, of course, has had a doughnut breakfast sandwich on its menu. That makes sense. It’s all breakfast, right?
Fried chicken with doughnuts has been a thing for a while, especially in restaurants in the South. But in a sandwich? KFC tested the idea out in three markets before rolling it out nationwide. For $7.99, you get two pieces of chicken with doughnuts on the side, or get a chicken filet between two full glazed doughnuts for $5.99.
I went with the sandwich. The doughnuts are hot and crispy — more Krispy Kreme than Dunkin' — and absolutely drenched in icing. Try to take a photo of these sandwiches and you will be busy cleaning the glaze off your phone screen afterwards. I speak from experience.
I was expecting the bun would be made out of a halved doughnut, but nope. Each half is a full, glazed doughnut. The result is that the poor little chicken fillet inside gets overwhelmed by the doughnut in your mouth. It feels like the doughnut-to-chicken ratio is way off, unless you were just looking for an excuse to eat a couple of doughnuts for dinner and get a little protein as a treat. Although my cat was really intrigued by it, and cats can't taste sweetness, so she must have sensed the chicken inside somehow.
The KFC Fried Chicken & Donuts Sandwich clocks in at 1100 calories and 65 grams of fat. Considering it’s a fried chicken sandwich made out of doughnuts, that doesn’t seem too far out of line? The combination of sweet and savory flavors (think chicken and syrupy waffles) is tempting.
The problem my neighborhood KFC has is that there’s a Popeye’s almost right across the street. That chicken sandwich just cannot be beat, doughnuts or no doughnuts.
Obviously the viral success of the Popeye’s sandwich has got KFC scrambling to get their own meme-able menu item. The KFC sandwich is a novelty, but I donut think I’ll have another one in this lifetime.