Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cheap eats review: McDonalds Hot 'n Spicy McChicken

Ever so often even I have to eat out. Rare those instances are, I try to get some taste of the new or limited edition items. So after I finally managed to try the McRib once (still do not understand what the craze is about), I decided to give the Hot 'n Spicy McChicken a try. Since it is only $1 at McDonalds, I figured there is no big loss and I do love McDonalds french fries.

So off I went to McDs. I got the value fries and the Hot 'n Spicy McChicken for about $2 for a quick dinner. I did check out the nutritional info and like a lot of McDonalds food, the salt content is very high. For the whole sandwich, the salt content is close to 50% of the daily recommendation. I did add french fries, but also stuck to the small portion to limit salt as much as possible (and not make the meal a total loss taste-wise in case the sandwich was disappointing).
Nutrition info for Hot'n Spicy McChicken:
380  Calories  
15g Protein  
17g Fat (27%)
41g Carbs (14%)
1030mg Sodium (43%) 
Nutrition info for Small French Fries:
230  Calories  
3g Protein  
11g Fat (18%)
29g Carbs (10%)
160mg Sodium (7%)
Together the meal came to 50% of salt, 24% Carbs and 45% fat. Not too unhealthy, especially since I usually do eat an extremely low salt diet the rest of the day and do not eat out at fast food places more than once a week. 
copyright Durhamonthecheap - packaged dinner, what I do in the name of investigative blogging!
The sandwich looked to be decent size and in combination with the fries made for a decent dinner. Not too big, but still filling. I did note though that I drank more than usual after dinner. If I did not know about the salt in the sandwich before, I certainly realized it afterwards because I kept being thirsty for about 3 hours after dinner.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - unpackaged, the chicken has an interesting color, somewhat too orange/red
So what about the flavor? The chicken is definitely spicy, but has not really any chicken flavor. You can taste meat, but with all the spices added, the chicken basis of the sandwich is disappearing under a coat of hard spices. I say hard spices because in my case, the breading almost served as an outer shell and for the first bite I was worried that biting into the sandwich would cause the interior filling to spill out. Thank god that was not the case, but the best part of the sandwich was the lettuce covered in mayo. I would have preferred a grilled hot'n spicy sandwich to make sure that I actually tasted chicken.
Now some people will say, it is McDonalds what do you expect. I hate to say, but some entries at McDs are not that bad. I really like the fries. I also like their simple breakfast burrito. But this is not one of the better entries on their menu and I would encourage McDs to go back to the test kitchen and work on this version of a spicy chicken sandwich.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - open sandwich with bun, chicken, lettuce and mayo
Overall verdict: Average at best, largely in part because everything but the chicken mass was reasonably fresh. I like the bun, lettuce and mayo and the fries are always a win in my book. But for me the Hot'n Spicy McChicken will go the way of the McRib. I try it once and unless they change the makeup of this item, will never go back for a second helping.

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