McDonald’s is tardy to the chicken-sandwich party with a spicy entry that can’t touch Popeyes’

Someday, when schoolchildren read in their history textbooks about the Great Chicken Sandwich Wars of 2019, fast-food giant McDonald’s might merit only a footnote.

The chain this week debuted a limited-edition spicy barbecue chicken sandwich, which naturally drew comparisons to the Popeyes chicken sandwich that famously riveted a nation when it debuted last month and quickly prompted shortages. The Popeyes phenomenon kicked off social media debates over whose spicy chicken — Popeyes or Chick-fil-A, even Wendy’s — ruled the roost.

The McDonald’s entry seems to be an amalgamation of various spare parts lying around the company garage: the same buttermilk chicken fillet as in its standard crispy chicken sandwich, a sesame-dotted bun that could alternatively house a Big Mac and a lightly spicy barbecue sauce, onions and pickles that instantly bring to mind a McRib.

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