Note: the spelling of Chick-fil-A has been corrected in this article.
Pop quiz: When do you crave Chick-fil-A the most? On Sundays, of course, the one day of the week when it isn't open. The Georgia-based chicken shack started the practice long ago to give its über-polite employees a chance to go to church.
But now it's the start of a new era, as Chick-fil-A gets spicy for the first time and introduces a sandwich that is, as Kenneth Ellen Parcell would call it, "the devil's temperature." The Spicy Chicken Sandwich is making a nationwide debut today after years of requests, the restaurant says. I got a sneak peek on Friday after reserving a special time online (that's right, they were taking reservations at Chick-fil-A) and printed off a free coupon.
When I got to the location near Kirby Drive, the sweet-as-a-milkshake order taker told me that if I could finish the whole thing without taking a drink, then I'd win a free milkshake. The Spicy Chicken has the same soft buttered bun, two pickles, paper and foil wrapper as the standard fried chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A. It is crispy fried deliciousness with a black peppery kick that lingers. Chick-fil-A.com says that the heat primarily comes from the marinade and that none comes from the coating. Although they won't say, cayenne has to be in there somewhere, and the pickles work nicely to counterbalance the heat. The sandwich isn't as hot as the flames of hell, but it has enough spice to make Beelzebub proud. Bravo! No drink taken, free milkshake time.
This sandwich has all the heat of the stalwart Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich, plus the quality and juiciness of Chick-fil-A. They say that a breakfast biscuit and nuggets are soon to follow. Now, if I could only get my church to start selling them in the lobby after service...