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Photo credit: YOUTHOPIA.SG/JEREMY NA

McDonald’s Chicken McCrispy: Is it worth the hype, or just nostalgia?

The Chicken McCrispy has made its way back onto the menu after an 18-year hiatus and as someone who has never tried it, I conducted a taste test to see if it was worth the hype.

Jeremy Na

Just like that Khalid song, Young, dumb and broke. Ok maybe not dumb but definitely the other two.


Published: 10 November 2020, 1:10 PM

First released in 1998, McDonald’s Chicken McCrispy is a popular fried chicken dish that got removed from the menu in 2002. 

When McDonald’s quietly announced that it was making a comeback at selected outlets, long lines formed around them as many were hit with a wave of nostalgia and wanted to try it again.

The Chicken McCrispy even had its own mascots in the 90s: Flash Fry and Steam Marinate. They were named after the cooking process for the McCrispy, which is steam-marinated before being flash-fried to lock in the juicy goodness from the chicken.

As someone who was born in 2001 however, I didn’t quite understand the amount of hype it received online as it just looked like a bigger version of the McWing to me. 

So with mixed expectations, I decided to give it a try and ordered the six-piece bucket for myself for a quick taste test.

 

The Six-piece Chicken McCrispy is priced at $16.90 and is best for sharing between friends. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA.SG/JEREMY NA

 

The McCrispy is priced at $6 for two pieces ala-carte, $8.40 to make it a meal and $16.90 for a bucket of six. It does seem a little steep, but it is nothing too out of the ordinary.

Personally, the texture of the McCrispy is where it really shines. As the name suggests, it is extremely crispy and biting into it gave me a nice satisfying crunch followed by a burst of umami. That’s really ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) material. 

Interestingly, it isn’t plagued by the same problems as some other fried chicken dishes where the nice and crunchy exterior is matched by a tough and dry meat on the inside. I was impressed by McDonald’s ability to lock in the juices to keep the meat nice and tender for its Chicken McCrispy. 

Perhaps flash-frying and steam-marinating should now be the universal way of preparing fried chicken?

 

The Crunchy exterior of the McCrispy hides a deceptively juicy interior PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA.SG/JEREMY NA

 

However, I did feel that the chicken was a little lacking taste-wise. Don’t get me wrong, the McCrispy does not taste bad, but it just didn’t really stand out much to me. It is mildly spicy and contains a strong umami flavour, but apart from that, nothing else strikes me as extraordinary. 

If anything, I would compare it to a watered-down version of the McSpicy patty. While the basic taste is similar, the McCrispy requires you to chow down on a few pieces before the spice starts to hit.

Its somewhat generic taste combined with the greasy nature of fried chicken also meant that it got quite jelak (hard to eat due to richness) halfway through. Although I was able to finish all six pieces of it, it just left me with a feeling of guilt and mediocrity (for finishing a whole bucket myself that was clearly meant for sharing). 

That said, the McCrispy does stand out from the fried chicken sold by McDonald’s competitors in terms of meat-to-bone ratio. 

I’m sure we’ve all faced the same disappointment when we bite into a large piece of chicken only to discover that half of it is bone. With the McCrispy though, what you see is mostly what you get – you won’t come away feeling cheated at the end of it. 

Also, you might be glad to know that the size of all six pieces in the bucket were consistently large. 

My recommendation for a good serving size would be about two pieces per person – that would be filling enough for most

All in all, the experience was a tad disappointing. I probably wouldn’t have it more than once every two weeks.

It personally didn’t live up to the hype for me and I have a feeling that it might just be the nostalgia speaking for some.


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