McDonald's enters the fried chicken wars with new Crispy Chicken Sandwich

The company also plans to launch the McPlant, a "delicious plant-based burger."
McDonald's first debuted the sandwich during a test run in Houston, Texas and Knoxville, Tennessee.
McDonald's first debuted the sandwich during a test run in Houston, Texas and Knoxville, Tennessee. McDonald's

McDonald's is adding a Crispy Chicken Sandwich to its menu, going up against competitors like Popeyes, Wendy's and Chick-Fil-A in the battle for the best fried chicken sandwich.

Joe Erlinger, the president of McDonald's USA, said in a statement that the "much-anticipated" meal would be added to menus in early 2021.

"We believe (this sandwich) is going to jump start our chicken journey, build out chicken credentials and get people looking at us differently," Erlinger said. "We're excited about the moves we're making to meet - and exceed - customer expectations for great-tasting chicken. That is how we will start to build our chicken credibility. And ultimately, that is how we will make sure that we become known for our chicken, just as we are for our incredible burgers."

According to a press release from the fast-food giant, the sandwich will be "simple but fantastic," featuring a "craveable crispy chicken fillet, topped with crinkle cut pickles and butter, all served on a toasted potato roll."

"Our customers asked for it, and we can't wait for them to get a taste," continued the release.

McDonald's first debuted the sandwich during a test run in Houston, Texas and Knoxville, Tennessee. The limited run ran from December 2019 to January 2020.

According to the fast-food chain, the suggested price for the sandwich at the time was $3.49, but a spokesperson noted that prices can vary by restaurant.

The Crispy Chicken Sandwich isn't the only change on the menu. The company plans to introduce the McPlant, a "delicious plant-based burger crafted for McDonald's, by McDonald's, and with the kind of craveable McDonald's flavor our customers love." First tested in select restaurants in Canada, the plant-based patty was met with an "encouraging response" and the fast-food chain expects to test the burger on a larger scale next year.

According to the press release, the brand will also start using different methods to cook their famous beef burgers, including "searing in smaller batches, adding onions on our burgers at the grill for more flavor, and new buns toasted to a golden brown." Those changes, which were rolled out in Australia and Canada last year, will come to "the majority of (McDonald's) global markets over the next couple years."