FOOD: Wendy’s – Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant

Oh for the love of god not more chicken sandwiches

Okay, okay, we can do this. Yes, chicken is everywhere, and we’ve drilled that concept into your heads for long enough. Wendy’s, not one to be left out of a trend, has added a number of chicken sandwiches to its new breakfast menu – the most interesting one, to us, being the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant.

On its surface, this sounds like a serious slam dunk. Fried chicken, bacon, AND a croissant bun? The only other place that does croissant buns in its breakfast is Burger King, and they’re definitely the least classy of the Big Three burger joints. Could Wendy’s deliver to us a real croissant, rich, buttery and flaky?

I mean, we doubt it. But there’s always hope, so hit the jump and find out.

The Breakfast Baconator was only “alright” by us, but we were still very excited for this sandwich. Besides, we’d be getting those amazing potato wedges again, right? Those are a five out of five for sure. But let’s just say our hopes weren’t the highest when we pulled out of that Wendy’s drive-through.

The sandwich was about the size of a “dollar” sandwich, if that means anything to you. This isn’t the first time Wendy’s has produced this specific sandwich, by the way. They actually first produced a similar version back in late 2018 – the only difference was that it had a slice of Swiss cheese on top. It was a limited time offer, but so many people agreed that it would have been better as a breakfast item that we imagine that might be exactly why they decided to add it to their very pushed new breakfast menu.

We walked into this expecting the maple butter to be a sauce like the Swiss cheese sauce on the Breakfast Baconator, so when we unwrapped it, at first we thought there was no butter at all! But it was there, just translucently soaked into the bun and patty. For that reason, we couldn’t give you a good idea of how much was on there, but we could taste it just fine. It wasn’t particularly buttery, but it was sweet – boy, so sweet. The flavor was reminiscent of the Chicken McGriddle we reviewed recently, but the maple flavor was much more authentic. Maybe a little too authentic… after eating it, we developed a strange metallic taste in our mouths that wouldn’t go away. This is a common effect of storing maple syrup for too long in a metallic container – like one at a factory, perhaps?

There were maybe… three or so small slices of bacon blanketing the chicken patty? Which, by the way, was MUCH better than the one we reviewed in the Chicken Sandwich Showdown. It was much crispier, crustier, and had substantial crunch. We don’t know when Wendy’s changed the recipe of their small chicken patties, or if we just had bad luck the last few times, but this one knocks our previous experiences with Wendy’s chicken out of the park.

Eating the sandwich was a more involved affair than we expected it to be. This isn’t a bad thing whatsoever! Most fast food is expected to be wolfed rather than eaten, so eating something that required us to pause, chew slowly, and notice the individual flavors felt very fancy indeed. Each element spoke for itself in a way that emphasized the others. The maple butter provided a sweet contrast against the salty chicken. The chicken was crispy in comparison to the chewy bacon. The bacon was smokey and savory to round out the sweet of the maple butter. Most fast food isn’t this well thought out. Even that metallic flavor was easy to disregard – it only became noticeable because it hung around long after we were finished.

Interestingly, the same soft bacon that was a downside in the Breakfast Baconator worked amazingly in this sandwich. The chicken patty added in the missing crunch element, so the bacon could be as limp as it wanted to be. Its salty, nitrate loaded taste was all it needed to bring to the table today. It even got the opportunity to soak up the maple butter, making it even softer and more flavorful.

We had one major qualm with the sandwich: though it professed to having a croissant bun, that was not a croissant. It was square. It was a carré. Frankly, we could barely distinguish it from a regular hamburger bun once we started eating it. Burger King has won the croissant war handily by having a croissant that is actually flaky and crescent shaped.

The bun was the only remotely low point. How could Wendy’s mess up a bun like this? We’ve had frozen breakfast sandwiches from Wal-Mart that have had fluffier croissants than this. We know that expecting genuine croissant goodness from a fast food joint is an impossibly high expectation. Really, expecting a good croissant anywhere outside of the finest French pâtisseries is pushing it. Yet Burger King has a croissant that actually tastes like a reasonable butter substitute, and flakes when you bite into it. It can’t be that hard. Couldn’t Wendy’s find a single bakery capable of providing the right stuff?

5 out of 5 – Simply Superb!

We’re not going to dance around it, the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant sandwich knocked our socks off. It was miles above the Breakfast Baconator in virtually every aspect, the crummy bun included. Not only did we like eating it, and not only would we get it again, we really want to get it again. This proves to us that Wendy’s breakfast menu is not just a novelty but something that might actually stick around. We don’t know how invested Wendy’s is with breakfast this time around, but considering their track record, they might be ready to pull the plug at the first sign of their new menu going wrong.And lastly, you know what would really set this thing off? A little hot sauce. A splash of any decent hot sauce would elevate this sandwich to new heights. We haven’t tried it personally, but their Hot Chili Seasoning might be perfect. Otherwise, pretty much everyone has a bottle of Cholula or something in their cars nowadays, right?

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