The fast-food chicken sandwich wars are about to get spicier… and stickier. Carl’s Jr. just introduced the Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich, a sandwich that combines the deliciousness of a chicken sandwich with the sweet kick of hot honey.
I got a chance to try it. But first, a little context:
In case you weren’t paying attention: This past spring, Carl’s Jr. introduced their Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich to rave reviews.
The Carl’s Jr. chicken sandwich features an all-white chicken fillet that’s lightly breaded and fried for a perfect crunch, along with a deli pickle and the tang of mayo. It’s a classic take on a classic sandwich. Easy to eat, a perfect crunch from the pickles, and a chicken filet that’s perfectly savory.
All things considered, a great fast-food chicken sandwich.
Best of all, the Carls Jr. chicken sammie comes on a potato roll – the best kind of bread out there for sandwiches that need a little sweetness. As someone who grew up deep in Pennsylvania’s Martin’s Potato Roll country, this bread choice is near and dear to my heart.
Here’s my review:
— brandon wenerd (@brandonwenerd) May 13, 2021
Now that Carl’s Jr has its proper chicken sandwich down, it clearly became time to innovate and build.
Carl’s Jr Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich review
Hot honey, as a concept, is food alchemy at its finest. It’s not a sauce or a spread packed with oils; it’s truly its own type of condiment. The first time I ever had it was on pizza in New York City, drizzled all over a greasy pepperoni slice on a paper plate at Pizza 33, an iconic brick oven pizza joint across from Madison Square Garden. It blew my mind.
Infused with chili peppers, hot honey makes your tastebuds waltz with an unmistakable sweet heat. The spice isn’t too intense, yet it’s impossible to ignore the notes the capsaicin adds. If you’re a hot sauce head with a sweet tooth, it’s delicious on savory foods like pizza and chicken tenders. It also tastes surprisingly good on plain old vanilla ice cream – like a spicy sundae topping.
The Carl’s Jr Hot Honey chicken sandwich comes with a pack of hot honey sauce to sprinkle all over the sandwich itself. The sandwich includes Applewood smoked bacon and Swiss cheese, both of which really accents the chiles in the honey sauce. When you bite into the sandwich, the hot honey hits thick and rich, making this sammie instantly cravable.
You think I didn’t document my experience eating it? Psssh.
Just look at how much I’m enjoying this thing:
You have to give Carl’s Jr’s credit where credit is due: Fast food places usually steer clear of (A. going overboard on sauces since it can make things messy for you, the patron, and (B. leaning too hard into “spicy” as a menu item out of fear of bland tastebuds. The Carl’s Jr. Hot Honey chicken sandwich isn’t afraid of either of these things – your fingers are pretty much guaranteed to get sticky and the hot honey sauce is so good on its own that I can see a world where people are going to Carl’s Jr just to take the sauce home and use it liberally with other foods. IE: A chicken tender dipper, on pizza, for fries, as a sauce to baste over chicken when firing up the grill.
The new Carl’s Jr. Hot Honey menu also includes a chicken and waffle sandwich and a chicken biscuit. Both are tasty as a morning pick-me-up.