Chicken sandwich

A chicken sandwich is a sandwich that typically consists of boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh served between slices of bread, on a bun, or on a roll. Variations on the "chicken sandwich" include the chicken burger, chicken on a bun, chickwich, hot chicken, or chicken salad sandwich.

Chicken sandwich
A chicken salad sandwich
CourseMain course
Serving temperatureHot (or cold, as in submarine sandwiches)
Main ingredientsChicken, bun

In American English, a sandwich is any two pieces of bread with filling, including rolls and buns; in British English (and also some other national English varieties, such as those of Canada, Australia and New Zealand), the word sandwich is defined more narrowly, to require the pieces of bread to be sliced from a loaf, and a roll or bun with filling would not generally be called a sandwich.[1] A bun with a cooked chicken breast as filling would generally be called a chicken sandwich in the U.S., but in British English, commonly spoken in Commonwealth countries, such a dish is not considered a sandwich, and would generally be called a chicken burger instead; most Americans would not consider such as dish to count as a burger, since Americans generally consider a burger to require a patty made from ground/minced meat.[2][3]


In the United States, the sandwich usually consists of a chicken filet or patty, toppings and bread. The chicken meat can be deep fried, grilled, roasted or boiled, served hot or cold, and white or dark meat chicken can be used. Shredded chicken in one form or another, such as chicken salad, can also be used in chicken sandwiches. Another form is made with cold cuts. Wrap versions of the sandwich can also be made, in which the ingredients are rolled up inside a flatbread, such as a tortilla. Open-faced versions of the sandwich, which feature hot chicken served with gravy on top of bread, are also common variations.


Chicken burger

A chicken burger with bacon in Scotland

Some establishments serving hamburgers also serve chicken sandwiches, giving customers an alternative to beef. Such a sandwich may also be called "chicken on a bun"[4] or "chicken burger" in many countries,[5] and is served on a hamburger bun with similar condiments and toppings as found on hamburgers.[6] While most chicken sandwiches in this context usually use fried or grilled chicken breasts, a chicken burger may also be made of a grilled or fried patty of ground chicken.[7]


Many American fast food restaurant chains, such as Chick-fil-A, KFC, PDQ, and Popeyes, offer chicken sandwiches.

Chick-fil-A claims that it invented the fried chicken sandwich in the 1940s. This claim is unsubstantiated, although the Chick-fil-A southern-style chicken sandwich (served with pickles on a steamed roll), introduced on March 21, 1964, was most likely the first chicken sandwich introduced by a fast food restaurant chain.[8] Other notable vendors of chicken sandwiches include KFC and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Today, most major fast food, fast casual and casual dining chains feature some sort of chicken sandwich, even at restaurants where chicken is not a specialty.

Chicken salad sandwich

Chicken salad served between slices of bread is a chicken sandwich variation seen both in North America and elsewhere.

Regional varieties


In Ireland, the popular chicken fillet roll is a baguette filled with a spicy or plain Southern-fried breaded chicken fillet and a mayonnaise and/or butter spread.[9]


A Quebec-style "hot chicken", topped with green peas

The hot chicken sandwich or simply "hot chicken" (French: sandwich chaud au poulet) is a chicken sandwich covered with gravy eaten with utensils. The sandwich is sometimes served with green peas and commonly found in Eastern Canadian cuisine. It's especially popular in Quebec and is often considered one of the province's staple dishes.[10][11] Since it is so commonly found in eateries of Quebec (Rôtisserie St-Hubert, Valentine, e.g.) and less seen outside the province, many Québécois regard it as a part of Quebec cuisine and believe it to have originated in the province.[10] This combination of chicken, gravy, and peas is known by its own term: galvaude,[10] seen in poutine galvaude.

The sandwich is also found in small diners in the Canadian Maritimes[12] and throughout the Southeastern United States.[13]

The sandwich was a working-class dish already common and well established in North American cuisine by the early 1900s[14] and featured on the food menus of pharmacists and druggists of the time.[15] Due to its ease of preparation and its minimal costs, the sandwich was also widely served in the mess halls and cafeterias of the mid-1900s.[16][17]

This style of sandwich often makes use of leftovers from a previous meal. Substituting turkey for the chicken would make a hot turkey sandwich[18] and substituting roast beef makes a variety of the roast beef sandwich.[19]

Latin America

A pepito prepared with chicken meat

The pepito is a sandwich that is prepared with chicken or beef, beans or refried beans and a roll or bun as primary ingredients. It is a common street food in Mexico and Venezuela.[20][21]

Midwestern United States

Found in Ohio is the shredded chicken sandwich.[22] The sandwich is also referred to as a hot chicken sandwich in rural Ohio. The sandwich consists of shredded chicken, one or more types of condensed soup, seasoning and crushed crackers to help thicken and bind the sauce. This dish can be heated on a stove top or slow cooker. Invented as a way to use leftover chicken, these sandwiches became popular for covered dish dinners, potlucks, church dinners and tailgate parties. They are also sold in small-town restaurants, drive-ins and bars.[23] The sandwich can also be found at "Ohio" community dinners on the Gulf Coast of Florida held by retirees or snowbirds from Ohio.

See also


  1. Murphy, Lynne (2018-03-29). The Prodigal Tongue: The Love–Hate Relationship Between British and American English. Oneworld Publications. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-78607-270-2. ...the British are so particular about sandwiches that they use the word less than Americans do. In Britain, a sandwich is some filing between two slices of bread. Not a roll. Not a bagel. Not a baguette. Without sliced bread, it's not a sandwich. The American sandwich prototype is much like the British: savoury filings within two slices of bread. But American sandwiches are allowed to wander further from the prototype, because they interpret the 'bread' requirement more loosely. An American sandwich can be on a roll, on a bagel, on a bun, on a croissant, and at breakfast time, on an English muffin...{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  2. "14 Names Other Countries Have For Food That Will Confuse Every Aussie". Punkee. 2021-07-30. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  3. "Recipes for tasty, crunchy & saucy American style sandwiches". Unilever Food Solutions. Archived from the original on 2022-02-09. Retrieved 2022-02-09. Expect a blank look if you're in the States and ask for a chicken burger 'cause they ain't got a clue what the hell you're talking about... It's just what we call burgers, Americans call sandwiches...
  4. "Poultry and Egg Marketing". Volume 62. Poultry & Egg News, Incorporated. 1982. Retrieved June 4, 2016. (subscription required)
  5. Lluch, A.A. (2008). The Complete Calorie Fat & Carb Counter. WS Publishing Group. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-934386-34-7. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. Watson, S. (2008). Fast Food. What's in Your Food? Recipe for Disaster. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-4042-1416-3. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. Larsen, L.; Harbin, D. (2009). Knack Grilling Basics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Delicious Recipes. Knack: Make It Easy. Globe Pequot Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-59921-761-1. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. Calia, Michael; Jargon, Julie (September 8, 2014). "Chick-fil-A Founder, a Champion of Conservatism and Chicken, Dies at 93". The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required). Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  9. "Chicken Fillet Roll ·". Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  10. McMillan, David; Morin, Frederic; Erickson, Meredith (October 11, 2011), The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts, Random House Digital, Inc.
  11. Fodor's Travel Publications, Inc. (2011). Fodor's 2011 Montréal and Québec City. Fodors Travel Publications. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4000-0510-9.
  12. Canton, Richard Todd (May 31, 2012), Food for Thought:A Working Man's Guide to Life, iUniverse, ISBN 9781475922301
  13. Edelstein, Sari (October 22, 2010), Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Competency for Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professionals, Jones & Bartlett Learning, ISBN 9780763759650
  14. Greene Fuller, Eva (1909), The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich, Chicago: A. C. McCLURG & CO., OL 20541957M
  15. American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, vol. 58–59, American Druggist Publishing Co., 1911
  16. Richards, Lenore; Treat, Nola (1966), Quantity cookery; menu planning and cooking for large numbers, Little, Brown and Company
  17. Bradley, Alice (1922), Cooking for profit; catering and food service management, Chicago: Home Economics Association
  18. Bauer, Elise. "Hot Turkey Sandwich". Simply Recipes.
  19. Mae, Stella. "Old-Fashioned Hot Open-Faced Roast Beef Sandwich". Genius Kitchen.
  20. Kraig, B.; Sen, C.T. (2013). Street Food Around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 391. ISBN 978-1-59884-955-4. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  21. Santibanez, R.; Goode, JJ; Coleman, T. (2012). Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside Kitchens of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-544-18831-0. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  22. "Cathy's Simple Chicken Sandwiches". Ohio Magazine.
  23. "Shredded Chicken Sandwiches". The Unofficial Home of Shredded Chicken Sandwiches. 2017.

Further reading

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