National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day – November 9, 2019

Sat Nov 9

What is National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day

Is there anything better than biting into a fresh, fried chicken sandwich? Hearing the crunch and feeling the crisp texture of the fried batter over the juicy slice of chicken beneath it? The buttery, warm roll with mayo and crisp cold pickles. That experience merits a lot of respect, which is why we take National Chicken Sandwich Day seriously over here.

History of National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day

Chick-fil-A allegedly invented the fried chicken sandwich sometime in the 1940s, according to the company. But, recipes and many historians believe that Scottish chicken frying techniques (lard and no seasoning) and West African chicken pan frying techniques (palm oil, lots of seasoning) were combined by enslaved African and African-Americans in the antebellum South and, thusly, fried chicken as we know it was born. 
 
Is it possible that someone happened to put a deliciously, golden crispy slice of fried chicken between two slices of bread with a couple pickles during that time? Yes. In fact, ads found in newspapers for fried chicken sandwiches pre-date the time period that Chick-fil-A claims to have invented it. 
 
It’s great marketing on Chick-fil-A’s part, but faulty history. The inventor of the fried chicken sandwich is (probably) just as shrouded and forgotten in history’s greasy pages as the inventor of fried chicken itself — or dumplings, or empanadas for that matter. It’s become such a staple in our cuisine it’s hard to pinpoint its advent to one person.
 
And, while the fried chicken sandwich has thrusted its way into cultural ubiquity, its roots are marred in Jim Crow-era racism. Post Civil War, African American individuals weren’t allowed to raise expensive meats (such as steak and pork) so were relegated to rearing chickens, which is how the stereotype of associating African Americans with the dish came about. It was often all they could make, so they made the best of it. 
 
But over time the delicious appeal of fried chicken spread its proverbial wings and took flight into the hearts of Americans everywhere. It’s hard to deny the combination of fatty cuts of chicken, marinated in buttermilk, dredged in spices and batter, and then deep fried in oil as anything other than delicious. 

National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day - Survey Results

 

National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day timeline

November 2019

The king is back

After a brief hiatus, Popeyes returns its chicken sandwich to stores, once again inciting a cultural frenzy.  

August 2019

Popeyes vs. Chic-fil-A

Popeyes releases its first ever fried chicken sandwich to compete against Chick-fil-A's and sparks a frenzy, where lines down the block take hours to order the sandwich. 

 1940s

A sandwich is born again

Chick-fil-A claims that it invented the fried chicken sandwich in the 1940s, which is false but great marketing. 

1930s

Nashville Hot Chicken Blazes a Trail

The city's infamous hot fried chicken was born out of alleged revenge for infidelity that backfired and became a city's staple cuisine. 

Early 1900s

Quebecois Infiltrates America

The Quebec version of a hot chicken sandwich is chicken with bread smothered in poutine gravy. It's sustenance and easy prep make it a staple in most cafeterias and drug stores at the turn of the century. 

1800s

Fried chicken modernized

During antebellum America, enslaved individuals combined the West African and Scottish techniques of frying chicken to create the style we know today. 

1700s

Great Scott, it's chicken time

The Scottish start immigrating to America, one of the first purveyors of fried chicken who used heavy amounts of lard but no seasoning. 

National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day Traditions

Waiting in line
Because of the current craze it may take a little while to get a chicken sandwich. Pass the time in line by bringing a chair or a good book. Invite your friends. Play some board games. 
 
Eating chicken sandwiches
This one is pretty obvious, but eating fried chicken sandwiches on National Chicken Sandwich Day is, in fact, a tradition of the day. 

National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day FAQs

Is there a National Chicken Day?

Yes, basically. July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, which isn’t National Chicken Day, but very close. 
 

What is World Sandwich Day?

World Sandwich Day is a day where 8 billion people all eat sandwiches. Just kidding… kind of. It’s a day where everyone regardless of nationality or location appreciates delicious sandwiches. 
 

What day is National Salad Day?

National Salad Day may not be a thing but National Salad Month is in May, so pick a day in May and that’s it!
 

National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day Activities

  1. Eat a Chicken Sandwich

    This one's a layup, go out and eat a fried chicken sandwich if you want to take part in the day's traditions!

  2. Popeyes vs. Chick-fil-A

    If you really want to get involved in the cultural dialogue, grab one from each of these two locations and let everyone know your hot take on the current zeitgeist. 

  3. Host your own chicken fry

    Invite your friends over, get the oil ready, and prepare for an afternoon of greasy, yummy fried chicken with some of your favorite people. Is there anything better?

Why We Love National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day

  1. It's delicious

    It's probably one of our tastier days, if we do say so ourselves. It's hard to beat perfectly fried chicken already, add the combination and the contrasts of flavors, textures, and spices and you get a winning food experience that's really out of this world. 

  2. It's the "thing"

    Fried chicken sandwiches have always been popular but now, because of Popeyes, it's part of the cultural zeitgeist. If local news channels are covering the Popeyes frenzy then you know that the craze has permeated into the daily fabric of being in America. 

  3. You can do it at home

    It may be a little messy, but frying chicken is something you can do at home with your friends and family. If you're not into waiting in lines, get that oil and the batter ready and fry it up!

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#NationalChickenSandwichDay #FriedChicken #friedchickensandwich #chickensandwich

National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day dates
YearDateDay
2019November 9Saturday
2020November 9Monday
2021November 9Tuesday
2022November 9Wednesday
2023November 9Thursday