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Food and Leisure

'Supremely moist': Jollibee's Chickenjoy reigns as best fast-food fried chicken in US

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
'Supremely moist': Jollibee's Chickenjoy reigns as best fast-food fried chicken in US
Jollibee's Chickenjoy reigned supreme over 15 other brands including American favorites in a taste test conducted by an American food web site.
Jollibee via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines —  After four rounds of competing in four categories that included 16 fried chicken brands, Jollibee's Chickenjoy managed to win the hearts of the staff of a popular American food website as the "Best Fast-Food Fried Chicken" in the United States.

Admittedly a subjective taste test that had "no criteria" of judging other than to "follow their hearts," the staff of the American food website Eater adjudged the Chickenjoy as the best among all the different types of fried chickens they had tasted. 

The final round saw a Philippines vs. South Korea match-up in a round of 16 that quickly progressed into the knockout stages, leading to the last two "dark horses." 

Interestingly, the competition saw the two non-American finalists being pitted with classic American brands that have also set up shops in the Philippines such as McDonald's, KFC, Popeyes, Burger King, Wendy's, Wingstop, Shake Shack and Panda Express. 

The categories were Bones, No Bones, Sandwiched and Sauced. The challenge strictly observed no repetition of brands in each category. The Chickenjoy was categorized in the Bones category, while Bonchon was lumped into the Sauced category. 

The final verdict landed on Eater's special projects editor, Lesley Suter, who was described as a writer who have "masterminded dozens of fried chicken stories." 

Suter admitted that she lived a block away from a Jollibee branch and has not even tried it in the six years since it opened. 

"My loss, it turns out," Suter began.

"The subtly seasoned skin is as tectonically crunchy as advertised, if loosely attached in such a way as to be able to slide off an entire hunk with one bite. (This actually proved to be a plus, when, two hours later, I dug in with my fingers for a skin-only snack.) But the real surprise here was the chicken itself: satisfyingly light, flavorful in a 'tastes like chicken' sort of way, and supremely moist. That was the aspect my kids enjoyed most, too — my 5 year old won’t eat any meat with too dry or stringy a texture, and he plowed through two drumsticks of this stuff."

Suter was not initially a fan of Jollibee's signature gravy with its "hefty dose of sugar" and thought it unremarkable.  

"Jollibee’s signature gravy is more than just an optional dunk; it completes the dish, gelatinous in a way I can only describe as naughty, while proudly showing its Filipino colors with a hefty dose of sugar. On its own, the gravy is unremarkable bordering on weird, but slathered on a bite of Chickenjoy, the sweetish gravy brings out a whole other realm of flavor — bright, tangy, rich. It’s the chicken’s perfect complement," the editor wrote. 

In the end, Suter said that Jollibee and Bonchon will be part of her regular visits, but the popular Filipino fast food joint is the ultimate victor because its store is a two-minute walk from her house. 

RELATED: Jollibee continues international expansion

CHICKENJOY

JOLLIBEE

JOLLIBEE AND CHICKENJOY

JOLLIBEE FOODS CORP

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