The infamous “Jesus Chicken” is challenging everything you knew about chicken yet again.
Most commonly known as Chick-Fil-A (CFA), the “Jesus Chicken” has been experimenting with new ways to keep the devoted flowing through their ever-moving drive-thru lines. Now starting on February 13th, they will be offering their first plant-based entrée options. With test sites in Denver, CO, Charleston, SC, and Greensboro, NC opting to try out the new concoction, the company hopes to see if they can bring the vegans back to the alter.
According to CFA leadership, they have been testing this blend for four years after customers told them that they wanted to add more vegetables to their diets. Thus, this idea for breaded vegetables was born. Looking to be different CFA experimented with mushrooms, chickpeas, and chopped vegetables to no avail.
This led them back to their starting block, breaded cauliflower. Already the basis for many “fake chicken” memes, this vegetable best mimics the texture and cooking style of chicken. Marinated, breaded, pressure-cooked, and served on a bun with two slices of pickle, the recipe and presentation of the sandwich otherwise remain unchanged.
For CFA, this sandwich will need to be cardinal sin levels of good if they hope to compete with other food chains and their versions of a plant-based meal.
Burger King in conjunction with Impossible Foods started slinging their Impossible Whopper back in 2019, and it has taken the throne as the top vegetable-based sandwich. In 2021 Mcdonald’s unleashed a McPlant burger with Beyond Meat in the UK, but that has fallen flat in a country that loves bland food. KFC’s Beyond Meat nuggets have been a hot seller since 2022, but it still hasn’t knocked CFA down.
CFA has experienced a slowdown in sales in recent years, with many unwilling to get through the company’s use of profits towards religious-based organizations. Add in their choice to close on Sunday at every location since its inception, and you discover the roots of their loving moniker of “Jesus Chicken”.
Despite their commitment to staying true to their personal values, CFA remains one of the most popular franchise restaurants in the US. With many choosing to pursue their business model given the low cost of entry, it makes sense to offer their food across the country. This choice to go Vegan is just another way to test the market to see what people are willing to consider to satisfy their hunger and save their souls in one trip to the drive-thru.
With the more recent alignment of vegans and the LGTBQ+ community that often opposes CFA, this could lead to a changing of the guard when it comes to their feelings about CFA. While many find it easy to hate the restaurant for their profit-sharing with religious-based organizations with ties to anti-gay camps, the taste of God’s forgiveness along with proof that he loves us and wants us to be happy can come from a number 1 with a frozen lemonade.
Should the meatless chicken sandwich pan out, this could also turn into a whole new segment of advertising for them. As we all remember, Jesus turned water into wine. CFA will have turned boring old cauliflower into an amazing chicken sandwich. While not quite the same thing, it would certainly solidify the moniker of “Jesus Chicken” as not only a real name for the company but that God himself has blessed the organization.
Much like Jesus and despite the accusations to the contrary, he loved the sinners and hated the sin. Yet again, CFA shows signs of walking in his footsteps as they employ people of all backgrounds. No matter the religion, color, or sexual orientation they hire and all give the same “my pleasure” response to any thanks thrown their way. Again, nobody is saying they are Jesus, but the name “Jesus Chicken” really is fitting, even if they are going vegan.