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The Sandwich: Parmesan Spiked Chicken Feathers

Where: The Chickery, 1300 Connecticut Ave. NW

Price: $8.95, including one side

Bread: White sandwich roll

Stuffings: Parmesan-crusted chicken breasts, iceberg lettuce, dill, cucumber ranch dressing

Thickness: 4.5 inches

Pros: With a crunchy and slightly nutty-flavored crust and juicy interior, these feathers (so named because they’re wider and flatter than nuggets or fingers) hit the spot for fried chicken cravings. Though shredded iceberg lettuce usually seems unnecessary in a sandwich, it cuts through the weight of the triple-stacked chicken. Paired with a ranch sauce, the result is a grownup version of the McChicken that tastes much fresher than the $1 alternative.

Cons: The stuffed sandwich is packed with ingredients, but not flavor. While the crust tastes like salt and parmesan, the chicken itself is actually quite bland. More tasteless still is the ranch dressing, which lacks any hint of garlic, onion, pepper, or salt. When mixed with dill and cucumber, the sauce becomes a slightly bitter, watered-down mayonnaise.

Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 4. The chicken feathers are three inches wider than the bun and piled so high that the structure can barely stand. The sandwich is barely contained on the tray it’s served on, sending crumbs, lettuce, and chunks of chicken onto the table. Fortunately, the restaurant keeps forks handy at each table should you need to reassemble.

Overall score (1 to 5): 3. Skip the sandwich and order the feathers on their own. You won’t have to worry about the slightly stale bun or lettuce flying all over the place, plus the other dipping sauces offered—like ginger-jalapeno plum and smoky ancho barbecue—promise much more flavor.

Photo by Caroline Jones