The McDonald’s Chicken Big Mac is only available in Miami, so I drove 4 hours to try it — and figure out how to make it at home

·5 min read
McDonald's has released a Chicken Big Mac in select Miami, Fla. restaurants. (Photos: Josie Maida)
McDonald's has released a Chicken Big Mac in select Miami, Fla. restaurants. (Photos: Josie Maida)

Move over Big Mac, there's a new sandwich in town. Since the debut of the Big Mac in 1968, the classic burger, known for its "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun" jingle has become an icon for the brand and a beloved comfort meal for millions.

While the hit burger could never be replaced, McDonald's locations in Florida are testing out a new twist on the old classic — chicken, meet the Big Mac.

"This small, limited time test in select Miami restaurants is one example of how we're constantly testing new items and flavors to help us learn more about what our fans are craving," a spokesperson from McDonald's tells Yahoo Life of the all-new Chicken Big Mac.

The sandwich, which has only been available for a few weeks in the U.S., follows glowing reviews from a test of the meal conducted earlier this year in the U. K. The test run should come as no surprise, as the chain, along with the entire fast-food industry, have been putting more energy into chicken — especially as "chicken sandwich wars" continue to trend on social media platforms.

While only time will tell if the Chicken Big Mac will be available across the U.S., as a lifetime McDonald's super-fan, I was impressed by my experience with the sandwich. (Photo: Josie Maida)
While only time will tell if the Chicken Big Mac will be available across the U.S., as a lifetime McDonald's super-fan, I was impressed by my experience with the sandwich. (Photo: Josie Maida)

"Chicken continues to be a significant opportunity for us," says McDonald's chief operating officer Chris Kempczinski. "We've got some great global equities already in our McNuggets and with McChicken, but we also have some equities in McCrispy and McSpicy that we think we've got an opportunity to do more with globally. So that's going to be a priority area."

This is not the first time the fast-food giant has tinkered with the Big Mac, as previously, McDonald's has launched limited-time variations of the beloved menu item, including the Grand Mac (a larger version that includes bacon) and Mac Jr. (a smaller version with just one beef patty and no center bun). The question is, will the Chicken Big Mac be next? And how can you get your hands on one without a trip to Miami?

Quite the foodie and a lifetime McDonald's fan myself, I took a nearly four-hour drive to Miami to see first-hand if the Chicken Big Mac was worthy of a permanent placement on menus across the country, and even I was surprised by my findings.

The chicken was a perfect fit in this sandwich and offered a fun new way to enjoy a favorite and to add some variety to my staple order at McDonald's. While the Big Mac will always be number one in my heart, the chicken patties did allow me to taste some of the toppings — like the cheese and the pickles — a little more clearly than when they are on the burger.

My Chicken Big Mac meal, acquired by driving to a Miami McDonald's. (Photo: Josie Maida)
My Chicken Big Mac meal, acquired by driving to a Miami McDonald's. (Photo: Josie Maida)

This new sandwich also provides an opportunity for some McDonald's fans to experience a Big Mac for the first time. "I've never had a Big Mac before, because I don't eat ground beef," shares Sarai Grace Smith, a lifestyle content creator from Orlando, Fla. "I was really excited to be able to try my first Big Mac with the Chicken Big Mac. I didn't have any expectations beforehand, but I absolutely loved it. I kept going back for more.'

Fans across the nation are dying to get a bite of the sandwich — but can it be recreated by creating a special order at McDonald's locations that aren't carrying it? The answer is a bit tricky.

"The Chicken Big Mac being tested in select Miami restaurants cannot currently be replicated in restaurants not serving the menu item," reports a spokesperson from McDonald's.

Why? Because, "the Chicken Big Mac is made with a new chicken tempura patty, inspired by our Chicken McNuggets, and is different than the patty used in our McChicken," they explain.

After trying the sandwich, myself, I would agree the chicken does, in fact, taste different from the chicken on any of the other sandwiches the chain carries nationally. The outside is golden brown and has a crunchy lightness only tempura can bring. Plus, the classic McChicken patty has stronger notes of black pepper, which are noticeably missing from the Chicken Big Mac.

However, if you want to try recreating the flavors of the Chicken Big Mac at your home McDonald's store all hope is not lost.

To get as close as possible to the Chicken Big Mac, there are a few drive-through orders that should get you almost there.

First up, order a classic Big Mac and two McChickens, with the Big Mac sauce on the side to reduce mess during assembly. Switch out the burger patties for the chicken patties, top with the Big Mac sauce and enjoy.

Another option? Order the McCrispy chicken sandwich and add on the lineup of toppings from a Big Mac. (Try not to sing the jingle at the drive-through speaker.) This chicken is a thicker cut, so I wouldn't recommend it for a double stack. And while the bun is very different, I believe it would be a fun replacement to try.

As a lifelong McDonald's super-fan and a Big Mac purist, I say welcome to the Chicken Big Mac. I hope to see it on menus across the country soon.

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