VIDEO.  McDo, KFC or Burger King: which fried chicken tastes better?

VIDEO. McDo, KFC or Burger King: which fried chicken tastes better?

Pascal Verhille approaches the container and with his gloved hands pushes the green plastic covering it: 1 ton of meat appears before our eyes. “You see, this is a very good chicken fillet, boneless, very good quality,” he comments, grabbing a shiny piece of solid size. These are really chicken breasts. » We are located in Cargill, near Orleans, in a factory that supplies Chicken McNuggets to 70% of McDonald’s restaurants in France. And Pascal Verhille, its director of quality, has just refuted with corroborating evidence a persistent rumor: no, the fast food chain’s famous fried chicken pieces are not made from chicken! “It’s part of the nugget legend,” he laments. The McDonald’s recipe only consists of French-style chicken fillet. “And point to the label that says the name of the supplier, a slaughterhouse in Brittany. The meat received every morning is minced and then poured into a blender.

What we see next at the factory has nothing to do with another legend launched online in 2012 with a photo of a huge pink marshmallow being presented as raw material for McNuggets … rumors, he said. After shredding, the chicken is mixed with a marinade consisting of salt, natural chicken flavor and potato starch. It then passes through a machine where it is molded into four predetermined shapes resembling a ball, a bell, a boot, and a bone. On the production line, small pieces are wrapped in breadcrumbs and dough, covered with oil, frozen, packed in plastic bags, and then placed in cardboard boxes. “Here is a product that is delivered to restaurants,” explains Pascal Verhille. On the box, the label reads: “Chicken McNuggets no dyes, no preservatives, no artificial flavors and 100% French tenderloin. »

Foods high in fat

On the other hand, judging by the list on the side of the box, there are still a good fifteen ingredients in them. It’s a lot ! What effect does this recipe have on consumer health? “The nugget is supposed to be a breaded chicken croquette, so we expect it to be both calorie-rich and fatty and not very interesting from a nutritional point of view,” explains Vanessa Bejai-Haddad, a dietitian-nutritionist from Paris. We compared McNuggets from McDonald’s, Newggets from Burger King, and KFC’s flagship recipe, Chicken Tenders, to it. Indeed, this fried poultry brand does not offer nuggets. “

The fattest one is clearly McDonald’s nuggets,” says our expert, after wiping off the oil from the three products with paper towels. “And I almost want to say that there is as much breading as meat.” We check on a scale: 53% meat for McDonald’s, 47% meat for Burger King and 57% meat for KFC. Side note: McDonald’s and Burger King’s “meat” is actually more than just meat, since as we saw at Cargill, chicken is mixed with starch, flavorings, and salt before breading. “KFC tenders have more chicken, so nutritionally more protein,” explains Vanessa Bejai-Haddad. You can actually see the fibers in the meat. “It is in the direction of KFC that the health specialist is preferred.

Winner by taste

What about taste? We asked him what he thinks of Gregory Marchand, Frenchie’s celebrity chef, who also runs upscale fast food restaurant FTG, where he cooks his own superb fried chicken. “It’s a bit like eating chicken-flavored papier-mâché,” he says blindfolded after biting into a McDonald’s nugget. And Burger King? “I have less butter flavor than for the previous one. » The last fried chicken, the chef recognizes it immediately by touch: “This KFC is tender, that’s for sure. And in the mouth? “Frankly, it has nothing to do: there is a crunchy breading and a chicken texture. Although a little dry. In its ranking, KFC (4.20 euros per 100 g) takes first place, well ahead of Burger King (3.16 euros per 100 g) and then McDonald’s (3.62 euros per 100 g).

“My kids go to McDonald’s from time to time, but we really should avoid supporting this industrial food,” concludes Gregory Marchand. And obviously, as we saw at Cargill, McNuggets are far from a artisanal product… However, if you want to eat fried chicken at a fast food restaurant, there are three things you need to remember. First, KFC Tenders are tastier and healthier than nuggets. Then, if you are a nugget lover, know that the recipe is much less terrible than it is made out to be. Finally, in any case, use these products only occasionally!