The Disappearance of the Chicken McCrispy
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Long before the ‘McWings’, McDonald's served REAL fried chicken. The LAO DA of McWings was called the ‘Chicken McCrispy’. Think two pieces of THICC juicy chicken, served with a special Chicken McCrispy Sweet Chilli Sauce.
Let’s throw it back to 1998 when a superhero duo, “Flash Fry” and “Steam Marinate”, descended upon our sunny island. The two used their combined powers to create the perfect pieces of succulent chicken.
In 2002, the fan-favourite suddenly disappeared without a trace.
The departure of McCrispy felt like a bad break-up. Singaporeans were ghosted before the term ghosting even existed. In an attempt to gain closure, we here at Wiki.sg CSI-ed the situation and unearthed 3 possible theories for this McMystery.
Theory Number #1: The Copyright Final Boss
These two were the iconic mascots for the Chicken McCrispy, starring in their very own comics. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the duo.
Like every superhero, they encountered their final boss in the form of COPYRIGHT. ‘Flash Fry’ shared one too many similarities with DC superhero ‘The Flash’, from his name to his flashy fashion sense. ‘Flash Fry’ then changed his name to ‘Fast Fry’ which made him a bit more of a special snowflake.
But maybe even the name change wasn’t enough to defeat this final boss, leading to the end of the superhero duo and the Chicken McCrispy.
Theory Number #2: The Great Fried Chicken Battle
The rookie Chicken McCrispy attracted the attention of a formidable rival - the old-timer of fried chicken in the fast food industry, KFC.
KFC had always taken pride in their ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ chicken, yet the Chicken McCrispy had people saying ‘I’m Lovin’ It’. In 1999 alone, it was reported that Singapore’s McDonalds had sold 10 million Chicken McCrispy(s).
This sent KFC into emergency mode, and they did what they could to knock out the competition. We’re talking promos and discounted prices, which had every Singaporean weak at the knees.
True 90s kids would remember this glorious time where both the fast food giants offered their fried chicken at the economical price of $1.
No one knows for sure who exactly came out victorious. With the disappearance of the Chicken McCrispy, perhaps McDonald's may have chickened out of the competition.
Theory Number #3: The Preparation Problem
We’ve all heard cautionary tales of that high maintenance partner. But who knew that the Chicken McCrispy was like that?
Normal consumers don’t know this but the prep for the McCrispy was more leceh than simply deep-frying frozen chicken pieces. Here’s the tea.
According to internal sources, special commercial-grade machines like the “re-thermaliser” and “thermaliser” were purchased just for the Chicken McCrispy. And these fancy-sounding machines did NOT come cheap.
The “re-thermaliser” was a special steam machine. It looks like a deep fryer, but instead of oil, it relies on hot water to evenly heat up frozen foods. The thawed chicken pieces were placed in it for 2.5 hours. After which, the chicken pieces were fast fried in a deep fryer.
It doesn’t end there, the chicken pieces were then placed in the ‘thermaliser’ oven for that extra juicy crunch.
All this prep and added expense for a single menu item... maybe Ronald McDonald figured it ain’t worth it after all.
Unfortunately, the Chicken McCrispy also generated large amounts of food waste. The exact number of McCrispy pieces to cook for the day was determined by a sales projection. Whatever cooked chicken that was left over had to be thrown out as the McCrispy would turn soggy if stored for too long.
If food wastage was one of the reasons why McDonald’s discontinued the product, we have to give them props for being woke at the time.
The Chicken McCrispy was a hit with Singaporeans, so when it disappeared we were all pretty shook. But although McCrispy left the shelves, it’s safe to say that it never left our hearts.
With the revival of the McGriddles burger just earlier this year, the hopeful question remains... Will we see a similar revival of the much-loved and missed McCrispy? Let us know what you think.