Call them strips, nuggets, fingers, or tenders, those boneless pieces of fried chicken are an American staple. To see whose chicken would make you cross the road, we sent two trained tasters to three different locations of five big restaurant chains: Country Kitchen, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, IHOP, and Perkins. Chicken-finger meals usually include two side dishes: Tasters ordered mashed potatoes and broccoli (carrots at Cracker Barrel).
Bottom line. Perkins (shown) wins. Its fingers were the only ones whose chicken flavor stood up to the crust. Its broccoli tasted freshly steamed, and its potatoes were full flavored. Cracker Barrel’s sides were also tasty, but those from Country Kitchen, IHOP, and Denny’s were less successful: The broccoli was flavorful but waterlogged; the potatoes had that fake-butter flavor found in some microwaved popcorn.