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The battle of the chicken nugget

In the 1950s, a Cornell food science professor Robert C. Baker created the chicken nugget. This new invention of a small round of chicken —  coated in batter, then deep fried — was dubbed the ‘Chicken Crispy.’ At the time, the meat industry was facing two extreme challenges in regards to chicken: How to clump meat together without skin, and how to make a batter that could be frozen and deep fried without detaching from the meat. Baker’s new invention solved both of those issues, and in doing so created a staple of American cuisine. Today, Americans consume 2.3 billion servings of chicken nuggets annually and the nugget has since become celebrated for its convenience and taste.

Shake Shack

Known for its chicken sandwiches, burgers and milkshakes, Shake Shack in Larkspur Landing has a great atmosphere, and even better chicken. With a minimal wait time, the nuggets come out piping hot. The fried batter coating the nugget is thin and deliciously crispy, and the overall nugget is soft but not soggy. There is a fair amount of grease coating the nugget, but its presence does not distract from the flavor. For six nuggets and the delicious ‘Shake Sauce’ all for the price of $6.39, Shake Shack’s nugget is always a great option.

Burger King

With its menu full of classics and affordable prices, the only Burger King in Marin is bound to wow you. $1.19 for a four-piece nugget is certainly not breaking the bank. Although it is not the typical choice for chicken nuggets, I was delighted by it. Steaming hot, this nugget’s composition is unwavering. The batter is crunchy without being too tough, and the overall nugget holds its shape perfectly with just the right amount of grease. The location was easily accessible and had the added convenience of a drive thru. Available on Doordash and Postmates, this nugget is convenient, dirt cheap and delicious. 

KFC

Excited to try nuggets from the ‘King of Fried Chicken,’ I ended up being disappointed by the price and service I received. After clarifying my order of nuggets twice, I still received a box of tenders, which were similar to nuggets but not ideal. More shocking than this error was the $16.99 price for six tenders. However, it is important to note that this KFC location is split with a Taco Bell, so mistakes are bound to happen. 

Crispy and tender, Jack in the Box chicken nuggets are affordable and delicious.

Jack in the Box

This nugget was incredibly similar to Burger King, but the flavor of the chicken is slightly different. It is slightly more stale than the previous nuggets on the list, but it is still an enjoyable experience. With a price tag of $1.59 for a five-piece chicken nugget, Jack in the Box is definitely a smart and delicious move. 

Starbird

A favorite for Marin youth, Starbird has mastered the combination of convenient and yummy food with an enjoyable atmosphere and good prices. As a fan of the tenders, I was excited to try their new menu addition, chicken nuggets. The Starbird nuggets are by far the firmest out of all the other nuggets and not overly stale. However, they are the most expensive out of all the nuggets, with six costing $8.97. The chicken has great flavor but it lacks the subtle crisp and easy bite necessary to the perfect nugget

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About the Contributor
Gabriella Rouas, Data Analyst
Gabriella Rouas is a senior at Redwood High School and is a data analyst for the Redwood Bark. Gabriella likes to spend her time reading books, exploring new places around the Bay Area and watching new movies!