Review of McDonald’s Spicy Sriracha Mighty Angus & Spicy Sriracha Country Chicken
Welcome to what I hope will be the first of many reviews from McDonald’s Canada. Our Twitter buddy EVH recently got in touch to provide us this excellent review of the Spice it up range.
Spicy Sriracha Mighty Angus
What they say:
Juicy, tangy and a little spicy, it’s made with 100% Canadian Angus beef, hickory smoked bacon pieces, lettuce, processed cheddar cheese and topped with sliced jalapenos, Sriracha sauce and an Applewood smoke seasoned sauce all on a sesame and poppy seed bun.
Price: $6.39 for the burger only (approx. £3.76), $9.39 (£5.53) for a medium meal.
Calories: 750 kcal.
Spicy Sriracha Country Chicken
What they say:
Made with seasoned Canadian chicken breast, topped with lettuce and white processed cheddar cheese, but this time we’ve added sliced jalapenos, Sriracha sauce and an Applewood smoke seasoned sauce served on a sesame and poppy seed glazed bun, so it comes with some kick. It’s nice and spicy!
Price: $6.09 for the burger only (approx. £3.55), $9.10 (£5.30) for a medium meal.
Calories: 570 kcal.
Three or four years ago, everyone discovered Sriracha: friends were buying enormous bottles of Flying Goose and liberally dousing everything in it, from stir-fries to French fries. Back then it was largely championed by independent chains and people growing enormous beards, so a good indicator that something has completely – possibly ruinously – entered the mainstream is when McDonald’s puts it in, on, or around one of its menu items.
Say hello to the Spicy Sriracha Mighty Angus and Country Chicken burgers from McDonald’s Canada.
For those of you not familiar with the Sriracha phenomenon, it’s a Thai-style hot sauce that’s not really very hot. As someone who rates their hot sauces on whether or not they’ve gone slightly blind and/or sweat is dripping across their eyeballs, Sriracha tends to be at the very low end of the scale – it won’t scare anyone off unless their staple order in a curry house is a chicken pasanda accompanied by a jug of mango laasi.
However, that is exactly what you’d expect from McDonald’s – they don’t want to go around burning children’s tongues with Dr. Burnorium’s Psycho Juice.
Even so, they’ve have gone a step further towards fending off that spritely capsaicin by including an Applewood seasoned sauce to envelop the heat in a creamy, smoky embrace.
And it works.
The thing about Sriracha is that it can often overpower its food pairing through the sheer punch of its savoury, salty strength, but the smoky Applewood sauce calms this down and pairs wonderfully with the Angus patty. (Word of warning, there is quite a lot of sauce on this burger, so if you like your burgers dry then this might not be for you).
The Angus patty is a marked improvement on the usual Quarter Pounder offering from McDonald’s – much meatier and beefier – and something that hopefully we’ll be seeing more of in the future. McDonald’s Mexico already has a whole Angus range – great if you’re feeling somewhat worse for wear after a night in Coco Bongo’s, allegedly – and it’s something that will almost certainly go down rather well in the UK.
The build on this burger was exceptional. The lettuce was fresh and in the right proportions to the rest of the ingredients; the jalapeños were numerous but of the pickled variety and so didn’t have the more forceful kick of freshly cut chillies. This is probably a good thing – they serve as a quiet pint rather than a shot of tequila.
Little to no construction work was required on my part so I was able to just crack on.
The Spicy Sriracha Mighty Angus differs from the Country Chicken in more ways than just the meat itself, and one such difference is the inclusion of hickory smoked bacon pieces. Bacon is, at best, a hit or miss ingredient on most mass-produced burgers – sometimes it’s leftover from breakfast; often it’s soggy and lifeless, a sad damp squib of pork that promised so much crispy joy. On this occasion it was just as it was described – firm and smoky, adding both bite and flavour.
The sesame and poppy seed bun is also slightly different to the glazed variety found surrounding the Country Chicken and it held together admirably in the face of the sauce deluge but without being overly firm or ‘preserved’ in the way so many ‘stay fresh’ type buns can be.
You’ll notice that the focus has thus far remained largely on the beef offering, rather than the chicken: this is because the Spicy Sriracha Mighty Angus eclipsed the Country Chicken somewhat.
The reason for this is three fold. Firstly, whilst the chicken was nicely crispy and had a slight smokiness to it, it just didn’t match the distinctive flavour of the Angus – perhaps it can’t quite stand up to the power of the rest of the ingredients.
Secondly, the bun wasn’t as good, and when combined with the breaded coating on the chicken, made for a much more cloying bite.
Finally, the build wasn’t quite as good as it was with the Angus. I had to open the bun up and do a fair bit of rearranging – lettuce, jalapeños, sauce distribution – before digging in. The ingredients were all good; they just didn’t quite click in the same way.
Sriracha sauce may be a bandwagon that McDonald’s is a little late to clamber aboard, but it’s one that’s produced a really good burger in the Mighty Angus and a more than acceptable, if not outstanding, chicken variation. Perhaps their version of a ramen burger isn’t far behind.