Hardee’s Fried Chicken of the 90s

Hardees Fried Chicken

Like most other American households in the 1980s, when my family wanted fried chicken, we got it from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not KFC, but Kentucky Fried Chicken. We weren’t all metro back in those days using just the initials to identify the fast food chain. Other than the price, not much has changed from then to now. You can still get an 8-piece bucket of chicken, along with two family sides, and four biscuits. It’s an American staple at this point.

But then in the early ’90s comes Hardees with their fried chicken offerings. The chain had purchased the Roy Rogers chain and started using their recipe to sell fried chicken in a good deal of their locations. Not having a Roy Rogers anywhere close to here, we were totally unfamiliar with their brand of chicken.

Coupon for Hardee’s Fried Chicken Family Meal, Johnson City Press 1995

My family was a little skeptical in the beginning for a couple of reasons. One was the fact that here is this burger chain selling fried chicken all of a sudden. It was as foreign of a concept as Kentucky Fried Chicken starting to sell Big Macs would have been. And two, how is anyone going to compete with the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices? Well, the answer to that part is they couldn’t, but Hardee’s could certainly compete with the Colonel’s extra crispy recipe. The chicken at Hardee’s was of the extra crispy variety, which I loved, but the bigger draw was the biscuits.

The biscuits at Hardee’s have always been at the top of the fast food biscuit world, and because they were now selling fried chicken, you could get their signature biscuits at any time during the day. It was almost like a little slice of heaven had fallen to earth. But the chicken and biscuits combo proved to be a good one, and for a while there, my family switched to Hardees when the craving for fried chicken hit, and we didn’t really go away from it until Hardee’s pulled it from their menus around these parts. But I still think back on it and remember fondly all of the weekends at the lake, busy evenings after school, and Sunday afternoons eating Hardee’s fried chicken and biscuits while watching my NASCAR with my old man.

3 thoughts on “Hardee’s Fried Chicken of the 90s

  1. I miss EVERYTHING about HARDEE’S of the 80s and 90s. In fact, you’ve inspired me to do a post about my memories soon! I have had this chicken at a couple locations during past travels, while I remember it being good.. those biscuits sealed the deal. Gosh.. you’ve triggered ALL KINDS of memories brother! Awesome post.

  2. I remember when this was introduced. My family didn’t really get fried chicken on the regular, and when they did, it was usually KFC, but if I could convince my mom to stop for a drink (which she was wont to do when we were out and about, running errands and the like), they’d give away samples, and I’d usually manage to get a free wing or maybe drumstick… probably more than I should have, looking back. Didn’t know any better at the time (and some people would be “they’re a big corporation, take them for all they’re worth!), but I do feel a little guilty about sampling and rarely, if ever, buying it while it was around.

Join in the conversation!