KFC has fired off a warning shot to McDonald’s as it launched its “best chicken sandwich ever” on Thursday.

The sandwich is made up of a quarter-pound of all-white meat chicken breast that has been double breaded extra crispy and topped with the Colonel’s real mayo or spicy sauce and thicker pickles on a toasted and buttered brioche bun.

The new chicken sandwich will be offered as a standalone menu option for $3.99 or as part of a combo meal with fries and drink for $6.99.

The new chicken sandwich will be available in select markets starting on Thursday and will roll out to all 4,000 KFC restaurants in the U.S. by the end of February.

To find out if the chicken sandwich is available at a local restaurant, KFC recommends using its sandwich tracker at KFC.com/findthesandwich, which the company said will be updated daily.

The news of the KFC chicken sandwich comes as McDonald’s confirmed that it is introducing three new chicken sandwiches to its menu – a classic, deluxe, and spicy – once again heating up the chicken sandwich wars.

In 2019, Popeyes went head-to-head against Chick-fil-A with a chicken sandwich that created a great debate on social media and long lines at its restaurant as customers clamored to try the new sandwich. Throughout 2019, several restaurants introduced their own version of the chicken sandwich, adding fuel to the year’s chicken war, which seems to have erupted once again in 2021.

For KFC, the plan to launch a new chicken sandwich in 2021 was planned last year as the chicken chain tested it in Orlando last spring.

Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer at KFC U.S., said the chicken sandwich “nearly doubled” the company’s “sales expectations.”

“We knew that we had a winner,” she said. “Many customers hadn't considered KFC as a part of the chicken sandwich conversation, but anyone who tastes this sandwich will know, without a doubt, that we're playing to win.”

KFC said it “painstakingly” tested each ingredient to find a winning combination that complemented its fried chicken recipe. It tested pickles with eight variations of thickness and worked with six different bakeries on more than 10 recipes to find the perfect bun.

The results, KFC said, will “delight the most decerning of chicken sandwich connoisseurs in every way.”

KFC Best Ever Chicken Sandwich KFC has announced the launch of a new chicken sandwich, and the world-famous fried chicken purveyors say it's their best sandwich ever. Photo: KFC