Friday, October 22 2021

George W. Church opened the first Church’s Chicken To-Go in 1952 across from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Today, there are over 1,500 fast food chain establishments nationwide specializing in fried chicken. Church’s is all about big portions, bold flavors, and lots of Southern-inspired food, including food that, yes, is fried and delicious. If you’re trying to make smart choices, there are still plenty of choices on the Church’s Chicken menu that you can always indulge in.

So, before heading to your next meal at Church’s Chicken, find out about your best and worst menu options.

Main dishes

Courtesy of Church’s Chicken

By sandwich: 420 calories, 26 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 1,020 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 11 g protein

With a reasonable amount of calories and saturated fat, this sandwich is one of the best choices on the menu. Just make sure to pair it with a calorie-free drink and a healthier side dish.

churches butterfly chicken shrimp
Church Chicken / Facebook

Per 8 shrimps (110 g): 320 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1390 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 12 g protein

Most of the main dishes on this menu are fried, and these butterfly shrimp are no different (hence the 31 grams of carbs). But if you’re heading to Church’s Chicken to scratch your itch for fried foods, the calories are the most reasonable in this choice.

church chicken on the cob sandwich
COB Church Chicken / Facebook

By sandwich: 810 calories, 55 g of fat (9 g of saturated fat), 1460 mg of sodium, 26 g of carbohydrates (1 g of fiber, 4 g of sugar), 27 g of protein

While a cob sandwich may look like a healthy salad between two slices of bread, it isn’t. See here, a cob sandwich means chicken breast, and this bad boy is building up almost 41% of your average daily calories, 45% of the recommended daily maximum for saturated fat, and 63% of the recommended daily maximum for sodium. All this without a side dish or a drink!

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

spicy chicken thigh from the churches
Chris C./Yelp

By thigh: 380 calories, 25 g of fat (6 g of saturated fat), 880 mg of sodium, 21 g of carbohydrates (1 g of fiber, 0 g of sugar), 17 g of protein

While you may see 380 calories per fried thigh, you typically eat more than one. So you can easily accumulate 760 or 1140 calories by eating 2 or 3 thighs respectively. Eating multiple thighs will also build up saturated fat, sodium, and artery-clogging carbs – definitely a menu item to ignore.

Sauces

hot sauce with church chicken
Mel D./Yelp

Per 4 g: 5 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 0 g protein

If you want to add flavor without too many calories, hot sauce is a fabulous option. It is extremely low in calories and free of saturated fat. It contains sodium and sugar, but a little hot sauce does a lot of good.

boat sauce
Shutterstock

Per 425 g: 250 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 1,750 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 2 g protein

While fried chicken can be very tasty coated in sauce, it is also made with a lot of fat. A large serving of sauce has 30% of the recommended daily maximum for saturated fat and 76% of the recommended daily maximum for sodium, and that’s on your side!

Accompaniments & Sweets

green beans
Shutterstock

By small portion: 45 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 840 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein

If you’re looking to add a vegetable to your meal without too much added fat, look no further. These green beans also aren’t fried, which is a nice change from many of the other options that have a crispy breading here.

churches chicken jalapeno peppers
Church Chicken / Yelp

Per portion: 5 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein

Eat these jalapeño peppers whole or squeeze the juice over your chicken. Church’s Chicken Eaters have been doing this since 1952. And they didn’t realize how low calorie jalapeños are!

okra chicken churches
Chicken Chuch / Facebook

By large portion: 740 calories, 41 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 2,100 mg sodium, 84 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 9 g protein

You might be craving this Southern veggie, but these bite-sized chunks are deep-fried and packed with more calories than you need in an entire meal. It also contains more carbohydrates than five slices of bread!


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