Yesterday KFC sent us a ridiculous four buckets of their latest chicken — which is reportedly marinated in Tabasco for 24 hours. We ate a lot of it.
Here’s what we thought.
Mark Serrels, Managing Editor
I mean, it’s KFC chicken. That’s a positive from the outset. Giving into the KFC compulsion is beautiful experience when it happens.
So, being quite honest, I was too deep in the ‘oh my god screw diets I’m eating fried chicken’ high of consumption to really properly digest the difference between normal KFC and the ‘new’ chicken I was consuming.
My gut feeling: it wasn’t very spicy. I wanted it to be spicier. But whatevs, it’s still KFC chicken. I’m a fan.
Danny Allen, Publisher
Listen, I know my KFC. My first ever job was at KFC and I still eat it once a week even though I should cut back. 24 hour Tabasco soak? I get the Southern chicken tie-in and it is spicier than the normal Zinger spice. Can I get it on a cheese and bacon Tabasco Zinger *burger*? If so, totally would. But if anyone at KFC is listening: bring on the Vietnamese chilli chicken. Fusion Mr Sanders, sweet, spicy finger lickin’ fusion.
Amanda Yeo, Night Editor
All I’ve wanted from KFC for a long time is a drumstick in a Wicked Wing coating. These assorted chicken pieces are the closest I’ve come. They’re like Wicked Wings’ weird cousin, with a similar crispy exterior, and I was thrilled that they didn’t skew closer to the soggy Original Recipe. Though the Tabasco-marinated chicken skin didn’t seem quite as crispy, it’s barely worth mentioning and did not impede my enjoyment of the chicken pieces.
However, though the new recipe claims to be hot and spicy, it is a spicy for people who don’t eat spice. When I first bit into it, I had to ask, “Is this meant to be spicy?” I could subtly detect what it was trying to do, but any sort of spice only becomes apparent after you’ve eaten three or more pieces and the heat has been able to build. Further, the Tabasco sauce provided is a bit too much like straight up pouring vinegar over your chicken. It doesn’t improve the flavour at all, and you’d be better off throwing the sauce out and eating your chicken as is.
Tegan Jones, Commercial Editor
I don’t just like chicken. I thirst for chicken.
It was with this frame of mind that I tried the new offering from KFC. And it was a positive experience. It’s the closest that they have come to fulfilling my dream of Wicked Wing spices on a drum stick, and that pleased me.
If you enjoy super spicy food like I do, it errs on the mild side of the flavour spectrum – but the taste sensation is still there. And it does get a little warmer with every subsequent piece you shame-eat. Trust me, I did the research.
The addition of the tabasco sauce is interesting. It definitely brings it more of a kick, but I felt like it offered an after taste reminiscent of vinegar that drowned out the natural flavour of the chicken. In my opinion, it’s worthy of being enjoyed sans-condiments. Or, if you have to dunk it into something, kick it old school by getting on the potato and gravy train.
Alex Walker, Kotaku Editor
Vinegar isn’t the sort of flavour that comes into my head when I think of fried chicken. But that’s the profile you get from KFC’s new Tobasco chicken, which is aiming for that spicier, almost Southern style of fried chicken.
It’s hotter than a standard Zinger breast or drumstick, but it’s hardly searing hot. There are plenty of Korean BBQ places around that will serve much hotter fried chicken; it’s not even remotely on the same level as Mad Mex’s hottest spicy sauce, for instance. But otherwise, the chicken tastes like … well, good KFC fried chicken.
As for the tobasco, the slight vinegary aftertaste reminds me more of a very British fish and chips from a greasy spoon. And while that’s fine, I always preferred my fried chicken dry – or much hotter. Korean BBQ or sriracha still, for me.
Nina Faelnar, Designer
I resent KFC for not making spicy chicken on permanent rotation at all their stores, they clearly have the talent to take over the number of indie fried chicken joints that have popped up the past couple of years.
Although not entirely spicy as I’d hoped, it has that amazingly crispy texture that we hunt for with fried chicken, and the sweetness of the Tabasco sauce gives that extra kick without overpowering the flavor. If KFC stops producing this after May 15th then sweet mother of mercy I will have a hunger strike in front of their head offices until they make this permanent.
Have you tried KFC’s newest chicken yet? Thoughts?