KFC Nashville Hot Chicken Review


KFC Nashville Hot Chicken Review

Product Name: KFC Nashville Hot Chicken

Offer price: $5.49

Currency: USD

Availability: LimitedAvailability

KFC Menu

  • Taste & Texture
  • Health
  • Value


Nashville Hot Chicken is one of the most popular chicken dishes in Nashville – naturally. It’s basically chicken marinated in seasonings, fried, spiced with cayenne pepper and a hot sauce, and topped with pickles. Fast food and casual dining restaurants often take ideas that are popular in one area, put their spin on it, and release it to a broader audience, and that’s just what KFC did when they introduced their KFC Nashville Hot Chicken idea. It was a brilliant move on their part because they’ve already mastered fried chicken, and for those of us who like our chicken packed with spice, this could become a new favorite. 

History

KFC debuted their version of Nashville Hot Chicken in 2016 via food trucks to Nashville communities. They even packed up their food trucks and delivered taste tests in Nashvilles across eight states before offering it nationwide – Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, and North Carolina. It was one of the most successful product tests in the company’s recent history.

Inspiration

KFC’s new menu item Nashville Hot Chicken was inspired by an iconic Nashville, Tennessee, dish. This isn’t your standard chicken with hot sauce. It’s not even considered Cajun-style spicy chicken. It’s a specific recipe and style with a unique flavor profile. As a leader in the fried chicken world, it only made sense for KFC to put their spin on this famous style and see if it was a winner. They believed that because the recipe is challenging to make at home and is not available outside of Nashville city limits, that the exotic flavor profile of sweet and spicy would be a big hit across the country. And the critics say it’s like no other spicy chicken you have ever tried. So let’s see. 

Types of Nashville Hot Chicken

KFC offers the Nashville Hot Chicken three ways:  breast, drumstick, and thigh, or three boneless strips, each with a few pickles on top. The flavors are pretty much the same. If you prefer KFC breasts and wings, buy on-the-bone meat. If you like a cleaner, more convenient meal, I’d recommend ordering the tenders. To make this dish even more interesting, KFC also offers the Hot Chicken as an option in their Chicken and Waffles meal. This might be the most exciting option with the sweet, savory, and spicy flavor combinations. 

Nashville Hot Chicken Review

The chicken is marinated in seasonings first, fried extra crispy, and then drenched in the special Nashville Hot glaze/seasoning mix, and topped with sliced pickles, making every bite bursting with a unique flavor that’s both smokey, spicy, and crispy. The traditional Nashville Hot Chicken dish includes pickles and plain white bread, so KFC offers pickles and a biscuit – perfect personal touch by the brand. 

Photo by KFC

1.      Taste and Texture [5/5]

The chicken is moist, juicy, and flavorful, just like always. There’s an extra savory quality in this dish thanks to marinating it with various seasonings – I can definitely taste cayenne pepper and paprika. The sauce gives the chicken a smokiness and a nice heat. Surprisingly, the sauce doesn’t make the chicken soggy – the skin maintains its crispiness. The seasoning powdered over the top carries even more heat and flavor, and the entire chicken (breast and tenders alike) are covered completely with sauce and spice. The only part that might be a little less spicy is the bottom of the chicken that rests in oil in its container. But this might be the best part – that pool of sauce and oil at the bottom of the container is perfect for dipping your buttermilk biscuit in. As you might guess, this is a pretty messy meal – make sure you have napkins and wet wipes. 

2. Are they healthy? [2/5]

Chicken is usually a good source of protein, except when it’s deep-fried in high-calorie, high-fat batter. This meal is listed as one of the least healthy options on the KFC menu. The side dishes at KFC are mostly comfort foods, which are also generally high in calories, fat, and sodium, without necessary nutrients and vitamins. And if we’re sopping up our sauce and oils with our buttermilk biscuits, we’re definitely outside of the “healthy meal” zone. This is more of a treat or a comfort meal – one to enjoy and indulge in, not one to order if you’re on any kind of low-calorie or low-fat diet. However, the crispy chicken tenders are lower in calories than the crispy chicken breasts, so this could be a fair compromise.

Photo by Li Tsin Soon under License CC 2.0

3. Are they Worth it? [4/5]

This is a great meal, especially because you can choose from three different chicken options, as well as the Chicken and Waffles option. The price is fair, the flavors are unique, and you can’t get it just anywhere. The cayenne pepper and paprika seasonings aren’t brand new ideas, but they work well with the special sauce/glaze and give the chicken that smokey heat. The meal is filling and complete, and it’s the perfect comfort food. 

Final Verdict

Overall, KFC’s version of the Nashville Hot Chicken is crispy and flavored with the perfect balance of spice, smoke, and sweetness. It’s a fun variation from other chicken dishes, and it’s definitely unlike anything else on the KFC menu. It’s an interesting dish for indulging – I wouldn’t recommend eating it too often. 

Photo by Mike Mozart under License CC 2.0
  • Serving Size 1 breast
  • Calories – 540
  • Total Fat – 40g
  • Saturated Fat – 7g
  • Trans Fat – 0g  
  • Cholesterol – 100mg
  • Sodium – 1390mg
  • Total Carbohydrates – 14g
  • Dietary Fiber2g
  • Sugars1g  
  • Protein31g

The 1-piece basket and the 2-piece basket cost the same at $5.49. The 1-piece features a Chicken Breast, whereas the 2-piece features a drumstick and thigh. Both include coleslaw and a biscuit, so the price is fair. The 8-piece meal includes 8 pieces of chicken, a large container of mashed potatoes and Gravy, a large coleslaw, and 4 biscuits for $21.99. Feeding a whole family for $22 is a good deal, and everyone is full and satisfied afterward. 

What do you think? Have you tried the Original Nashville Hot Chicken in Nashville? I’m curious how the KFC hot chicken compares. Let us know in the comments below. 



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