After much anticipation, Taco Bell released its much ballyhooed “Naked Chicken Chips” to the public on Thursday afternoon and boy was it a popular attraction.
The advertisements on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram claimed that the game had changed and that you’d never see chicken the same way again. If you recall from one of our earlier podcast episodes, we had a hard time trying to envision what such a dish would look like, especially because all we had to go off of was a single image of a “chip” dipped in cheese.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) May 2, 2017
Well, let me tell you: it was surprisingly good.
It’s really hard to screw up anything fried chicken-related. As long as the chicken is tender and the skin is flavorable, it tends to be a very good dining experience. Taco Bell provides the best of both worlds here. It’s thicker than I anticipated, with a thin layer of white meat in the center, surrounded by breading that features some spices that you normally don’t find in fast food.
It’s a very familiar taste; it did remind me of the Naked Chicken Chalupa that Taco Bell offered earlier this year in everything from the amount of chicken to the breading. The chalupa didn’t have the spices, but it was essentially the same mouthfeel. I recommend eating these in-person and straight out of the fryer; that’s when you’re most likely to get a good batch. Especially with a hot steaming cup of nacho cheese.
Ultimately, that’s the thing about these chips, which are honestly thin chicken nuggets in the shape of a triangle: you got to eat them quick, otherwise they just turn into schoolyard chicken nuggets. They feel just like those chicken nuggets you had in high school in your hands and they smell like it too; there isn’t any discernable difference until you taste them.
When fresh, the breading has that nice little crunchy McNugget-esque feel to it with a nice little hint of (actual) spice. It’s the perfect snack to fulfill your salty craving.
I was sort of disappointed the chip wasn’t a little more crunchy, which is something you would expect from something called a chip and the presentation, which is simple in execution, is good for what it is, but there’s so much more potential for what one can do with these chips.
Overall, they are a very good comfort food and perhaps most importantly, are extremely cheap. At a pricepoint of $1.99 for a six-pack and $3.99 for a 12-pack, it’s totally worth an investment.
You can also get a $5 box featuring a six-pack of chips, a hard taco, a burrito supreme and a medium soda.
Overall: 7/10. It fulfills everything you want in a fast food specialty item: fast, cheap, fun and tasteful. That said, it’s an extremely temperamental item and there’s so much potential squandered in execution. I still miss the Naked Chicken Chalupa.