As a quirky 20-something looking to recapture my childhood in the nutritionally devoid menace of fast food, you might say I live with unrealistic expectations of fried chicken products which harken back to my childhood. And, as a 20-something reluctant to embrace the finality of entering the “real world,” you might say I have unrealistic expectations of my parents to put up with my avoidance of grown up stuff.
Thankfully, KFC has offered me the chance to proliferate both of these unrealistic expectations with their new Original Recipe Bites. Marketed for “a distinctly grown up taste,” they feature the Colonel’s secret recipe of herb and spices applied to “100 percent white meat.” They also, apparently, will allow millions of Xbox playing bums living in their parents’ basements to prolong their bygone dreams of winning the Heisman trophy in the alternate world of NCAA 13. And while I hardly live in my parents’ basement (Please, I’m above that. No, literally. We all live on the same floor), I am well versed in putting off actual adult things in favor of rushing for 700 yards a game in a video game.
In the world of fast food chicken, the “bite” is a relatively recent if not overplayed phenomenon. Not quite a nugget, not exactly popcorn, and clearly not a finger or a tender, the best comparison for what KFC’s Bites actually are would be Chick-fil-A’s nuggets. Like Chick-fil-A’s moist, juicy, succulent, and nutty-sweet nuggets, KFC’s Bites have a breading that’s lighter than popcorn chicken, but still crunchy in spots. The flavor is classic KFC, which is to say a little pepper here, and little garlic here, and, obviously, a lot of salt all around. Not prone to the same burning or dried out effect that has plagued some versions of McDonald’s “McBites,” they come in an order of either six or ten with your choice of dipping sauce.
For the most part, the bite sized pieces aren’t bad, albeit a little small. My order – which is supposed to be 100 grams – clocked in at a pedestrian 78 grams, although the meat to breading ratio was much more respectable than McDonald’s aforementioned Spicy McBites. That being said, you can clearly see some crunchy ends jutting out of the main “bite.” Crunchy but hardly meaty, they tend to be saturated in oil. Speaking of oil, as someone who has long given into the seductive peanut oil infused taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture of Chick-fil-A’s nuggets, I can’t help but measure KFC’s Bites against them. And when it comes to matching Chick-fil-A’s nuggets, KFC just can’t do it. There’s no sweet aftertaste imparted from the oil, and the white meat itself, while not dry, is plain in flavor and nothing to write home about. All things considered, it’s about as “grown up” as Tommy Pickles in the Rugrats cartoon offshoot.
I probably wouldn’t order KFC’s Original Recipe Bites all by themselves, but the six-piece $3.99 combo deal provides me with enough of an excuse to indulge in one of fast food’s most guiltiest pleasure: KFC’s potato wedges. Potato-ey, greasy, and probably filled with enough chemicals to keep a high school science class happy; they’re not much to behold, but damn are they good.
All things considered, KFC’s Original Recipe Bites probably won’t stave off getting “the talk” about actual life responsibility from your parents, and probably aren’t good enough to convince those parents to invest one more year in exorbitant electric bills earned through Xbox Live play in their basement. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for something with a little more meat than a McDonald’s McBite, or you just want an excuse to eat KFC potato wedges, you could do a lot worse. Like, you know, grade school shake-and-bake nugget worse. Thankfully, I’m too grown up for grade school chicken nuggets.
(Nutrition Facts – 6 bites – 200 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 660 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams sugar, and 22 grams of protein.)
Item: KFC Original Recipe Bites
Purchased Price: $3.99 combo with 1 side and a drink
Size: 6 pieces
Purchased at: Kentucky Fried Chicken
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: 100% breast meat. Better than shake-and-bake nuggets. Decent meat to breading ratio. Crunchy end pieces. 11 herbs and spices. Excuse to eat KFC potato wedges. Never having to grow up.
Cons: Not as hefty as advertised. No where near Chick-fil-A nuggets in terms of interior moisture or flavor. Kind of bland. Oily. Celebrating a fast food product that celebrates, essentially, bumdom.