Even though the Naked Chicken Chalupa was already a thing, the culinary geniuses at Taco Bell have managed to both recycle and reintroduce the famed poultry pocket with a new spicy sauce to kick off their latest quarter of seasonal eats.
Basically Taco Bell’s version of KFC’s million-plus selling Double-Down Sandwich, the Naked Chicken Chalupa takes a thoroughly processed and mechanically separated piece of fried chicken and flattens it to the consistency of a puffy tortilla, which, while wholly unnatural and naturally unholy, does form a solidly delicious wrap to contain those patented Taco Bell innards we’re so deeply accustomed to.
And since the original iteration of the Naked Chicken Chalupa itself has been broken down repeatedly and reviewed by both the poets and the analysts, there’s no need for me to do it here. So, instead, let’s talk about this version’s newest addition, the “wild” in the Wild Naked Chicken Chalupa—the crazed creamy additive with a momentary kick to end all kicks, at least in the Taco Bell universe.
While at first taste the Wild Sauce feels like a basic retread of their much-loved and mostly-missed Volcano Sauce right down to the sickly pinkish color, after a few seconds, the initial heat is followed by what seems to be a heavy amount of a smoky chili powder that’s been sprinkled into the proceedings. It causes a second wave of a different kind of heat that, even in moderation, is a wonderfully overpowering blast of flavor, riding the tongue and cruising up the sinuses like it was Van Nuys Blvd. on a Saturday night.
On the actual Naked Chicken Chalupa, it’s a bit of welcomed overkill, besting the rather useless cheese, lettuce, and tomato and, if you pay the extra 60 cents, the seasoned ground beef but its magic lies with the chicken chalupa itself. The seasoned fried chicken makes for both a testy compatriot and a zesty foil. However, the sauce might be too much for some. If that’s the case, then I suggest asking for a cup of “mild” chalupa sauce and mixing the two together for a fine median.
Much like the aforementioned Volcano Sauce, this does lead me with the same question: why doesn’t Taco Bell start offering a line of dipping sauces, much like McD’s, for example? This Wild Sauce would go so good with Nacho Fries, Cheesy Roll-ups, and just about everything on the breakfast menu. But maybe that’s just me. Cómpralo ya!
(Nutrition Facts – 420 calories, 250 calories from fat, 28 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 1070 milligrams of cholesterol, 1070 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 19 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.99
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Wave after wave of heat and flavor. Mixes perfect with the chicken.
Cons: Chalupa itself is kind of useless. Makes for a much better dipping sauce;