Review: KFC Nashville Hot Chicken (New)

It isn’t every day that Kentucky Fried Chicken introduces something new.  For the most part, the tried and true is what KFC offers.  So, when KFC does something new, we are all over it.  And full disclosure…the Fewd Snobs are fans of KFC.

We heard about KFC’s new Nashville Hot Chicken back when it was being tested in the Pittsburgh area.  Since a trip to Pittsburgh was not in our price range, we had to wait until the national roll-out.  Which was yesterday.

The next review idea was in the bag, people.

Since we are not from Nashville, we wanted to find out more about Nashville hot chicken.  We are researchers, if you will recall.

It seems that Nashville hot chicken is quite the thing.  In Nashville.  Imagine that!  According to Time, the stuff has become the signature dish in the city.  There are restaurants devoted to it.

And what is Nashville hot chicken?  It is chicken that has been marinated in seasonings, fried, and then spiced with cayenne pepper.  And other stuff.  It is usually served with pickles.  We aren’t going to explain every aspect of it.  Read more about it here.  The bottom line is, this is not your standard chicken with hot sauce.  This is not Cajun-style spicy chicken.  This is NASHVILLE style!  Either way, it sounds pretty cool to us.

NOTE:  We are NOT from Nashville, we have never been to Nashville, and we have never had real Nashville hot chicken in Nashville.  So, if we are using the wrong terms to describe your chicken, Nashville people, feel free to correct us in the comments below.

KFC has jumped on the idea, and has brought it to all stores as of January 18, 2016.  It will be interesting to see if the chicken heats up the country like it did in the Pittsburgh test market.

Now that Nashville has arrived in Kentucky, we took a trip to our Wichita Kentucky Fried Chicken to get some Nashville chicken.  Did that make sense?  Hang in there with us.

Our local KFC has the following available:

IMG_4097It is true, the picture isn’t in great focus.  Denny took the picture.  Usually Herman takes the pics.  Because he is a photographer, among other things.  Denny is just a drunk.

Anywho…

You can see the different options available, and the prices in our area.  It is important to note that regular chicken and tenders are being offered.  For the sake of our review, we went with the regular chicken.

We ordered up a 2 pc. basket with a drumstick and a thigh.  We wanted to order just a breast, also, in an effort to taste all the kinds of chicken available.  Since this is so new, KFC hasn’t programmed in the option to order single pieces of the new chicken into the registers yet.  Yes, we realize we could have ordered the breast meal.  We didn’t really want to have to spend another six bucks though just to taste the breast.  What can we say?  We are broke writers!

This is where it gets cool.

When we mentioned we were trying to get all the chicken pieces to do a review for our website, the kind manager gave us the chicken breast to test.  That’s right.  He gave it to us.  We offered to pay.  He declined.  He said they can give a sample away of the new chicken, but it is usually a chicken tender, not a breast.  But since we bought the other meal, he gave us the breast as a sample since we were doing a review.  Thanks, guy!  Major props.  See, we are important now!  Or something.

We also want to give credit to the nice lady who took our order.  After we ordered, she talked to the manager to find out how we could have ordered just the three pieces of chicken.  That got the ball rolling on our sample.  A big thanks to KFC for the great service today!

IMG_20160119_115924252So we got home with our new Nashville Hot Chicken.

IMG_20160119_120228400If you ordered the 2 pc. meal, you would get what you see above.

IMG_20160119_120249921_HDRAnd there it is uncovered.  A thigh, leg, biscuit, and cole slaw.

IMG_20160119_120312366_HDRAbove, we have the leg and thigh.

IMG_20160119_120100859And here we have the breast.  You thought we were going to make a joke about breasts, didn’t you?  Nope!  We are mature!  HO HO!

IMG_20160119_120333304_HDRHere, we have the pieces side by side for good measure.  Herman likes to take pictures.

IMG_20160119_120525965_HDRAbove is a closer look at the breast cut in half.  You can really see the spices and the seasoned sauce on the chicken skin.

IMG_20160119_120838439_HDRAbove, we have an inside look at the thigh (so many things we could say here, but won’t!  Be good, Snobs!).

IMG_20160119_120614001_HDRAaaaand, one last shot to really show the sauce on the chicken.  It is really coated, and almost glazed on there.  Nice.

Now for the review…

As soon as we opened the box, we caught the smell.  There is a smell of heat, people.  And that isn’t a bad thing.  At this point, Herman thought of buffalo sauce.  But that is where the similarity stops.

Let’s get this out of the way.  The chicken is basically the Extra Crispy chicken at its core.  You already know what KFC’s standard Extra Crispy chicken is, right?  We are going to assume you do.  Because if you don’t, try that before trying this.

The point of this review is what makes it the Nashville Hot Chicken.  And that is the sauce, the spices, and the heat.  And even the pickles for good measure.

It seems like the Nashville Hot Chicken is marinated in a spicy solution.  We can’t verify this, but it does appear that it has been.  When we tore the skin off, there is spicy juices on the chicken.  Did it seep in through the skin?  We can’t say.  But the chicken was moist, juicy, flavorful, and spicy.

That brings us to the skin.  The skin clearly has spices all over it.  And then it is coated in the sauce that really makes this chicken Nashville Hot Chicken.  The first thing you will notice, for sure, is the heat.  There is quite a damn bit of heat.  And it builds.  If you don’t like spicy, you aren’t going to like it.

Next, you will notice an almost sweet flavor.  We particularly noticed the sweet flavor on the dark meat.  It isn’t overly sweet, but it is there.  We think it tastes like brown sugar.  It mixes very well with the spicy flavor.  In fact, it is a PERFECT balance.

The great thing about this chicken is that it is indeed spicy, but it IS NOT the kind of spicy that just blows your face apart, makes you cry, and you can’t taste anything at all.  This chicken has flavor and heat.  It’s spicy, but you aren’t in pain.  It is such a perfect balance that it is almost pleasurable, if that makes sense. It is different than anything we have had.  It isn’t like Tabasco or Sriracha.  It truly is its own thing.

The pickles add an interesting flavor to the mix.  Although they are typical dill pickles, the flavor combination with the spicy chicken is really good.  They don’t really have a cooling effect, but meh.  This is nothing to bitch about, people.

We love the flavor mix overall.  It is strong, bold, a little sweet, and perfect.  The chicken is perfect.  This is good stuff, people.

IMG_20160119_120650403_HDRAbove, we have the package after the chicken was removed.  There is plenty of extra sauce on the bottom.  That’s pretty cool.

IMG_20160119_120956331And above, you can see our biscuit got soaked in the sauce.  To this we say, awesomesauce!  Yes, we HATE that stupid term!  But, the sauce is awesome, and it is soaked into the biscuit.  Which makes the biscuit more awesome.  Because of the sauce.  We aren’t even drunk yet, people.  Haven’t had a drink all day.

In terms of value, the chicken in all of the different combinations is just a little more money than the regular chicken.  We would say that is a pretty damn good value.  No complaints here.  And the 2 piece meal is plenty filling for lunch.  For dinner, get the bucket deal.

This chicken is a winner, people.  We loved it.  We will absolutely get it again.  We hope this goes on the permanent menu.  In fact, Herman says he would order this over the regular chicken as long as it is available.  Denny is close, also.  Get some now.  Seriously.

And we realize that we have nothing to compare this to.  If you have had the real thing in Nashville, hit us up in the comments below.

We leave you on this:

7 Comments

  1. Wile E Coyote, Genius

    I feel like this review is almost useless without comparing it to popeye’s spicy chicken – I have to assume that is what this product is trying to compete with. Any chance of updating the review or doing a new side by side?

    Reply
    1. Fewd Snobs (Post author)

      Interesting point. You could compare this to Popeye’s spicy chicken, but only in the amount of heat. The method is quite a bit different since most of the heat comes from the coating on the chicken. Popeye’s spice comes from their batter and probably a marinade. As for which is more spicy? We think the Nashville Hot chicken is spicier.

      Reply
  2. Maria

    Tried these today. I’m from Buffalo, NY so spicy chicken is in my blood. I had the tenders with coleslaw and a biscuit. These little suckers are over the top! Like the chicken in your review, there was a lot of heat but it came at the end of flavor. The chicken itself was very, very tender.
    I have had the Popeye’s spicy but the KFC version was miles above the Popeye’s. Way more flavor and more tender. Maybe it’s the way it is ‘sauced’ instead just kicking heat into the batter. Dunno but it was no contest.

    Reply
  3. Alice

    Unfortunately, if you dont like eating ALOT of oil, you wont like the Nashville Chicken. I love hot wings and spicy food and was so diappointed. I purchased the Nashville Chicken from 2 different KFCs thinking the firat location just messed it up, but No, it’ s just Gross. My husband threw his in the trash ans I threw half mine away, I’m too cheap to waste everytjing.

    Reply
  4. alex

    Question

    If kfc nashville is simply extra crispy chicken with sauce on top which surprisingly makes a
    difference with the oil and heat, what about places that have extra crispy spicy or only extra crispy.

    Have you experience the taste difference, or would places that only have extra crispy not have it available.

    Reply
  5. Barbara Brookshire

    Chicken is greasy, greasy chicken is put on top of bread making it greasy soaking through to the other side and unfit to eat. When chicken is overly crispy almost burnt is not good chicken and not fit to eat it needs work. Paid $32.81 for 2 leg guarters,2 piece white breast/ wing. Two green beans, one mac& cheese and one potato salad. Threw leg quarter away could not give this to anyone to eat.

    Tried it and will not recommend.

    Reply
  6. Lima

    I loved the chicken!! Going back for more. I lived in Nashville and it’s not the same but similar a good effort!!!

    Reply

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