Review: New! Grilled Chicken Nuggets from Chick-fil-A
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Impulse has been known to get the better of me. Always attracted by the next shiny object on the endcap, I have a strange and unfortunate affliction to feel the need to try any and everything in the world.
So it’s no wonder that on a recent lunchtime run to Chick-fil-A I couldn’t hold back from ordering the new, ‘healthier’ Grilled Chicken Nuggets from the kids menu. Besides, having received mostly boring stuff for Christmas, I felt entitled to a youthful plaything.
The Grilled Chicken Nuggets come in Kid’s Meal choices of 4 or 6 nuggets. Obviously I chose the latter, and decided to also give the new applesauce a go as well. Total Calories with a small (and dear God is it small) Coke Zero? 170. First impressions right off the bat? At $4.39, this is the most expensive snack I’ve bought in a while. Second thought after pulling them out of my meal bag? Dang, that’s it?
Coming in the same pre-portioned mini-container Chick-fil-A uses for their small fruit cup, it’s not hard to question the mere 110 calories in six nuggets based on size alone. Described as “gluten-free” and coated in a “salt and pepper spice blend” that is “grilled to perfection”, I was expecting to be treated to bite-sized versions of the exceptional Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich. I was wrong. The predominant flavor is salt, and the one note garlic spice blend doesn’t do much to offset it. As for that black pepper, it’s there, but what’s the point? All it does is bring out more salt, and I found myself missing the vinegar tang of the sandwich version, as well as the chewy sweetness provided by the whole wheat bun and juicy, sweet relief of tomato coupled with the bitterness from the lettuce.Compared to the regular nuggets, these lack the evolving flavors and sweet, nutty backnotes of the pressure cooked morsels. Despite avoiding the dreaded dryness everybody fears with grilled chicken, they don’t do anything for me from a flavor angle, and are, at best, a vehicle for sauces — including Chick-fil-A’s exceptional Honey Mustard Sauce. But given that packets of all but the Buffalo sauce pack at least 45 calories, doesn’t that defeat the purpose for people really watching what they eat?
Obviously this “meal” was not made to represent as much to a young adult male with caloric needs in excess of the “average” 2000 or even 2500 recommendations often quoted. But even I couldn’t see it filling up a moderately active grade-schooler, who, if they are like me, will instead feel the need to dip and dunk in sauces with reckless abandon, as well as trade-in that cow watch for an Ice Dream cone. Not that I’m complaining. At 170 calories the Ice Dream cone is an exceptionally healthy dessert, and keeps the whole meal under 350 calories. But if you’re looking for a healthy option for your little guy or girl, I still cannot recommend the grilled nuggets. The lack of whole grains and healthy fats keep this meal incomplete, and despite a decently tasting applesauce option, the entire effort needs to go back to the drawing board.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 4.50/10
More Info: Chick-fil-A.com
Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets (6-count)
Calories – 110
Fat – 1.5 grams
Saturated Fat – 0 grams
Cholesterol – 65 milligrams
Sodium – 840 milligrams
Carbs – 0 grams
Dietary Fiber – 2 grams
Sugars – 0 grams
Protein – 25 grams