Review: Popcorn Nuggets from KFC
I’m still not completely sure if Popcorn Nuggets from KFC are new. I know this style of chicken has been available off and on throughout the years and there have been some subtle changes. The latest offering is called Popcorn Nuggets, not to be confused with Popcorn Chicken or KFC Bites. I read a customer question earlier in the week via social media that went like this, “Are these sort of like the old popcorn chicken you guys had?”…”Yes ma’am. We like to think they’re even better.” That clears it up.
KFC describes their Popcorn Nuggets like this:
KFC Popcorn Nuggets are 100% white meat, extra crispy, and made from the world’s best chicken. Grab them on the go or add them as a side to your next meal. Either way, you won’t look at nuggets the same ever again.
What was clear to me right away was that Popcorn Nuggets definitely can’t be confused with the much larger KFC Bites. The large size Popcorn Nuggets cost me $3.99 for about what felt like closing in on a half-pound or so of chicken.
When going back many years in my memory bank, the old Popcorn Chicken had a flaky, more delicate crust where Popcorn Nuggets clearly had a more substantial breading presence. Popcorn Nuggets are made with cuts of white meat chicken and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The sizes ranged from tiny morsels of pure extra crispy crust with barely a hint of chicken to a nice hefty chunk reminiscent of a good-sized Chick-fil-A Chicken Nugget.
Out of around twenty Popcorn Nuggets in my large order, a dozen were meaty like a chicken nugget. The breading on the juicier, meatier pieces was a lot lighter and the true crunch of the “extra crunchy” description came from nuggets that were more of a dried build-up of breading than a nice morsel of chicken. With that said, out of the twenty or so Popcorn Nuggets, only three pieces turned out to be pure fried breading runoff. Flavor-wise, the crust is the familiar KFC herbs and spices (salt/pepper/paprika/garlic powder) and works pretty well without assistance from dipping sauces. I did ask for Honey BBQ and Honey Mustard when placing my drive-thru order and unfortunately ended up sauceless. Shame on me for not checking the bag before driving off. For your reference, KFC’s Signature Sauces also include Creamy Ranch, Sweet & Sour, and Creamy Buffalo. The box for the large order is shaped smaller at the bottom and able to fit in certain vehicle’s cup holders. The $2.99 KFC Go Cup option includes potato wedges and is made specifically for cup holders and grubbing on the go. I applaud the packaging and it’s not a bad value either. There’s also a $5 Fill-Up meal option which includes mashed potatoes and gravy, a biscuit, chocolate chip cookie, and medium drink.
Popcorn Nuggets are a style of product that deserves a permanent spot on the menu. Kids love them and they’re a great portable snack option. I love the prices and combo choices too. As far as fast food goes, KFC Popcorn Nuggets get most everything right. Now if someone could just come up with a really smart, portable dipping sauce holder… your move car companies.
Pros: Good value. Great grubbing on the go option. Five Signature Sauce choices (but make sure to check your bag before you drive away).
Cons: The "extra crispy" breading was only extra crispy on the pieces with less chicken.
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.25/10
Price: $2.99 Go Cup, $3.99 large, $5 Fill Up combo
Overall GrubGrade: 7.75/10
More Info: http://www.kfc.com/food/chicken/popcorn-nuggets.asp
Large size Popcorn Nuggets:
Calories - 570
Fat - 33 grams
Saturated Fat - 4 grams
Carbs - 37 grams
Sodium - 1890 milligrams
Protein - 30 grams