Review: Spicy Chicken Strip Basket from Dairy Queen

When I went to try the new Dairy Queen Spicy Chicken Strip Basket, I hadn’t had chicken strips from Dairy Queen since I was a kid. In my memories, chicken was never the stand-out item in a Dairy Queen chicken strip basket. Rather, it was the peppery, gloriously gloopy white country gravy, buttery Texas toast and warm heaps of fries that I could never finish all of, no matter how hard I tried.

At the register, a 4-piece Spicy Chicken Strip Basket with gravy and BBQ sauce came to $4.80 after tax in Minnesota because it was on special. The 6-piece, which was not on special, would have been $6.94.  Upon opening the box, I was disappointed to find the fries were more of a bed covering the bottom of the box rather than a mountain taking it over. The gravy and toast were exactly as awesome as I remember, although the toast seemed a little smaller than it did to my 12-year-old eyes.As for the chicken strips, they were just as forgettable as ever. They were a little smaller than your average chicken strips from Dairy Queen, with an added hint of scary-red hue in the breading just in case you forget what you’re dealing with. As far as spice goes, these chicken strips were definitely spicy – especially for a Minnesota-based company.

Keep in mind, though, this taster is also acclimated to mild Minnesota foods. My meager repertoire of spicy food includes my dad’s chili and the occasional jaunt with the Tabasco bottle at Chipotle. Dairy Queen’s Spicy Chicken Strips were definitely more on par with the chili as far as spice level and taste goes. They had a chili powder bent to them, but nothing more for flavor definition. They were spicy enough that I had to dip every second or third bite in gravy to tone it down a little. That’s probably something I would have done with a regular chicken strip basket anyway. I did not use much of the BBQ sauce – Dairy Queen’s BBQ sauce was too sweet, astringent and fake-tasting for me.

The gravy served another purpose it probably shouldn’t have had to: moistening the chicken. The chicken itself was dry and the breading was poofy, powdery and stale-tasting. The combination of these two made for a very dry meal. This chicken probably would not have been very enjoyable without the gravy. As it was, my chicken strips became a compliment to the gravy rather than the other way around. I remember thinking I might as well have been eating that gravy with a spoon because the chicken strips were just getting in the way.  If I went to Dairy Queen again, I would probably skip the Spicy Chicken Strip Basket. Being a chicken strip basket, it was enough food for the price but the quality just wasn’t there.

Pros: Amazing gravy. Enough food to justify the price.

Cons: Unexciting chicken and powdery breading. Nutrition info details.

Taste: 5.00/10
Value: 7.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Price: $4.49

Overall GrubGrade: 5.50/10

More Info: http://www.dairyqueen.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 1230
Total Fat - 78 grams
Sodium - 2850 milligrams
Carbs - 99 grams
Dietary Fiber - 6 grams
Sugars - 5 grams
Protein - 36 grams

6 comments on “Review: Spicy Chicken Strip Basket from Dairy Queen

  1. Steven says:

    I had this the other day too. I agree with everything in this reveiw. The chicken is fairly spicy and I’m used to very spicy foods. But it’s spicy without any other flavor. I also had it with country gravy and that was a nice change of pace from the usual ranch and bbq sauce every other place generally has as options.

  2. kikurage says:

    Great review, thanks. I have a fun time for your writing. I am surprised at the calories – “1230″. I wonder Chicken is low calorie food. I can not look these set such a high calorie meal.

  3. MP says:

    Only 2850mg sodium.

    I was miffed that all the Dairy Queens around here are ice cream-only; especially after seeing the cheeseburger deal; but I remembered reading DQ’s nutritional rankings on a site & theirs were particularly awful even by fast food standards.

  4. JF says:

    Thanks for the review. I have a DQ pretty much around the corner from me, and have only been there once (for ice cream). Never thought about them for “food” so to speak. A few weeks ago while on a road trip and ended up in the middle of nowhere in Montana, we did hit up a DQ for lunch. I got their chicken strips with the gravy, and thought they were pretty good. I believe they fried them fresh (based on the time it took to get the food as well as how it tasted).

    So when I saw this, I thought I need to give these a try. I still might, but considering there is a Popeye’s on the opposite corner, it might be difficult to pass them up for DQ. But if I do give them a try, I’ll come back and give my impressions. I still want to try one of their burgers as I’ve seen a few reviews here and comments that really surprised me as how much people seemed to like them. I do think they are on overthought when it comes to food, so maybe that’s why not many people comment, but again, as always, thanks for the review!

  5. maynardb61 says:

    DQ used to have a steak finger basket, Now THAT was really good.

  6. Joe says:

    “Total Fat – 78 grams”

    “Sodium – 2850 milligrams”

    Ouch.

    Sounds good though.

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