Fast Food Review: New! Spicy Chicken Nuggets from Chick-fil-A

I have mixed feelings when it comes to spicy food. On one hand, I’ve been told by quite a few older people that as a young whipper snapper, I should be quite comfortable eating things that push the boundaries of conventional taste. On the other hand, as said young whipper snapper, I realize that I still have enough taste buds to detect flavors that don’t attempt to bludgeon me into submission by awakening those taste buds. Given this conundrum, it stands to reason that I remain mixed in my feelings toward Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets.

Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets are not currently offered nationwide, but have been in test markets like the Baltimore/Annapolis area since last fall. Given that I was freezing my butt off in a parking lot at a Utah Chick-fil-A last fall, my first encounter with the new Spicy Nuggets was not until recently. The nuggets are your standard Chick-fil-A nuggets – little morsels of lightly breaded boneless and skinless white meat, pressure cooked in 100% peanut oil in all it’s nutty and juicy goodness. Both Ryan and I hold Chick-fil-A’s regular nuggets to high standards (read review), but at $4.76 for a 12-count (my go-to, protein packed power man order), they run a higher price than the regular nuggets ($4.34 for a twelve piece).

They do carry with them a distinct flavor difference though. With a strong taste of black pepper, garlic, onion and cayenne, the nuggets are flavorful and definitely juicy, but they’re not necessarily hot. What do I mean by “not necessarily”? I mean, I was able to make it through a 12-count of these without taking a drink of my Coke Zero, and once more, I even added some Buffalo Sauce. Considering that I’m no Scott Roberts, and you’ve got a recipe for some serious disappointment for hardcore spice fans looking to scorch their throats. The fact that the nuggets fail to even bring the same heat as the Spicy Chicken Sandwich (read review) may own to their smaller size, but I did not find them as hot or enjoyable as the boneless filets of spicy Chick-fil-A items.

Which brings me to my other gripes with the nuggets. As James pointed out in his original GrubGrade review, the nuggets’ biggest strengths are their moisture retention, and slightly sweet and nutty flavor picked up through the pressure cooking process. Yet, as pretty much everyone agrees (including our buddy Rodzilla), the nuggets also get a huge boost from the dipping sauces, of which they will give you an unlimited amount of (unlike McDonald’s). Problem is, the sauces basically render the “spicy” breading of the Spicy Nuggets null and void. The sweet sauces make them, well, sweet, and ketchup makes them taste like, well, ketchup. So my question is why do I want to pay the up-charge for the spicy nuggets if I’m going to dip in sauces when I could just do so for cheaper with the regular nuggets?

There’s another thing, too. The nuggets are disappointingly oily, and do not develop as good of a crust as other, less “wholesome” nuggets. It’s a trade-in I’ll take for their flavor and always juicy bite, but it is a bit frustrating, specially when grubbing on the go. All in all, a good nugget, no doubt, yet I can’t say they’re any better than the original Chick-fil-A nuggets, and don’t find them to be worth the extra price.

Pros: Juicy, tender, meaty. Strong garlic and black pepper flavor, with sweet taste and moist mouthfeel coming from the peanut oil and all-white meat. Some of the healthier nuggets you'll find on the market. Awesome source of protein.

Cons: Doesn't bring the heat. Tastes just like regular nuggets once dipped in sauces. Greasy. Uneven nugget design yields some wimpy nuggets. No crust or crunch.

Taste: 8.25/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Price: 8-pack $3.24, 12-pack $4.76

Overall GrubGrade: 8.00 (Very Good)

More Info: ChickfilA.com
Nutrition Facts:
Not Available

21 comments on “Fast Food Review: New! Spicy Chicken Nuggets from Chick-fil-A

  1. they should definitely be the same price, and there’s no reason for them to exist at all if you can hardly detect the spiciness. ah well… i always get the sandwiches anyway.

  2. Roger says:

    Yep 0.42 cents up charge is not worth it. (and definitely NEEDS mentioning in a review as a CON)
    Wow. Just. Wow.

    • Chefprotoss or dan says:

      Dude, it’s 42 pennies. Who cares?

      Nice review adam. I’ll stick to my usual grilled sandwich with a side salad combo. CFA really does healthy food right.

      • Adam says:

        Dude, I care haha! Lets say I order three of these things in a week span…well, that’s like a whole small frosty I’ve forgone haha!

        I’ve always been confused with CFA’s healthy reputation. Do they really put an emphasis on it? If so, why is it an upcharge for healthy menu sides? It’s not an upcharge for the kids…

  3. missouri says:

    I had some of these in Springfield earlier this year. Quite yummy – but not near as hot as the Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

  4. Rodzilla says:

    that’s odd, you would think they would taste just like the spicy chicken sandwich. I also don’t understand that upcharge – I doubt adding a few more spices really costs that much, unless they have to make completely separate and much smaller batches.

  5. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    I’ve never really noticed. As long as the food is awesome, I don’t feel ripped off. CFA’s salads are always incredibly fresh and their grilled chicken might be the best in the business. That combo is like six bucks and worth every penny.

    If the spicy nuggets were three dollars more than the regular I could see complaining about it, but its a measley .42 cents. If that breaks the bank, you probably shouldn’t be eating lunch at a restaurant to begin with. =P

    • Adam says:

      LOL Dan. Maybe you forget what it’s like to be 22 🙂 We complain about EVERYTHING when it comes to prices. Hence, the reason a place like Taco Bell stays afloat haha.

      If I am going to go healthy and complete for fast food lunch, I think Wendy’s is a solid option. Their new sandwiches are more customizable grilled, and I like the new buns. Plus, you can choose your size, and refill your own drink. I know it’s their pleasure, but it’s annoying to ask furing rush hour at the counter.

  6. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    For some odd reason, half of my replies come out as comments when I clicked reply. The abo comment was @ adam lol

  7. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    Lol, I’m only six years older than you broseph.

    I refuse to eat at wendys(see my comment on ryans chickenless burger post), but a very underrated place for healthy grub is chipotle. I get the soft tacos with steak, all 4 salsas extra romaine and guac. Most of the fat comes from the guac and all those fats are good for you. Couple that with super fresh produce and hormone free beef and you have a nutrient rich lunch fit for a body builder and it is retardedly tasty. It’s like nine bucks, but i would easily pay 12 for what I’m getting. For some reason people put chipotle in the same catagory as the monster burger. If you steer clear of the sour cream and cheese it’s the opposite. Plus I can refill my own damn drink.=)

    • Adam says:

      Good call on the drink. As a side note, I was at a mall CFA today, and I was told that there was a one refill limit at CFA, and additional refills were 75 cents each. Whaaaa?!?!

      • Raiders757 says:

        At my local CFA’s, not only can you get as many refills as you wish, they have someone who does it for you so you don’t even have to leave the table. If they don’t get to you soon enough, there’s always someone on the ready, off to the side of the lines. It’s easy to get a refill at CFA.

        • Adam says:

          Usually I have no problems with refills, although, at the majority of CFA’s I’ve been to, I have had to go up and request my own refill (mind you, the first week or two we had one in Logan, they came to your table. After that, they seldom, if ever, came back to do that.)

      • Chefprotoss or dan says:

        That is rediculous. Your drink was tap water, co2, sypup and a cup. At the most it costs CFA ten cents. That is only because of the cup. The 42 cents upcarge for spicy nuggets is one thing, but that is wallet rape. Did you still have to ask for a refill?

        • Adam says:

          I agree, although I will fight over this 42 cent thing forever, if only because I know we will never agree on fast food pricing 🙂

          Granted, this was the first time at a CFA I was told this, and it was at a mall, but when I questioned the manager, she seemed at a loss to say if it was a company wide policy (obviously not).

          I love CFA’s, but there are some locations where the service does not live up to the reputation.

  8. missouri says:

    Wendy’s here in central MO don’t have the setup to allow customers to refill their own drinks – which is bizarre since they were built from the ground up a few years ago.

    You have to go the counter, wait in line (sometimes) and then they give you a whole new cup and trash your old one. Never really understood that…

  9. Shannon says:

    I’ve never seen a Wendy’s that allowed a customer to refill his or her own drinks. I guess I need to go to a newer one.

  10. Shannon says:

    Not a fan of CFA nuggets. They taste like with the greater surface area of the nuggets the employees try to season every millimeter of chicken. All I taste is salt.

  11. Sue says:

    lmao. I love that you eat all this fat laden fried food with COKE ZERO. Too funny. All that fat and your drink has Asapartame (Sweetener 951) in it. Do some research into what that does for ya.

    http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html

  12. Adam says:

    @Sue,

    Thanks, but unverified, non scientific propaganda doesn’t do much for me. Just wondering how sad it must be to go through life living in fear of foods and drink because you manage to convince yourself they will give you cancer? Must be kind of sad…

    Anyways, thanks for assuming you have a full understanding f the composition of my diet. Here I was thinking that balance meant enjoying all things in moderation. Silly me! Of course not!

    Hope you’re loving ortherexia land 🙂

  13. westprice says:

    i don’t buy this, and i am really looking forward to trying these. as far as the sauce problem, i think honey would serve appropriately.