Review: Original Recipe Boneless Chicken from KFC

A couple of weeks ago, KFC put up a countdown timer on their website for an unknown promotional product. The interweb was quite curious what the new or possibly returning item could be. Was it the fabled Twister wrap, a better spin on the Chicken Littles, or what I was really hoping for; the Rotisserie Gold Chicken rising from the ashes like a greasy, fast food-phoenix? Nope, not even close. It was KFC’s New Original Recipe Boneless Chicken, or as the rest of the planet would call it, “chicken fingers”. Available in both white and dark meat, I can say I was definitely interested in how a dark meat chicken strip would fare, but is it any good?

KFC Original Recipe Boneless BoxNo, this isn’t very good at all. I made sure to double-check that I would get one white and one dark piece, but both seemed identical. These were as if someone cut up a whole chicken into tiny pieces, and then glued them back together in chicken finger form.

KFC Original Recipe Boneless ChickenThe new Original Boneless Chicken also had this weird layer of seasoned chicken skin/fat running through it that seemed to hold it together. As soon as my chicken cooled, it congealed into a kind of poultry skin jello. Unnatural was the best way to describe the taste as well. Simple fried chicken this is not.

KFC Original Recipe Boneless Chicken 2Whatever weird tricks they used to papier-mache this thing together left it with an odd, overly processed taste. When it was piping hot, it was quite juicy, but the flavor destroyed any points the moisture would have contributed. I didn’t understand this chicken before or after I ate it.

KFC Original Recipe Boneless 2The price of $4.99 lands you with a two piece combo with a medium drink, biscuit and side. I went with mashed potatoes and they were pretty bad too. The dry biscuit was the proverbial cherry on top for this crappy take on a Hungry Man TV dinner. Everything in this box of lame seemed like it was on its way to be served in a state penitentiary. I have no clue what KFC was thinking, but avoid this at all costs. Who thought a layer of skin jelly was a good idea?

Original Recipe Boneless KFCWell, it would seem that KFC doesn’t listen to its fans. The Twister and Rotisserie Gold were just some of the many of the awesome hits that KFC has served over the years that we’ll probably never get to try again. Instead of bringing those classics back, they tried to reinvent the wheel by making it square. Don’t they already serve chicken strips? Are those what came on the Snackers? The Snackers were awesome, well the Buffalo flavor was anyway. Oh well, at least Popeyes still kicks ass. Major Cajun gravy ass!

Pros: It could cost more money. Buffalo Snackers with ranch dressing were awesome.

Cons: This product makes absolutely no sense and fails in almost every way as well. Dark meat chicken strips should have been a great idea. I understand a fast food joint using instant mashed potatoes, but do they have to use the absolute crappiest kind? GrubGrade for still not having a review of Popeyes fried chicken.

Taste: 4.00/10
Value: 4.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 4.00/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
The boneless white meat has 200 calories and the dark has 250 calories.

45 comments on “Review: Original Recipe Boneless Chicken from KFC

  1. Roger C. says:

    A huge fail. Don’t expect this to last long.

    • G. Lenz says:

      Boneless, Skinless, Tasteless and overcooked. As someone else said, the smaller part of the tiny pieces we got was almost like jerky. We have eaten KFC for many years and it seemed pretty consistent, which means crisp and tasty coating and moist inside. This plate set before us looked like what we might leave after eating too much, and as it turned out we were just as pleased there wasn’t more since it seemed like a microwaved leftover of an inferior product from a TV dinner. We won’t be trying it again, and when we mentioned it to some friends they had already tried it and came to the same conclusion. KFC, stop wasting your money on the “I ate the bones!” adds and go back to cooking really good chicken, with bones and with skin if that’s what it takes!

  2. Alex K. says:

    Wow, KFC … how innovative…

  3. Rich says:

    I thought this would be more of a boneless piece of chicken breast/thigh that your getting. That looks EXACTLY like the chicken strips they usually have, so what’s the difference?

    KFC is like Pizza Hut now, where they don’t add anything new but reinventing the same old stuff they have at their menu. Damn shame.

    • Will Buckingham says:

      The difference is the chicken strips are actual strips of chicken, and these are basically chunks of chicken somehow held together by batter and as he said above, a weird fatty skin like substance. I stopped at the KFC near work tonight, and since they were offering a piece of boneless chicken with any other purchase for $1, I gave it a try. It was really quite terrible, and I also got a piece that looked like white meat when I ordered dark. The moment I saw the blob of almost shiny fat/skin looking material holding part of it together, I felt like that was the end. It’s truly sad that they keep coming up with these poor quality rehashes no one is asking for and ignore old favorites that customers are begging them to bring back.

  4. Chefprotoss says:

    I’m only familiar with their strips from the snackers, but those are way better than the boneless. I would have been much happier with the old chicken. Now that I think about it, I think the skin jelly was actually supposed to be fried chicken skin outside the meat, but mine had the skin running through the meat like veins. Basically I think the skin was supposed to be on the outside of the meat, but ran through the inside. So instead of crispy skin, it’s wet and lifeless. Really odd…

    • Mike N. says:

      I was thinking that, but the new [dumb] ads state that it’s “boneless skinless chicken”. I thought they might have found a way to extract the bones leaving the meat intact, but you’re right, it’s just a chopped and pressed chicken finger/plank/strip/whatever.

      • Chefprotoss says:

        If it’s skinless, what’s that weird gooey stuff in the chicken?

        • Mike N. says:

          That is indeed the question! And probably one that we don’t want to know the answer to…

          • MP says:

            Probably gelatin. Had to put those bones to use somehow.

          • Chefprotoss says:

            Nope. Or not entirely anyway. Gelatin is a liquid when hot. It was still detectable in solid form when it was hot. My chicken was fresh out of the pressure cooker too. It’s still a mystery haha

  5. RJ says:

    I wish they would bring the ribs back. I know that was a long time ago….

    But they could at least have BBQ chicken. That would be killer!

  6. Mel says:

    I’m sorry, but to me, KFC has always been the lower echelon of chicken purveyors. This only makes them sound a thousand times worse. Who would eat and enjoy this crap?!

  7. CKDexterHaven says:

    I completely disagree with Mel. KFC has always been my ‘go to’ chicken source. The standard. Like McDonald’s french fries.

    But, this new boneless product is horrendous.

    I tried it yesterday, and in my excitement, bought a 10pc bucket. What I received was not so much ‘chicken’ as Poultry Relics.

    Here’s a rundown of the issues:
    • Everyone has ‘favorite pieces.’ Legs. Breasts. Wings. What have you. But, in the boneless world, it’s quite difficult to know what you have. I was able to determine what was a breast. And, what was a thigh. Other than that, no clue. I still don’t believe i encountered anything that might have, at one time, been a leg or wing.
    • Wayyyyy overdone. Someone wrote, in another forum, that the bone is what allows chicken to retain moistness and gives it flavor. I sorta poo-pooed this idea, thinking that even if that were true, KFC would somehow figure out a way to engineer the juiciness back in. I was mistaken. My pieces were dry, hard, and had none of the typical KFC taste.
    • Half of my bucket was inedible. Seriously. Too hard, too ‘tough.’ Jerky-like, is an apt description.
    • Seems they may have added some sort of spice or flavoring that was not typical of previous KFC products, as something turned my stomach inside out that night.

    If this becomes our ONLY choice at KFC, I’ll be a Popeyes man in short order. I’m expecting, though, that this is their version of the New Coke. Short lived and not remembered with fondness.

  8. rondoman says:

    Surprise surprise! Another YUM Brand fail….

    • TheHotToddy23 says:

      Yum brands certainly has their fair share of strange products, and some do fail, but considering how big Taco Bell hit it with the Dorito’s Locos tacos they seem to know what they’re doing… at least somewhat. This boneless chicken thing is beyond strange and I’m not surprised to see all the poor reviews. It simply doesn’t appeal to me so I wouldn’t try it regardless. I was reading an article the other day with a bunch of industry experts talking about how big this could be for KFC, from what I’m hearing it may certainly be “big” but not in the way they are hoping.

    • TJ says:

      I have to say… I can’t remember many times when I’ve been critical of the products YUM has taken over, I know I’m in the minority but those are some of my favorite chains. In this case though, I’ll happily thank GrubGrade and the overwhelming consensus for saving me a few bucks here. The idea sounded fine, but the descriptions everybody is providing sound terrible. I’ll stick with the regular chicken at KFC, I’m one of the few I know who even likes that, but to me it’s not bad.

  9. JoeyF says:

    Looks pretty bad, the Popeyes Bonafide Boneless is delicious though and is the same price. $4.99 for 2 pieces with side and biscuit.

  10. Rick Felt says:

    People still eat at KFC? Popeyes is king when it comes to the franchised Fried Chicken World!!! KFC does nothing spectacular, from Chicken to the sides. It’s all quite average.

  11. BigBelly says:

    I wondered how this would be different then chicken strips, but I never imagined “skin veins” thank god I read the reviews before trying.
    The only thing that could make it worse, is the phrase “mechanically separated”

  12. JF says:

    This was all over the local news here (Colorado) and probably in other states. They made it seem like KFC somehow magically were able to remove the bones form breasts, thighs, wings, etc.

    But I couldn’t see this as anything more than boneless chicken (i.e. nugget, tender, finger, breast, etc). Aside from the dark meat (which I have never been a fan of, but recall all the backlash when they reintroduced the chicken littles which originally had dark meat), I just didn’t get it.

    And I still don’t. So what did they do? Reintroduce another overly processed chicken that has no bones, but who knows what else is in there?

    From the pictures it’s hard to make an opinion, from their commercials they talk about boneless, skinless chicken. But from the review, there seems to be something else in there (some gel, or whatever) to glue all the pieces together?

    This seems rancid to me, and I also seem to recall reading/hearing something about KFC wanting to go all boneless in a few years.

    I never was a fan of KFC, but this seems nothing more than Mc D’s early Nuggets (who knows what was really in there) and them trying to capitalize on something (not so) new.

    This is a fail, i would never try it, and suspect most won’t. This will be gone in a few months, if not sooner, and if KFC really thought this was their future, then I suspect they realized they had no future.

    CP, thanks for taking one for the team, and you are a daring individual as I think most of us would never give this a thought, much less a try.


  13. Jay says:

    The ‘gelatin layer’ is stuff called Meat Glue.
    It is used in highly processed and inferior meat products to bond small bits together and give the look of a larger, higher quality piece of meat.

  14. Dave says:

    I tried these today. I had the opposite problem from other reviewers. Both the white and dark versions were too moist. almost like a sponge pumped up with liquid. Inside the dark – pieces of skin and fat were visible. Skin should be on the outside and crispy, not gooey and on the inside. I did not like the consistency or taste. I recommend staying away from these artificial chicken products.

  15. RC says:

    Your Photo Of An ATypically Darkened Crust Prompted Me To..
    From My personal Experiences EVERY TIME I had Fried Chicken With An ATypically Overly Darkened Crust Which Was not darkened from Being burnt I decided To Break The Thing open Before biting in to it.
    EVERY TIME There Was a Lot of That eerie yellow glop which reminds Me of foam rubber.
    Sometimes There Was Some Of The mentioned “skin” ‘veins’.
    I Am No Pro Anyhow My Guess Is They Forgot To Check BOTH Sides Of The Legs Before Trimming Them.
    I Am guessing The Yellow glop During Heating Took On A Life Of It”s Own.

  16. dc says:

    Tried it – DRY – and even the skin is bland. Hate to say it but congrats to PETA for the apparent infiltration of management and/or taste test groups ;)…KFC is going down hard if they think they can survive on boneless only in the future. Their new menu boards suck too – they look like they sell about 10 items and nearly all are text – aren’t you supposed to advertise the food to sell?

  17. Chipster22 says:

    I received an email coupon to get a 2 piece boneless meal for $2.99 so I gave them a try. My experience was much better than the review and comments led me to expect. I chose all white meat and as best as I could tell the meat was all from one piece of chicken and was not “glued together.” It was also moist, hot, and tender. The coating was more crispy than I expected from original recipe, but that was a good thing IMHO.

    I’d get them again, at least if they boneless pieces were on sale.

  18. Steve says:

    I haven’t tried them, but all of the other reviews I read were similar to what Chipster22 said. They all said that the boneless chicken tasted just like the bone-in equivalents, and that the coating was a little crispier than the bone-in equivalents. None of them said anything about any gel or any nastiness at all. All of them gave good ratings (as in 4 out of 5).

  19. Doug Durgensen says:

    Our grocery store (coborns) has an amazing rotisserie chicken.

  20. Rob S. says:

    I tried this product. The white meat boneless chicken that I got did not resemble a chicken strip but had the general shape of a thigh. The white meat was okay and I didn’t notice a skin/jelly layer. The dark meat was shaped like a chicken strip and I didn’t care for it at all and I did not finish it. I probably wouldn’t order this again. I would rather have chicken strips, boneless fillets, popcorn chicken or any other boneless option instead of this. I would definitely never eat the dark meat boneless chicken ever again.

  21. Dubba says:

    I was hoping you were being a bit harsh in this review… you were not, you were spot on. Be grateful you didn’t get a piece of the dark meat, it’s even worse then the white “meat”.

  22. ron says:

    Tried it with high hopes. Utter failure. Whoever came up with this concoction should be fired.

  23. Bo says:

    Chicken floor sweepings held together with meat glue, yuk

  24. Alek says:

    KFC dropped the ball! Replacing it with boneless chicken?! Keep the menu and the tradition of fried chicken. I prefer the strips better.

    Popeyes makes really good chicken and their gravy is so good I love to dip in gravy

  25. Alek says:

    I checked the KFC facebook page. Lots of negative reviews on the same product that you reviewed.

    Major failure I hope that they will kick this item off the menu. Why bother messing up the orignal recipe? If people want chicken on the go order the boneless strips the strips are the winner.

  26. arnold ripkin says:

    This review is spot on! I suspect KFC is trying to move away from fresh chicken and work only out of freezer. I have always enjoyed KFC’s fresh fried chicken but not so much their tenders and bites. Partially cooked chicken meat that is then frozen seems to pick a bit of an odd taste no matter who sells it.

  27. ItRocked says:

    What a bunch of pretentious, stuck up, self absorbed losers. You’re talking about KFC for crying out loud. This product is EXACTLY like regular kfc and just as delicious except they took the bones out. What a load of BS to criticise it as if it doesn’t take %100 exactly like KFC. Go back to your low IQ asylums and shut up.

  28. Meatglue says:

    Just another way to try and make money with inferior products. Kind of sounds like they take a bunch of scraps, meat glue them together, then make sell it for more than a regular piece of chicken (I don’t know if they do use meat glue (which is often made from pigs blood and makes the raw meat smell like wet dog), but I have asked them if they do and they refuse to answer me, pictures make it look like most of the pieces didn’t start out as 1 piece to me though). Oh, but they are calling it “revolutionary” and putting hipsterish looking people in their commercials so I’ll take 100, please.

  29. Amanda says:

    I don’t understand why they couldn’t just use boneless/skinless breasts and thighs, batter and fry them??? I have not tried this, but I honeslty thought that’s what it would be. Seems simple enough. Meat glue??? BLECH!

  30. Deborah says:

    I tried this chicken yesterday and it was unbelievable and not in a good way. The taste was horrible and the way it looked was even worse. KFC has hit a bad patch and needs to take this mess off of their menu. It didn’t look like the picture that shows a nice juicy looking chicken tender. It looks more like a big glued mass of greasy, funny tasting, and foreign looking glob. Please go back to the drawing board and consider your customers comments on this one.

  31. Bryan says:

    ok. My wife brought home a 10 piece bucket of the boneless chicken a few weeks ago and after a few pieces I told her, ” something is not right about this chicken.” As most people have stated, there is a skinlike, mushy looking “something” throughout the chicken. completely turned me off.

    Fast forward to today. I went with a coworker to kfc for lunch and i ordered the doublicious sandwich. You would expect it to be a fried chicken breast but this was no ordinary chicken breast. It had characteristics very similar to the boneless chicken. It looks as if different pieces were “glued” together to make a bigger piece of chicken. It didnt particularly taste bad, but i could not bring myself to eat it based off of the way it looked. threw it away

  32. […] April we reviewed Original Recipe Boneless from KFC and it didn’t get a passing grade.  Extra Crispy Original Boneless is here to help us forget […]

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