Reviewing the Chains: Grilled Chicken at KFC

Today, I'm trying to "unthink" lunch. KFC launched a line of healthier grilled chicken options a few months ago, and it's about time Clean Plate Charlie gives it a try. I've never been a fan of KFC. It's chicken is always far too greasy, sitting under heat lamps for a couple of days more than I'm comfortable with and often served in buckets. As a rule, I try to avoid eating anything that comes in buckets. Still, I'm hungry for lunch, and there's blogging material right around the corner.

My first surprise at KFC is the price. For a value box (much better than a bucket, by the way) of grilled chicken, I needed to hand over only $3. I ordered the grilled drumstick and received my second surprise: thinly veiled honesty warning me against my lunch plans. I should have taken it as a bad sign right away when the cashier asked if I was "sure you want the grilled chicken?" I assured her I did indeed want the unfried chicken, and she shrugged. I immediately regret not heeding her warning.


The value box is just a small drumstick mixed in with about four potatoes worth of battered, fried wedges. I decided to go with the fried portion of my meal first and threw one into my mouth. The very outer corners of the potato wedges are crispy, while every other part is soggy and dry. It seems like these potatoes are reconstituted before they're fried, as they have a flaky texture. After finishing the first wedge, I decide to dive into the meat of my lunch.


The first thing I notice about the drumstick is the size. This thing is hardly bigger than a chicken wing. I pick it up and immediately realize that although the drumstick is grilled, there's still a thick greasy coating. Surprisingly, there are grill marks on the chicken that don't look as if they've been painted on. An uneven paprika seasoning covers about 1/3 of the drumstick. I close my eyes and take a bite.

It's much better than I'd anticipated. What little meat is on the bone is very tender, the skin is crunchy, and it takes almost no effort before the meat falls off the bone. The seasoning seems to be a heavy mixture of salt, pepper, and paprika, and there is definitely a gas-grilled flavor to the meat. It takes only three bites to finish off the drumstick, but it's two bites more than I was expecting to take when I ordered.

If you're looking to eat a healthy meal, KFC should be low on your list. However, if you find yourself at Col. Sanders' joint and don't want to completely destroy your arteries, the grilled chicken is edible. Hell, it's actually pretty good.

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