You don't always know what you're going to get when Taco Bell introduces a new item. Will it just be a taco with a crazy Doritos shell, or will it be weird Cap'n Crunch ball things? The possibilities are endless!
So we had some healthy skepticism when the fast food chain announced the Naked Chicken Chalupa, which sports a taco shell made of chicken. From their press release: "The shell is made with four ounces of marinated, all-white-meat, antibiotic-free chicken kicked up with bold Mexican spices and seasoning, and is packed with fresh shredded lettuce, diced ripe tomatoes, cheddar cheese and creamy avocado ranch."
The verdict after our taste test? Surprisingly delicious.
Here's what surprised us: Despite being called a "taco shell," there's no ground beef in this thing. In fact, TV writer Dawn Burkes likened it to a fried chicken salad that you could hold in your hand. That comparison checks out.
She also said it seems like a healthier menu option than some of Taco Bell's other offerings (we're not food-ologists, so we don't know for sure if that's the case), and she said, "I'm gonna buy one tonight. This is something that must be shared."
The other (pleasant) surprise: There's kick to this chicken. Even without adding signature Taco Bell sauce, every bite is a bit spicy.
Our craft beer reporter Tiney Ricciardi said, "It's pretty damn genius, although the chicken is like high school cafeteria meat." It's thin.
We finished the three clucking delicious chalupas we purchased and all agreed that we'd be willing to go back for more. Thankfully, they won't break the bank, at $2.99 each.
Our tasters were Tiney Ricciardi, Dawn Burkes, Shannon Sutlief and Britton Peele.