KFC Hot Wings: A Review


Try dipping them in the mashed potatoes and gravy.

On paper, it sounds like a good idea: Do a culinary mash-up of Buffalo wings and fried chicken, two poultry-bearing American classics. And that’s what the Colonel did, just in time for the Super Bowl.

A box of 10 is only $5, in NYC at least.

Bargain-priced at 50 cents apiece, the wings have been butchered into three parts the same way Buffalo wings are: “drumstick,” two-bone thing you have to use your tongue to get the string of flesh out of, and tip — which is discarded, or maybe put to some other nefarious use we’re not told about.

These parts are then breaded with a coating that feels like the crunchy variation of KFC’s fried chicken and deep-fried. The wings come out nicely browned and crunchy, and are a pleasure to pick up and eat from the box. At first I was afraid that it would be a boneless wing, but my fears were misplaced. Nibbling around the bones is one of the things that makes Buffalo wings fun.

I was also fearful that the skin might be removed. The skin, of course, is the best part of the chicken. After some careful anatomizing, I discovered that the skin in indeed intact; however, it doesn’t really seem like skin anymore, but like a thin layer of rubbery plastic. No matter, it contributes virtually nothing to overall taste or texture.

Bones and skin intact!

In the poster, the wings fly through the air like little fumbled footballs.

If I were setting out to make a Buffalo wing/fried chicken mash-up, I’d probably make the Buffalo wings first with Frank’s RedHot and butter painted over the fried, unbreaded wings, then dip the wings in crumbly coating and fry them a second time. Then, when you bit into them, you’d discover the red hot sauce inside the fried coating. It would be wonderful.

Naturally, KFC had to circumvent such a time-consuming process. Indeed, though the KFC Hot Wings are mildly spicy, there’s no red color at all, which is slightly disturbing. In other words, the wings are good, but they could have been much better.