So my friends at DanimalCrossing informed me of something intriguing: Taco Bell is testing out a taco with fried chicken for a shell! Unfortunately, they are only selling it in the Bakersfield, CA, area, so Chicago-based Danimal couldn’t get you folks a review. Until now! That’s right. I’m here from Los Angeles to give you the juicy details on this unholy beast of a taco.
What is it? Officially, it’s the Naked Crispy Chicken Taco. Think of it as Taco Bell’s version of the KFC Double Down. You got a normal taco inside (lettuce, tomato, cheese) with a crispy chicken shell on the outside. It also has an avocado ranch sauce. Let’s check it out!
A little cozy and dim, but it’s clean and modern. I guess they want to set the mood?
This is your standard Taco Bell counter. I searched the menu board to see if they were advertising the Naked Crispy Chicken Taco (NCCT from now on) and couldn’t find it! And then I felt dumb when I found a sign right in front of me.
BOOM. Get your hot and fresh NCCT right hur. I like the simple layout and styling here — bold, not too fancy, and straight to the point. My only concern is that the chicken is supposedly marinated. In what? I couldn’t say and wish I had asked. I’ll try not to let my imagination run away.
The tacos are $2.99 each. That feels a little steep at first, but when you consider that you’re getting a big ol’ chicken patty, the price is reasonable. If only just for the novelty, it’s worth trying!
2 Nkd Crspy Ck Tacs for $6.43 with tax. Even Taco Bell thinks the name is too long.
Now from what I’ve read, these tacos are only confirmed available from two locations. However, the very first TBell I called in Bakersfield had them. It’s possible I simply got lucky, but it’s more likely that these are available in most Bakersfield locations. This one is at 3707 Coffee Road. Mmm… coffee.
Oh, and if anyone is wondering if that survey code is still up for grabs, well… better claim it fast!
The NCCTs on a tray with the requisite condiment. I’m of the opinion that Taco Bell only tastes good with Fire sauce.
Also, you can tell this is a test product when the packaging it comes in says Double Decker Taco. I guess “Special” is good enough, and I can’t blame them for not wanting to go all out on something they might not even have anymore in a month.
The big unveiling! Let me stop here and say that I was fully expecting disappointment with the NCCT. Before this moment, I was picturing a messy taco with a grotesquely fat and disfigured chicken-ish shell dripping with grease. But what is this? It looks like a taco! And the chicken is thin and kinda resembles a taco shell! Okay, now I’m interested.
Here’s a profile view. Note the protective cardboard sleeve.
The guts! This felt a little vulgar, but at least it was already naked when I got down to business. You can see that the cheese is nice and melty (a big plus in my book), and the ingredients are pretty evenly distributed (very important).
Ask her what?! (Sauce humor.)
Here’s a side view before any bites.
I am no longer an NCCT virgin.
Round two. This one is a bit messier but not bad. Not sure where tomato is trying to run.
The cheese is all over, too. Did the guy make this while blindfolded? I kid! It’s not as bad as it looks.
Another interior view. You can see the avocado ranch sauce.
So how is it? Shockingly good! Like I said, I was bracing myself for a rough ride on the Regrettable Fast Food Express, but I left very satisfied. The shell! Ohhhh the shell. It’s delicious. The chicken is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. Whatever they are using for marinade, I approve. And the best part is that there is very little grease. I barely had to use a napkin after finishing one. Very impressive.
The other ingredients are also tasty. The lettuce and tomato and cheese are lightly applied. This is good because you don’t want to overwhelm the star of the show; they are more of a complement to what boils down to a glorified chicken tender. In that sense, the avocado ranch really ties the whole thing together like a pre-applied dipping sauce — a very creamy and flavorful one at that. Overall, very well done.
Two of these bad boys will easily fill up an average joe, or you can have one as a hefty snack. I would equate one of these to two regular tacos.
Would I get the NCCT again? Absolutely! In fact, I think I would enjoy one even without the Fire sauce, and nothing else on Taco Bell’s menu can persuade me to make that claim.
Final Grade: A
Originally published at www.danimalcrossing.com on October 9, 2015.