Fried chicken and waffles go together like bread and butter. On paper, very little about the dish makes any sense. Pudding and poultry shouldn’t really live together on the same plate. If you served someone roast chicken and ice cream, you’d probably receive a scowl, followed by a faceful of soggy bird and dairy. Yet, for whatever reason, chicken and waffles is a match made in heaven. Now, for the first time in history, the world’s biggest fried chicken franchise have finally cottoned on to the phenomenon.
As of yesterday, KFC restaurants across the United States have unleashed their version of this beloved fixture of classic southern cooking, following months of fevered speculation from fans around the world. Available as both a sandwich and a platter, the dish will be available for a limited run, until the 31st of December at nearly 4,200 outlets around the country. Autumn just got awesome.
The Colonel’s all-new take on the dish will allow customers to choose between extra crispy chicken pieces and extra crispy chicken tenders, allowing you to make you waffles exactly as you want. The waffles themselves will be made in the Belgian-style, rather than the traditional buttermilk option favoured in other kitchens, and will come drenched in a side of Mrs Butterworth’s syrup.
As if this wasn’t enough to start you salivating, the chain have also announced that they will offer a second waffle sandwich option, featuring Hot-Honey fried chicken, for those who fancy a chilli kick to cut through the sweetness. If KFC have made one thing clear, it’s that they are determined to make 2018 the year that fried chicken and waffles finally break into the mainstream.
In a press release to accompany the announcement, KFC’s United States’ Chief Marketing Officer, Andrea Zahumensky, elaborated on the business’ plans for their new menu item. "Our famous extra crispy, savoury fried chicken atop a Belgian Liege-style waffle, with the finishing touch of classic Mrs. Butterworth's syrup, makes for a scrumptious dish I'd put up against versions at upscale restaurants, but we're offering it at a price just about anyone can afford," she revealed to the press.
Of course, this is far from the first time that a fast food business has decided to include chicken and waffles on their menu. Chains like Bruxie have been building a successful business from waffle sandwiches for years. Nonetheless, KFC’s announcement could have serious ramifications for the rest of the industry. If the food is a hit in the States, there’s no reason why it couldn’t go international.
We’ve come to expect that KFC special releases are a little on the wild side. Dishes like the infamous “Double-Down” prove that the powers that be aren’t afraid to think outside the box. Given this history, it’s slightly surprising to see them go for something slightly more traditional in 2018. If it tastes as good as it sounds, we’ll probably be glad they did.