God bless these T-Bell tendies.

By Tim Nelson
November 20, 2019
Taco Bell

A combination KFC and Taco Bell is like a beacon of hope amid fasta food blight, promising near-endless eating options and cross-chain combo options. But for whatever reason, it hasn’t felt like there was any singular menu item that exemplified this Yum! Brands partnership in an all-encompassing way. Are we to order chicken and put it in a Chalupa ourselves? Split open a biscuit and shovel ground beef inside? We simply had no guidance on how to truly fuse the southern-fried ethos of KFC with the zest for life embodied by Taco Bell.

Well, that ends right now, as far as I’m concerned. That’s because the innovative minds behind Taco Bell’s collection of menu curious is now testing out one item to rule them all: Crispy Tortilla Chicken.

Based on available information, these things seem like the perfect fusion of pollo and the Live Mas mentality. Taco Bell says their Crispy Tortilla Chicken consists of chicken breast meat thoughtfully dunked in a jalapeño buttermilk ranch, sprinkled with tortilla chips and panko bread crumbs, and then deep-fried. Taco Bell Chief Food Innovation Officer Liz Matthews (whose job I wouldn’t mind having) tells Delish that it took about 60 R&D iterations to get the Crispy Tortilla Chicken right, which hopefully means these things have a bit more heat, zest, and crunch than your average fast food menu item.

Watch: How to Make Copycat Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists

Obviously, you can order the Crispy Tortilla Chicken in a taco, but here’s where things get really outside the bun: you can just order them as straight-up chicken fingers. Taco Bell really is going full KFC with these things. Of course, you won’t be slamming these tendies into your mouth without any backup, as you’ll have avocado ranch, creamy chipotle, and chili ranch dipping sauces to choose from. God bless the Bell for bringing multiple ranch options into our lives.

If you want to get your hands on some tortilla-crusted chicken, you’re going to want to hold up for a minute. Right now, these taco-adjacent tendies are only available at Taco Bell locations in Houston, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, because even the most obviously good ideas need a test run before they can go mass-market. However, Taco Bell hopes to get these on menus nationwide sometime in 2020.

 

So if your New Year’s Resolution is to eat more chicken fingers from taco restaurants, great. If it’s not, there’s still time to change it. Make 2020 the year you truly commit to Living Mas. The chicken will show you the way.  

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