The megachain known for tacos and burritos – and, recently, for pureed chicken taquitos – has announced its latest out-of-the-box culinary innovation: the chicken strip.
The new Crispy Tortilla Chicken menu item, which the brand describes as “the ultimate Taco Bell twist” on a classic, features all-white-meat chicken dunked in a jalapeno buttermilk marinade before being breaded with a “crunchy tortilla chip coating.”
The strips are then served with the chain’s “new signature dipping sauce” — the flavor of which was not immediately shared in a press release, but appears to be an orangey sauce akin to nacho cheese. (A similar sauce was provided with the chain's Naked Chicken Chips – a.k.a chicken nuggets – upon that item's debut.)
For those who want to stay true to Taco Bell’s Mexican food-inspired legacy – and did not aimlessly wander into the Taco Bell thinking it was a Burger King – the chain is also offering a more on-brand soft taco that will utilize the breaded chicken tenders as the filling.
The Crispy Tortilla Chicken comes amid the current "chicken wars," which were arguably kicked off after Popeyes' new Chicken Sandwich exploded in popularity. Taco Bell isn't taking their entry into the "war" lightly either, as the brand's Test Kitchen reportedly experimented with 100 iterations of the deep-fried chicken strip “before landing on the perfect recipe” for its launch, per the press release.
The “unexpected innovation” from the brand, which is known for other “unexpected innovations” like Nacho Fries and the Triplelupa, will begin testing in Houston, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, before rolling out to chicken-strip connoisseurs nationwide in 2020.