KFC rolled out its controversial Chicken & Donuts on Thursday. BI senior correspondent Hayley Peterson tried the new menu during its test run in September, and a team of Business Insider reporters tried it on Thursday. Tasters agreed that although the chicken-and-doughnuts combo tasted like sweet, artery-clogging death, it was also the most delicious new item that KFC has come out with in a long time. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
KFC is rolling out its controversial Chicken & Donuts menu nationwide. The new menu features pairings of glazed doughnuts and the chain's classic fried chicken. One of the new menu items is a fried-chicken-and-doughnut sandwich. Customers can also order a basket of fried chicken on the bone or chicken tenders with one or two doughnuts or add a doughnut to any meal for $1. BI senior correspondent Hayley Peterson tried the new menu at a KFC restaurant in a Chester, Virginia location, in September during the test run, and on Thursday, KFC brought Business Insider's New York office a sample case of the new menu items. Here's what we thought:SEE ALSO: Social-media battles, massive crowds, and overworked employees: Inside the rise and fall of Popeyes' chicken sandwich Back in September, we went to a KFC restaurant in Chester, Virginia around lunchtime on a Wednesday.
The new menu was prominently advertised on signs outside the restaurant, at the entrance, and at the ordering counter.
We ordered a chicken-and-doughnut sandwich combo meal for $7.99 and a three-piece chicken-tender basket with a donut for $5.49.
Our order was ready within three minutes. As soon as we opened the box containing the chicken-and-doughnut sandwich, our senses were overwhelmed with an intensely sweet smell of sugar.
The sandwich was piping hot — too hot to pick up. This is probably because the doughnuts had just come out of the fryer.
A KFC representative told Business Insider's Kate Taylor that the doughnuts are shipped to restaurants already cooked. When a customer orders them, the doughnuts are dipped in fryers and glazed. Once the sandwich had cooled down a bit, we took a bite.
The savory flavoring of the chicken overpowered the sweetness of the doughnut in the best possible way.
The doughnut acted as a honey-sweet accent to the chicken, which was the main event.
Next, we tried the chicken-and-doughnut basket.
On their own, the doughnuts were a bit soggy and altogether unremarkable.
They were denser than a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Their taste resembled a fried-and-glazed potato roll. This consistency and flavor works really well when paired with chicken. But we probably wouldn't order the doughnuts on their own.
We came away thinking that the chicken-and-doughnut sandwich could be a real hit, even with doughnuts that on their own are underwhelming.
I might not be alone. One KFC employee said the sandwiches are so popular that they are "flying out the window." On Thursday, we were given both sandwiches and separate doughnuts and chicken tenders.
The sheer bready, gooey, greasy appearance of the sandwich made us nervous.
It looked like a veritable heart attack.
But once we dug in, it was a different story.
The doughnut was softer than we expected, but the chicken was crisp and juicy.
We were simultaneously overwhelmed and blown away by the combination. One taster said: "I didn't want to love it, but I loved it."
Another echoed that sentiment, saying "My body is mad and my heart is sad, but my brain is glad."
One taster, who grew up eating chicken and waffles, said that while the combination was better than she expected, she got sick of the sweet glazed donut after a few bites.
The verdict was universal: Chicken & Donuts was a major hit.
It was by far the tastiest item we've tested in recent memory, but we all agreed that it wouldn't be a regular breakfast for any of us. But it was certainly a special treat. And given the meteoric rise of the chicken sandwich, it's the perfect time for this dish to slide onto America's tables.
Priscilla Zhu, Brittany Chang, David Slotnick, Dennis Green, Madeline Stone, and Mary Meisenzahl contributed additional reporting to this story.