I used to love KFC chicken. Actually I used to love Kentucky Fried Chicken. When I was a kid it was so exciting to see that bucket - whether it was at home for dinner, or a pot luck event that someone was to busy/lazy to make something at home but that was ok because the chicken was great. In recent years, the chicken doesn't taste as good, the pieces have gotten smaller (they even started cutting pieces in half to make more in a bucket - that's a crime!).
I even had to write in a complaint not long ago to one location when I had a car full of kids and a few adults who wanted fried chicken. It was half an hour before 11pm (closing) and I went inside the store. The kids working in there told me I had to go through the drive through, so I did, and then I was told that they didn't have chicken because they close at 11. One of the kids asked "how does KFC not have chicken?" In a rare move by me, I got snarky with the kid and said "so you basically are closing 30 minutes early?" She just ummed and we ended up finding a Popeye's that also was also closing at 11pm but was still making chicken. I wrote a tempered but angry e-mail and KFC never got back to me. Also, the KFC Canada website is a mess - always has been). Trying to find info or prices without ordering food, and then being told you can't see the info because Delivery or Pickup isn't available in your area yet (but I can order it off Skip the Dishes on that website) its just so frustrating. I tried to just watch a video on the site for this review and it said "Not Available". Garbage.
Ok rant over. Sorry about that I kind of went off there. So despite all the negative experiences with KFC lately, I still go but it's not so much for the regular chicken as for the wings.
My wife and I are on the road quite a bit and a quick and easy stop is in Kingston Ontario, where we go to a Taco Bell/KFC hybrid restaurant. We usually just get Taco Bell, but we had gotten the $10 Chick'N Share combo at another location in the past and decided to share a bucket.
Billed as a "bucket built for two" it's a decent deal of 10 Hot Wings for $10 (it's 12 wings for $10 in the States, but what can you do?) considering 2 wings are just shy of $3. You can also get popcorn chicken, or just chicken, or tenders, but we were there for the wings.
As we were trying to get going on our road trip, we went through the Drive-Through, but there was no mention of the Chick'N Share combos. Heck, I couldn't even see if they had wings. I was pretty sure they did, but these boards just have too much dang info on them (ignoring that half the board is for Taco Bell). Fortunately I asked, and they did indeed have both Hot Wings and the Chick'N Share combo.
They don't ever seem to have wings ready like they do their regular fried chicken, so it takes a little bit longer to get your order. That's ok, I'll wait 5-10 minutes for freshly fried chicken!
We got our chicken, pulled off to the side and dove into our chicken wing order. The last time I reviewed KFC wings was 10 years ago in 2008 when I was reviewing their Wicked Crunch items. How would I feel this time around?
Wings come in all sorts of orders - 2, 5, in a combo, in this bucket - too many ways to list all of them. We've gotten this deal a few times, and normally it comes in their half-bucket containers (remember "bucket for two"?), but this time they just came in a box.
The length of these wings are small. That's disappointing. But to make up for it, these are a really meaty wing - not scrawny at all. They are also breaded (the menu says it's lightly breaded, but it's more of a medium breaded). This makes the wing super crunchy, the kind that you can hear someone take a bite of.
Wings should always be eaten as quickly out of the fryer as possible and these are no different. The meat inside is moist and tender, and it seems so fresh, the bones are easily pulled out.
See above? That's where the bone used to be, but it came out so clean and smooth, making these a truly boneless wing. That's how tender they were.
These wings are a dry wing, with no sauce. There is hot sauce you can ask for, a cayenne based hot sauce, but they don't need them. They are salty, and they have a hint of heat. The heat is dry, and more goes after the back of the throat rather than the lips. Heat wimps might find it hot, but I don't think the general public will find this hot.
The ingredient list is a bit crazy though:
Fresh chicken. Marinated in: salt, monosodium glutamate, spices, potassium chloride, tetra potassium pyrophosphate, sugar, garlic powder, citric acid. Breaded in: wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, sodium aluminum phosphate, dextrose, high monounsaturated vegetable oil (canola and/or sunflower seed) (manufacturing aid), colour (contains wheat flour), spices. Cooked in: canola oil (dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent), TBHQ). Contains wheat.
Umm, I don't know what a lot of that is. I do notice MSG. That's ok with me. What I do know is that 'spices' is mentioned twice without explaining what spice is actually used. No idea what the heat is.
Forgetting all the wrongs KFC have done in recent times, these wings stand out for me as a redeeming factor. The wings are small, but they are meaty, tender and moist. The skin is wonderfully crisp/crunchy. The heat factor is low, but the salty chicken tastes good even without the sauce. There's a reason these are some of my wife's favourite wings. 8.5/14
29 Warne Cres, Kingston ON (and other locations)