Checkers and Rally's
Popcorn chicken is normally the best because you get a ton of them in the box. Our “Bite Box” was large from the outside, which was exciting, until we opened it. The box was filled to the brim with fries rather than chicken. Their classic seasoning seemed to douse the chicken bites and the included fries appeared to have a golden brown flavor reserved for our taste buds...but we were left with a helplessly bland few bits of breading with maybe some “chicken” here or there, and a bunch of soggy fries that basically took up space.
The bag came with more sauces than it did chicken; if that doesn’t say enough about why we rated this so low, then let me just add that the flavor was good and these popcorn nuggets would be great while out drinking, but for the price we just really didn’t think we got enough chicken, especially since they were mostly breading.
If you want the recipe for KFC’s popcorn nuggets, it may have slipped through the cracks: bread + grease = nugget. KFC has a really good looking product here, but there were more than a couple “nuggets” that ended up entirely made of breading. On top of that, the flavor just left so much to be desired, especially in a restaurant filled with delicious fried chicken… I mean, really? Why get nuggets when there’s fried chicken right there!?! This popcorn chicken leaves us wondering if it’s just the the leftover morsels from bottom of the fryer.
Jack In the Box
The first ‘real’ nugget in our list, these bad boys were just a bit too small to really hit the spot. The fact that there were 5 instead of the average 4 nuggets keeps them at about even value, but their sponginess just made them a bit too unsatisfying even though they carried a nice spicy warmth.
Meh. These nuggets are just so average. The breading was interesting, a bit more granular that most, and they had a pretty OK flavor, but nothing about these really propelled them into the upper half of our rankings.
The cheapest pack of nuggets we could find: 4 for 99 cents! Unfortunately price alone could not place these nuggets any higher on our list since they were a bit too salty and didn’t end up satisfying as much as we’d hoped.
WARNING: I love Mcdonalds. I always have, so I’m a little biased, but here goes: Selling hundreds of millions of McNuggets each year, these nuggets are like the gold standard of nugget despite their infamy. Everyone has heard about the horrors that go into making these things, but they have been crafted as a near perfect nugget. The flavor is actually a bit weak, but it does taste like the chicken you would expect. The breading is more like a batter and seems like these nuggets were designed to be eaten with sauce and not alone, which kept these nuggets out of the top spot.
What? Rings in the number 2 spot? Yes, my good nugget lover, we do think these were that good. Obviously we didn’t think these had any semblance of realism, but hey, they tasted pretty dang chickeny. They were also dense enough that we felt they filled us up. True nugget lovers know that this is what Beyonce was really singing about all along. So with good flavor and a filling nugget, only one other nugget could beat these.
The realest of nuggets, there wasn’t much of an argument about placing these in the top spot. The price is similar to the others, yet here you can clearly see that there is actual chicken inside. They are a bit greasy for some people’s tastes (they look like they just got done doing a musical number with John Travolta), and the peanut oil might not be to everyones liking, but on the whole they’re pretty darn good.