Update: After a much-anticipated national roll-out in January, the Naked Chicken Chalupa disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Another variation on the chicken-as-tortilla, the Naked Chicken Chips, had a similarly short but delicious run.
The Naked Chicken reign is not over yet, however. Today, Taco Bell announced the return of Naked Chicken Chips for a limited time. Not only are the chips — which, let's face it, are basically nuggets — back, they are now also available in a quesadilla. The decadent item includes a three-cheese blend and spicy jalapeño sauce and can be purchased alone or in a $5 box.
The Naked Chicken Chalupa, the O.G. bizarre mashup that kicked the whole thing off, isn't back yet — that is, unless you are blessed enough to live in one of the select markets currently testing out the Bacon Ranch Naked Chicken Chalupa. It's exactly what it sounds like: a chicken breast swaddling bacon, spicy ranch, shredded cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. Taco Bell is also testing out a take on chicken and biscuits where triangles of mini biscuits will be served for breakfast alongside the chicken chips. If you want to try it for yourself, you'll need to either be near Knoxville, TN, or ready to embark on a road trip toward the East Tennessee region.
This article was originally published on January 11, 2017.
On a fateful day back in 2015, one lucky customer stumbled unknowingly into their local Taco Bell and discovered the very first Naked Chicken Chalupa (i.e. a piece of crispy chicken that had been fashioned into a taco shell). It's now been nearly two years since the buzz on this elusive test-run menu item began, and the world has since been filled with many anxious whispers. Will it return? When will it return? What came first? The chicken or the shell?! You can put your Chalupa-obsessed nerves at ease, because we have the hard and fast answers right here.
The Naked Chicken Chalupa will return! In fact, it will be returning on a widespread scale this very month. And concerning the matter of what came first, according to the company's press release (and Aristotle): "The shell is the chicken. The chicken is the shell." We couldn't agree more.
The NCC will be sold nationwide for $2.99 beginning on January 26th. And if you choose to partake in ordering this highly innovative fast food creation, here's what you'll be getting: seasoned, golden, and crispy (antibiotic-free) chicken that's molded it into a classic Taco Bell shell. The crunchy-poultry taco is then stuffed with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and a drizzle of creamy avocado ranch.
Could this be TB's rebuttal to KFC's Double Down sandwich? At $2 cheaper AND with an avocado ranch dressing, the NCC wins in our book — every, single time.