The chain’s latest novelty item went national Thursday after test-marketing in Bakersfield, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo., in 2015 and 2016. The "naked" chalupa features a piece of fried, seasoned boneless white-meat chicken as the shell, and the meat vessel is filled with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese and an avocado ranch dressing.
Courant newsroom taste-test reactions were mixed:
"This fried chicken is a great idea, and I can’t believe they haven’t done this sooner."
“It’s not bad.”
“That’s delicious, I love it, I’d go buy one.”
“This is weird, a little weird. Because it doesn’t taste like it’s from Taco Bell.”
“The sauce really makes it and it’s got a little bit of spice, too.”
“Better than I expected.”
“The insides are kind of meh, but the chicken is good.”
“I was expecting something far worse.”
“They should’ve started with fried chicken a long time ago.”
“I feel like it would be greasy if you tried to eat it without the little holder on it.”
“It could be spicier, I think.”
The participants gave the Naked Chicken Chalupa an average "6 out of 10 bells" rating.
The chalupa is available nationwide for a suggested price of $2.99 (they were $3.29 at the Taco Bell at 485 Flatbush Ave., Hartford) and they’re also featured in a $5 box along with a Doritos Loco Taco, crunchy taco and medium drink. tacobell.com.