Taco Bell Adds Fried Chicken Shell Tacos to the Menu

Taco Bell’s newest menu item is called the Naked Chicken Chalupa — but if you ask us, that doesn’t quite describe the fried chicken-taco hybrid.

Okay, so, technically, Taco Bell’s newest menu item is called the Naked Chicken Chalupa — but if you ask us, that doesn’t quite describe the crispy fried chicken-taco hybrid accurately.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa — which has already been tested in some specific markets in California and Kansas City, Missouri, to “buzzworthy” results, according to a company press release — will launch nationally on January 26. Before you give up on all your New Year’s resolutions and run out to get a taste of this creation, here’s what you need to know about this new-fangled creation.

It’s called “naked” because this chalupa doesn’t have anything resembling a normal taco or chalupa shell; the shell is the big disc of fried chicken, folded in half to create a taco shape to hold the usual toppings, like shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato, plus a semi-exciting-sounding avocado-ranch sauce.

Unlike some of the chain’s previous attempts at innovation, this new menu item — the company stressed this part in a recent press release — contains only all-white-meat, antibiotic-free chicken, so you can be hopeful that the rather large chicken shell is, at least, of higher quality than the mystery meat you might remember from late-night taco runs of years past.

According to Eater, this isn’t the first time Taco Bell has tried molding crispy chicken patties into interesting shapes in order to woo customers. It also apparently revealed triangular fried chicken “chips” recently, and served with a dipping sauce, of course. (Although we haven’t yet seen these on a T-Bell menu, we’d guess they’re basically triangular chicken nugget bites.)

The Naked Chicken Chalupa will sell for $2.99, or $5 if you opt for the combo box that also includes a Doritos Locos Taco, a Crunchy Taco and a medium-sized beverage.

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Photo courtesy of @tacobell

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