If you’ve been breathlessly following all news Taco Bell like we have (well, it’s a fun part of our job), you probably already know that the chain recently released a surprising limited-time-only product: chicken wings. There are multiple reasons this is interesting. One, Taco Bell has never sold wings on a national scale before, and two, these wings are an extremely limited-time-only product. As in, they are only available for one week.
The item was released last week on January 6, and I couldn’t resist the call—I had to try some right away. I’d read that the wings were only being served after 2 p.m. each day (and an employee confirmed this over the phone). I showed up at 2 on the dot and was greeted by a drive-thru employee who was genuinely excited to sell the new product.
“There’s a limited amount of these things per day,” she said, “and we think they’re going to sell out fast!” I put a few orders in—$6 per 5-piece order—and headed home.
One interesting thing I noticed was that the wings came in a plain cardboard takeout box with no branding on it. The wings themselves are on the small side, and for $6, the price was steeper than most items on Taco Bell’s menu, including its Cravings Boxes, which are entire combo meals for $5. I chalk the pricing up to novelty and the fact that chicken wings supplies have been fluctuating, but this is all to say, don’t order these expecting giant portions.
The wings looked dry at first glance; the flats had exposed bones, which is usually not a great sign, since that means the meat has receded, typically from overcooking. But honestly, after my first bite, this wasn’t a big deal. It was clear that these wings were less about meatiness and more about crunch. And they were indeed audibly crunchy in a good way, since they were breaded. The seasoning (which the press release describes as a “flavorful Mexican Queso”) reminded me a lot of Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries, which have a savory chili powder mix on them that’s satisfying, though somewhat nondescript.
The meat wasn’t dessicated as I initially feared. While it wasn’t necessarily the platonic ideal of a chicken wing, each wing was still plenty moist and tender, though there wasn’t a ton of meat to be had. Besides, there was a spicy ranch included (which had no kick), and that was able to negate any dry bites I encountered. The ranch wasn’t super heavy, either, a fact I appreciated. It was tart and a little fluffy, and served as a good dipping sauce for the chicken.
Since it’s such a limited product and many of you might not be able to get your hands on some, I’m sure you’re wondering if you’ll be missing out. The answer is no. These wings are not groundbreaking in any way, aside from the novel fact that they’re from Taco Bell. I’d say their closest analog is convenience store chicken wings, like the ones they sell at 7-Eleven, under the heat lamps. Those have the same kind of crunch, and they’re more about texture than the quantity and/or quality of meat. But they have their time and place.
You still have most of this week to try the Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Wings, so you can head over to the drive-thru or use the app after 2 p.m. to snag some for yourself. Just remember that each location only has a limited amount per day, so you’ll want to get there as close to 2 p.m. as possible. They’re perfectly fine for what they are, but don’t go expecting anything revolutionary.