Fast Times

Burger King Chicken Strips Aspire to 'Buffalo' Status

"Buffalo chicken" has a pretty specific meaning for those of us who grew up in Western New York, so when a food item is billed as "Buffalo" flavored, we have to anticipate the worst. (Unless the food item is actually being consumed in, or adjacent to, the city of Buffalo.)

At first glance, a Buffalo Chicken Strip seems logical, even simple. Take a "crispy, white meat" chicken strip and (per the video above) dump Buffalo wing sauce all over it, and voilà! Buffalo Chicken Strips.

The only problem with this process? Say goodbye to crispy chicken strips.

To be honest, the only Buffalo-flavored thing the world really needs is a proper, crispy Buffalo wing. (And maybe that dip? That stuff is pretty good.) In all fairness, however, Burger King has done a reasonable job of bringing Buffalo wing flavor to its Chicken Strips -- the upscale alternative to their Chicken Nuggets. Chicken wing sauce has two ingredients: Frank's Hot Sauce and butter. And the Burger King version tastes true: tangy, a little spicy, the texture just a bit tacky from the butter.

Unfortunately, when sauce is dumped on a strip of chicken that is coated and fried to achieve crispiness, crispiness is immediately defeated. The crispy exterior is rendered soggy and clumpy, and its adherence to the chicken underneath, which is a desirable thing, is severely undermined. In short, Burger King Buffalo Chicken Strips are even messier to eat than a regular old chicken wing. And soggy breading is kind of unpleasant after a while.

And for the love of all that is Western New York, can we please serve this dish with a side of blue cheese? Ranch dressing does not work -- it's entirely too tangy. Blue cheese is tangy, but it's got the earthy, moldy blue cheese flavor to balance out the tang -- from the dressing and the hot sauce -- into one, perfect, creamy/crunchy bite.

A great idea in theory, with certain successful aspects of execution, but BK's Buffalo Chicken Strips definitely do not achieve full-on "Buffalo"-ness.

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Christina Uticone