Fast Times: KFC Mashed Potato Bowl

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I am currently obsessed with comedian Patton Oswalt, and I'm dying to see the movie Young Adult with Charlize Theron, just because he is in it. I have been watching a lot of clips of Oswalt's comedy on YouTube and I recently stumbled upon his KFC Famous Mashed Potato Bowl rant. It is short, but funny, and it inspired me to make KFC this week's Fast Times visit. The thrust of the routine is that the KFC bowl marks the end of civilized food practices, and that the item is more suited to dogs than people.

I am not a KFC regular. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've eaten at KFC in my entire life. Those few visits have tended to come on the heels of a vicious hangover requiring more than the usual amount of salt and grease. This visit I went in feeling healthy and decidedly clear-headed, hungry and curious.

When Patton Oswalt compares the KFC Mashed Potato Bowl ($5) to dog food, he's not too far off. The idea seems theoretically sound: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and gravy. I happen to love all four of these ingredients, and have made my own version of this from holiday leftovers for many years.

In practice, however, the KFC bowl suffers from engineering problems. The potatoes are that unmistakable texture of dehydrated potato flakes -- too smooth, and super-mushy. And unfortunately, the two things KFC usually does right -- the fried chicken and the gravy -- work against each other, with the gravy rendering the crispy coating on the fried chicken damp and soggy. KFC Mashed Potato bowls fail on flavor, texture, and visual appeal. They serve it with a spork, for chrissakes.

Patton Oswalt is obviously a visionary genius who should be worshiped -- or at least followed on Twitter.

Nutritional info: 680 calories, 31 g fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 2130 sodium, 26 g protein

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