KANSAS CITY — The average US consumer will eat 94.3 lbs. of chicken in 2019, according to the US Dept. of Agriculture. To appeal to consumers’ palates for poultry, restaurants are offering new chicken dishes featuring innovative flavors, cooking methods and formats.
Caesar sauce elevates a new trio of chicken sandwiches from Burger King featuring 100 percent white meat seasoned chicken fillets. The Crispy Chicken Caesar Sandwich, Spicy Chicken Caesar Sandwich and Grilled Chicken Caesar Sandwich are all served on potato buns and include lettuce, tomato, Caesar sauce, bacon and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Fiery flavors heat up the chicken in Wendy’s new Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad. Topped with spicy chicken breast, the salad features pepper jack cheese, diced tomatoes, matchstick carrots, and a mix of crispy onions and buffalo croutons on a blend of lettuce all topped with Marzetti Simply Dressed buffalo ranch dressing.
Buffalo Wild Wings is betting on beer and breading to draw consumers to its new hand-breaded chicken platform, which includes menu items beer-battered with Lagunitas IPA.
“The culinary team at Buffalo Wild Wings created eight beer-battered variations, ranging from lagers to wheat beers to India Pale Ales,” Buffalo Wild Wings said. “Ultimately, they held a blind taste test and landed on the Lagunitas IPA beer batter thanks to its balanced flavor. The higher alcohol volume in the IPA creates a unique coating and a hand-breaded chicken product that’s crispy on the outside, while remaining flavorful and juicy on the inside.”
Buffalo Wild Wings’ new chicken offerings include beer-battered chicken tenders and two new chicken sandwiches: The Southern Chicken Sandwich, featuring a beer-battered chicken breast with Swiss cheese, bacon aioli, Napa slaw and pickles served on a challah bun; and the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, featuring a beer-battered chicken breast smothered in Nashville hot sauce and topped with Napa slaw, Fresno chili peppers, ranch dressing and pickles served on a challah bun.
Sweet meets heat in new Flamin’ Honey MegaBites from Church’s Chicken, featuring all white meat chicken bites that are battered and breaded, cooked and tossed in a proprietary sweet and spicy seasoning made with Church’s honey.
“Chicken MegaBites offers all of the taste and crunch of our original chicken, but in a dip-able and portable size,” said Jennifer Chasteen, vice president of brand strategy and activation for Church’s Chicken. “Our newest flavor creation, Flamin’ Honey MegaBites, delivers the sweet heat guests crave in every delicious bite.”
Boston Market is adding Asian flare to its traditional rotisserie chicken with the new Sesame Rotisserie Chicken. The bird is topped with a sweet and savory sesame glaze and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Chicken stars in a new sandwich and a new salad from Johnny Rockets. The Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich features a grilled or crispy chicken breast topped with melted cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard served on a warm Bavarian pretzel bun. The Chicken Tender Wedge Salad contains crispy chicken tenders on a bed of iceberg wedges topped with diced tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles and applewood smoked bacon with bacon ranch dressing.
At Tropical Smoothie Cafe, smoky flavors enhance the poultry in the new Jerk Chicken Quesadilla, which includes grilled chicken, pineapple salsa, queso blanco and a smoked cheese blend with a side of roasted tomato salsa.
El Pollo Loco is offering new Fire-Grilled Combos, all featuring the chain’s citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken. Offerings include Chicken Taquitos with Guacamole, Chicken Nachos, Tacos al Carbon, the Classic Chicken Burrito and the Original Pollo Bowl.
Bourbon boosts the flavor profile of the new Hickory Bourbon Chicken Pizza from Pizza Inn. The pie features a ranch-based sauce layered with cheese, chicken, green peppers, tomatoes and onions with a drizzle of hickory bourbon sweet glaze.