KFC's New Chicken Quesadilla Review: An All-American Twist On The Classic Comfort Food

The side of KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla
The side of KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla - Jenny Kellerhals/Mashed

It's clear by how many new menu items KFC has released since January of this year that the restaurant chain is on an absolute tear in the innovation department. Not content with adding a new dipping sauce here and a different variation of the same sandwich there, we've seen the launch of snack-sized wraps, larger Twister Wraps, Apple Pie Poppers, the Chizza, passion fruit-infused drinks, Saucy Nuggets, and now the KFC Chicken Quesadilla. Needless to say, I've been eating a lot of KFC lately.

The KFC Chicken Quesadilla is probably one of the most surprising additions to the fried chicken chain's menu, which focuses more on American homestyle comfort foods. Taking a page out of its sister brand Taco Bell's playbook, KFC has found a new way to deliver its world-famous fried chicken in an entirely unexpected way.

KFC offered me a sneak preview of the new chicken quesadilla several months ago when it was still in the development stage, and I recently got the opportunity to taste it again once it hit participating test market locations. Here's everything you need to know about the thoroughly American twist to this classic Mexican comfort food favorite.

Read more: Ranking Fast Food Fried Chicken Sandwiches From Worst To First

What Makes KFC's New Chicken Quesadillas Special?

Inside KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla
Inside KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla - Jenny Kellerhals/Mashed

We all generally know what a chicken quesadilla is — grilled chicken and cheese (probably a Mexican blend of some kind), melted into a flour tortilla that's been folded in half and grilled. Depending on where you order it, other fillings or sauces might be included, but the fundamental ingredients stay the same. In that case, you may be wondering, "What's so special about KFC's chicken quesadilla?"

It's the gravy. No, not enchilada sauce. Not salsa or hot sauce. Not even Mexican brown gravy. I'm talking honest-to-goodness classic KFC homestyle country gravy; the very same that adorns the restaurant's mashed potatoes. But aside from that, it's made with exactly what you'd expect: shredded fried chicken (not breaded) and a three-cheese blend in a flour quesadilla. The flour tortilla is on the larger side, at least 10 inches in diameter, making for an appropriately sized quesadilla.

Additionally, instead of guacamole, salsa, or sour cream, KFC's chicken quesadillas come with your choice of dipping sauce. The sauces are the familiar flavors KFC offers, including Sticky Chicky Sweet 'n Sour sauce, Buffalo Ranch, KFC Sauce, Honey BBQ, Classic Ranch, and Honey Mustard.

How Much Do The Chicken Quesadillas Cost?

KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla
KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla - Jenny Kellerhals/Mashed

Currently, the KFC Chicken Quesadilla is offered as a stand-alone menu item (with your choice of dipping sauce), and as a combo. The KFC Chicken Quesadilla combo includes the quesadilla, a dipping sauce, a medium drink, and a side of your choice. Side choices include KFC's Secret Recipe Fries, Mac & Cheese, Mashed Potatoes with or without Gravy, Cole Slaw, Sweet Corn, and even a stand-alone side of gravy (just in case that's the part of this snack that you can't get enough of).

The quesadilla alone cost $4.49 at the location I visited, before tax. The quesadilla combo cost $8.49. While prices at locations in New York City tend to be higher than other locations, these prices are confirmed by KFC at all locations where the quesadilla is currently being offered for a limited time. Of course, if ordered for delivery, additional fees and tips may apply.

Where Can You Find The New Chicken Quesadillas?

KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla
KFC's new Chicken Quesadilla - Jenny Kellerhals/Mashed

The good news is that the KFC Chicken Quesadilla is finally available in areas that are accessible to millions of people. The bad news (for anyone not on the East Coast) is that those locations are concentrated in the New York and New Jersey markets. According to KFC, the quesadillas are available at 23 restaurant locations in New York, 12 restaurants in New Jersey, and one location in Connecticut. Outside of the New York metro area, the quesadillas will also be available at 15 restaurant locations across Tennessee.

At the moment, there's no word on when or if the chicken quesadillas will be available nationwide; it depends entirely on how they perform in the test markets. Additionally, there isn't a current end date for how long KFC's Chicken Quesadillas will be available; only that they'll be available while supplies last. So, if it's something you're excited to try, make it a priority to get to one of the participating restaurants sooner rather than later.

What I Really Think Of KFC's New Chicken Quesadilla

KFC's Chicken Quesadilla combo
KFC's Chicken Quesadilla combo - Jenny Kellerhals/Mashed

My first taste of KFC's Chicken Quesadilla was back in March when it was still in development, and "Chickadilla" was the working title. All of the ingredients were the same, but it hadn't yet been released to the public. I wasn't entirely on board with the idea of gravy on my quesadilla, and found the prototype lacking in any big flavors. It was also weirdly wet. Not soggy, melty, or juicy, just wet.

So when the limited release hit the market here in NYC, I had to taste it again to see if anything had changed. Perhaps knowing what I was in store for made the most recent taste more approachable. But this time, I was pleased to find the chicken and gravy seemed to have a more developed flavor. The quesadilla as a whole seemed less wet, and more cheesy. The whole thing is still a little strange, like what I'd imagine a college kid might make with Thanksgiving leftovers once they get back to their dorm. And for the first time in my life, I wondered, "Just because you can put gravy on something, should you?"

But I can't deny that it's a clever idea for a restaurant that's already got the chicken. If you can manage to loosen your idea of what a typical chicken quesadilla should be, and accept gravy being in your quesadilla, it's easy enough to eat the entire thing and be perfectly satisfied.

Tasting Method

A KFC cup to go
A KFC cup to go - Jenny Kellerhals/Mashed

Like so many people, a straightforward chicken quesadilla is in my regular rotation of quick comfort foods to make when I'm low on energy, ingredients, and time. Occasionally, I'll order one from the diner, the bodega, or even Taco Bell when the mood is right. I usually go for chicken, but occasionally, I'll switch it up with a steak or pork quesadilla. At home, I'll toss in some peppers, add hot sauce, or smear some jarred salsa inside the tortilla with the cheese and chicken — but until now, I've never had a quesadilla with gravy in it.

The first time I had the opportunity to taste KFC's Chicken Quesadilla was earlier this year, while visiting the company's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, prior to the launch of KFC's new Saucy Nuggets. Since it had been about three months since the first tasting, it seemed likely that the sneak preview I was given ahead of time had changed. I decided that a second taste was definitely in order, and headed out to the 8th Avenue location in NYC to try the chicken quesadilla again. If KFC's Chicken Quesadilla makes it to menus nationwide, there's a chance it may change, but given how similar the test market version is to the prototype, and how dialed-in an essential chicken quesadilla already is, I'm willing to bet it won't change much.

Read the original article on Mashed.