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Drive-Thru Gourmet

KFC's sweet and savory Chicken & Waffles Sandwich makes for a tall order

KFC's sweet and savory Chicken & Waffles Sandwich is a tall order

KFC Chicken Waffles Sandwich
KFC's new chicken-waffle is a sweet and savory delight.  Photo via kfc.com

This week, I reached out for a Chicken & Waffles Sandwich, at America's No. 1 chicken shack, KFC, with 4,200 restaurants deep-fryin' bird in all 50 states.

The Colonel is crushing it with his line of southern-inspired sauces, like Georgia Gold, Nashville Hot, and Smoky Mountain BBQ. KFC is pairing its waffle selections with its latest and IMHO greatest sauce, Honey Hot. Yeah, it's that good.

Here's the Chicken & Waffles Sandwich breakdown: a deep-fried Extra Crispy breast filet, doused with Hot Honey sauce, stuck between two waffles seat filling for bread. Served with a side of Mrs. Buttersworth maple-flavored syrup.

Because this is an LTO, limited time only, offer that goes away December 31, KFC doesn't have to give up the nutritional count. But KFC sandwiches usually roll in around 600 calories and 30 fat grams. The Chicken & Waffles Sandwich carries a heavy manufacturer's suggested retail price of $5.99.

First thought when I dug in was, what took KFC so long to get aboard the chicken and waffles train? This isn't exactly a combination that KFC made from scratch. Here's one explanation, KFC said it tested 15 different waffle recipes before deciding to go with a Belgian Liege-style pastry, made with pearl sugar from Belgium. Big ups for authenticity.

Belgian waffles are in a "liege" of their own. They're made from dough, not batter, so they don't look or taste like waffles from the Waffle House. They don't taste like the waffles your mom made on special Sundays, when she dug out the family waffle iron from back of the kitchen pantry. Belgian Liege waffles are lighter, airier, sweeter and much, much thicker than typical American breakfast waffles.

The chicken breast is fried extra crispy and smothered in Honey Hot sauce, which hits you with sweet first, hot later. The topper is a side packet of Mrs. Buttersworth syrup, and you know how we feel about recognizable supermarket brands in the drive-thru: We like 'em.

Between the extra hunky slab of chicken and super thick waffles, this sandwich stands about 4 inches tall. It's a lot to wrap your brain around, near impossible to wrap your mouth around. Ever see the comedian Gallagher's act? You could use his Sledge-o-Matic hammer to smush it down to doable.

This sandwich packs a wallop, with all the flavors knocking your taste buds for a loop. It's one of the best things I've ever tasted inside my car. You'll get a kick out of KFC's new commercial for the Chicken & Waffles Sandwich, with the Colonel dirty dancing with a Mrs. Butterworth bottles. We know that dogs are terrible dancers because they have two left feet. Mrs. Butterworth's excuse, she has no legs. Look at the bottle, you'll see.

The KFC promotions machine calls chicken and waffles the "most delicious union" of food ever. Seriously? C'mon, everybody knows the best food coupling is ... macaroni and cheese. I would have accepted spaghetti and meatballs, or peanut butter and jelly, or bacon and anything. Partial credit for burger and fries, or red beans and rice.

KFC also offers Chicken & Waffles in baskets for $5.49 and $7.49. The sandwich is your best bang for the buck, however. 

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Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter