The Joyous Chicago Reveal of Taco Bell’s Fried Chicken Shelled Chalupa!

IMG_1848There’s an old taco saying around these parts that goes: “It’s not the shell that counts, it’s what’s inside which matters most.”

(I’m pretty sure that’s a saying around these parts. But who knows, I’m a newcomer to this land and we live in a time of “truthful hyperbole.” Basically, if I want to believe in old-fashioned taco sayings, who’s going to say I can’t?) 

Anyway, dear readers, I apologize about the delay in posts. You see, I have abandoned my home of England and set forth to the new land of America, where I now reside in the windy city of Chicago.

The nickname, of course, comes from the ever-changing temperaments of politicians and an ancient rival with Cincinnati, Ohio and not, as you might believe, the weather. This in no way to belittle the weather, though, which is brutal, freezing and yes, incredibly windy.

Yes, I now am in Chicago and despite pre-mentioned cold and politicians, I’m loving it. The people are nice, the city is clean and the food is incredible. Even the fast food.

So, let’s talk about this Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa.


IMG_1842As I and many have said, taco’s aren’t really about the shell. Oh sure, you want that crunch or that chew, but overall, if you’re insides are weak, you’ve got nothing.

That is until today.

I was invited on Monday by FoodBeast to come down to the Taco Bell Cantina to try the brand new Naked Chicken Chalupa.

This is, as you may know, a taco who’s shell is made entirely of fried chicken. Inside is lettuce and tomato and cheese and sauce. That’s it, it’s a self-contained taco who’s meat and shell are one.

IMG_1823The Cantina was the perfect place to reveal this, since it’s one of the few Taco Bells in the country that serves alcohol. It’s also beautifully decorated with dark purple graffiti on the walls and neon lights flashing above the counter.

So there I was, strawberry and kiwi slushy in hand (with two shots of rum, naturally), a fried-chicken shelled taco in my hand. And I was ready to eat.


IMG_1828Guys, it’s good.

Really good.

Surprisingly good.

I had skepticism, even up right until that first bite. But goddamn, the chicken is flavorful, perfectly fried, wonderful chewy and packed with spice. And then there’s the trademark lettuce, tomato and cheese, each which lo0k a little bit too candy-coloured perfect to actually be real, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste just as good when in your mouth.

And it held together! I was worried without the rigidness of a taco shell or the fluidity of a quesadilla wrap, it would all fall apart. But it stayed strong until the very last bite.

And on the bottom? The unique tangy, cream twang of the avocado ranch sauce. It perfects the sandwich, which in itself, kind of perfects the taco.

IMG_1837Here’s the real surprise to the whole thing. It wasn’t greasy like other friend chicken from other spots and it wasn’t overcooked like other tacos. I ate two and was nicely filled and didn’t feel gross like I usually do with fast food. I could have even gone for a third and probably enjoyed it.

Plus, I left with this shirt, which pretty much says it all:

The Verdict

IMG_1849The sandwich is $2.99 a taco. Apparently it took three years for them to create this Cluckensteinian creation, and it was worth it. Worth it in every bite.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa is available at Taco Bell’s nationwide today. 

IMG_1855ps. We live streamed the launch here. Give it a watch!

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1 Comment

  • Leanne

    We NEED these in the UK. In fact we just need more Taco Bell in the UK