KFC going boneless is a terrible idea

Welcome to the future of fried chicken

(Image credit: SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters/Corbis)

Are you ready for Original Recipe Boneless? According to USA Today, KFC is releasing a version of its Original Recipe chicken minus the bones — and if it does well, it could eventually replace KFC's regular fried chicken.

The unholy foodstuffs will be about twice the size of the brand's chicken tenders, made with dark and white meat and covered with the Colonel's secret blend of herbs and spices. It will be available on April 14, promoted by an "I ate the bones!" ad campaign that KFC's ad agency, DraftFCB Chicago, hopes will becomes the next "Where's the beef?"

"More and more people, particularly younger people, prefer to eat it without the bone," KFC spokesperson Rick Maynard told TODAY. That's right, you can blame millennials, who are apparently less disgusted by the KFC Double Down — which sandwiches cheese, bacon and mayonnaise between a "bun" made out of fried chicken — than chicken served with its natural bones. USA Today says KFC's strategy is to move away from buckets and "focus on individual meals made with boneless chicken."

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Josh Ozersky, who actually wrote a book on Colonel Sanders, calls it a "monstrosity" on Esquire:

Why can't KFC just settle for being a billion-dollar business that sells breaded carcass parts from China to Peru? Does it really need to have stock that soars every quarter, and requires mindshare penetration to every young punk with the munchies? I am officially turning against KFC. I somehow forgave them the torments of their source animals, but to run so far from the its founder and everything he stood for is the final straw. [Esquire]

As drastic as it seems, the move towards boneless chicken might not be that revolutionary. KFC claims that 80 percent of fried chicken is already served off the bone as strips, bites, and filets, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Kevin Pang, who won a James Beard award for food writing, likens it to the decline of another institution:

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And this may not be the end of KFC's innovative spirit. One possibility from Gothamist's Rebecca Fishbein: "Up next on this visionary agenda: Chickenless fried chicken, because doesn't all that chicken just get in the way of that delicious batter?"

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