If you are an avid television viewer, you may have stumbled upon Domino’s ad campaign for the new Specialty Chicken. Basically, it’s Domino’s deep fried chicken pieces topped with a variety of pizza toppings served with dipping sauces. After seeing the commercial, I decided to pull together a crack team of expert tasters (AKA co-workers as writers never turn down a free meal) to join me on the culinary adventure of trying all four varieties on the Domino’s menu. We ordered on Dominos.com to avoid any unneeded human contact, then watched the rather nifty online order tracker and awaited our Specialty Chicken feast.
Please note: Names of the testers have been altered so as not to bring shame upon themselves and their friends and family.
With that, let’s dig in!
Specialty Chicken — Classic Hot Buffalo
Domino’s Description: Tender bites of lightly breaded, 100% whole breast white meat chicken, topped with classic hot buffalo sauce, ranch, a blend of cheese made with mozzarella and cheddar, and feta.
All tasters were initially intrigued by the idea of feta being involved, but the reactions to the actual product were decidedly mixed.
Fast Foodie Victim #1: This one had some feta, which I love, but it was really salty. I like salty stuff, but this is surely breaking some sodium health standards.
Fast Foodie Victim #6: The Classic Hot Buffalo was okay, but needed the sauce.
Overall quasi-scientific rating: 15 points out of 32
|Classic Hot Buffalo||Calories||Carbs||Fat||Sodium||Protein|
Specialty Chicken — Crispy Bacon & Tomato
Domino’s Description: Tender bites of lightly breaded, 100% whole breast white meat chicken, topped with garlic Parmesan white sauce, a blend of cheese made with mozzarella and cheddar, crispy bacon and tomato.
In general, this seemed like it would be one of the safest bets because of the mild flavor palette. Unfortunately, this one ended up with ingredient issues as the toppings just didn’t look good or fresh.
Fast Foodie Victim #1: Upon eating this one I remembered that this is supposed to be like pizza. The tomatoes on this one were bad, like microwaved canned tomatoes—dried out and lukewarm with a weird consistency. I just couldn’t get past that.
Fast Foodie Victim #6: I liked the Crispy Bacon & Tomato. It tasted closest to pizza, given it’s Domino’s.
Overall quasi-scientific rating: 18 points out of 32
|Crispy Bacon & Tomato||Calories||Carbs||Fat||Sodium||Protein|
Specialty Chicken — Spicy Jalapeno – Pineapple
Domino’s Description: Tender bites of lightly breaded, 100% whole breast white meat chicken, topped with sweet and spicy mango-habanero sauce, a blend of cheese made with mozzarella and cheddar, jalapeno and pineapple.
This was the most controversial of all the dishes getting either top honors or lowest ratings by every single taster. It also lost fans when tasters went in for a second chicken bite.
Fast Foodie Victim #1: Spicy, but not unbearably so. A little bit sweet too, but with ranch it was pretty edible. On the second bite, it’s worse, but still the best of the bunch.
Fast Foodie Victim #3: Jalapeno garbage (note FFV #3 ranked this as the best of the bunch).
Fast Foodie Victim #4: The toppings struggled to maintain their position atop the Spicy Jalapeno Pineapple, making it a winner for flavor, but a loser for overall structural integrity.
Fast Foodie Victim #6: Least favorite was the Spicy Jalepeno-Pineapple. More like Sweet & Sour Chicken.
Overall quasi-scientific rating: 20 points out of 32
Specialty Chicken — Sweet BBQ Bacon
Domino’s Description: Tender bites of lightly breaded, 100% whole breast white meat chicken, topped with sweet and smoky BBQ sauce, a blend of cheese made with mozzarella and cheddar, and crispy bacon.
Fast Foodie Victim #1: My opinion here is best summed up as “meh.” It was bland and kind of boring. I tried it with the mango habanero sauce to get a little more flavor out of it and oh my God, that stuff is horrible. It’s like month-old gelatinous mango gravy. The chicken wasn’t all that bad though so I’ll put it second.
Fast Foodie Victim #4: The Sweet BBQ Bacon really seemed to appeal to the masses.
Fast Foodie Victim #6: Favorite was the Sweet BBQ Bacon. The sauce was decent and of course, there’s bacon!
Fast Foodie Victim #7: I do recall not disliking BBQ, so that’ll be my pick.
Overall quasi-scientific rating: 27 points out of 32
|Sweet BBQ Bacon||Calories||Carbs||Fat||Sodium||Protein|
Fast Foodie Victim #4: While I am a huge fan of dipping sauce – heck, I’ll even dip my fork (or finger) in dipping sauce, I felt it to be an irrelevant after-thought amid an already well-sauced and adorned option. To dip the Supreme Chicken was to sacrifice a topping, and when the topping involved bacon, that’s a sacrifice too great to make for any sauce, no matter how tangy, spicy, and nuanced the subtle flavors. Kudos for great sauce options though. I would like to order these sauces to go with my PIZZA instead. It makes that last crescent of crust all the more enjoyable.
Best overheard comments from the Fast Foodie Testing Lounge:
Fast Foodie Victim #2: At first I thought it was like bread … and then it’s like holy crap there’s flesh in there!
Fast Foodie Victim #3: It tastes like a dump truck of flavor!
Fast Foodie Victim #5: If I were holding a beer right now all of these would taste awesome.
Fast Foodie Victim #6: NOTHING Supreme about these chicken nuggets. The toppings is what makes the meal. My Fast Foodie rating for Domino’s Specialty Chicken is “meh”
Fast Foodie Victim #7: I must say my taste buds were inundated with loads of salt, so it’s hard to know for sure.
Best overall response came from Fast Foodie Victim #2: who ranked all four somewhere between “leftover tuna salad” and “whole bag O’ garbage.”
So it has that going for it.
Overall, I’d rank the Specialty Chicken as an aggressively mediocre fast food choice. But what can you really expect from chicken from a pizza place? The biggest plus was that Domino’s delivered it so I could still remain lazy both before and after my meal.
On a scale of one to five, I give the Domino’s Specialty Chicken two coronaries out of five.