McDonald's finally catches up with the spicy nugget trend

Posted on Sep 24, 2020

Finally, the last and greatest of the Big Three falls to the world of spicy nuggets. Spicy Chicken McNuggets are now available nationwide, after so many spiceless years. It’s hard to imagine that McDonald’s has never before offered a spicy variant of their nuggets, even when they’ve done the very popular (and sorely missed) Spicy McChicken.

The Chicken McNugget has been one of the biggest items of the McDonald’s menu for years. When it first was introduced, it caused a massive chicken shortage in McDonald’s supply chain because every single franchisee wanted them! The McRib was invented solely to function as a stop-gap special item until more chicken could be ordered. McDonald’s messing around with the Chicken McNugget is bonkers to consider, and here we are.

Wendy’s has always been the boss of the spicy nugget scene, and even Burger King stepped in to fill the void after Wendy’s briefly discontinued them. In hindsight, the idea of McDonald’s not doing a spicy nugget seems ludicrous. But here we are, the Spicy Chicken McNugget is here, and we’re gonna find out if McDonald’s should have bothered.

The nuggets

At first glance, the Spicy Chicken McNugget is almost identical to the regular Chicken McNugget except for its bright red batter. McDonald’s claims that it’s flavored with cayenne and chili peppers, which is extremely vague. The texture of the batter is the exact same as the regular McNugget, and so is the consistency of the meat. The only thing that is different at all is the addition of the pepper. Just what does it mean that it is flavored with “cayenne and chili pepper”? There is… A second pepper.

Anyway, these nuggets also came with a “Mighty Hot Sauce”, which we didn’t get because we didn’t know it existed when we got these. But that’s a great opportunity to segue into talking about the Mighty Wings, McDonald’s atrociously failed experiment to bring spicy chicken wings to the masses. It feels weird that they would even remotely remind us of Mighty Wings, since nobody really liked them. They were too expensive, and people seemed split on if they were too spicy or too bland. They didn’t resonate with anybody on any level.

But what about the nuggets themselves? Were they even good? Were they even spicy? Well, in a word, yes and yes. If you like Chicken McNuggets, you will definitely like these. They’re exactly the same as regular Chicken McNuggets in every attribute, aside from being spicy. The addition of the peppers really brings these heads and shoulders above regular Chicken McNuggets, in our opinion. 

Comparing the nuggets

As a matter of fact, we had gotten a single plain nugget in our order! This would normally be a cause for frustration but it was a perfect opportunity to compare. Their regular Chicken McNugget was gross in comparison. It was pale, it was flavorless, it was so impossibly bland in comparison we wondered how we had even enjoyed these at all. They were so gross. It’s going to break our hearts when the Spicy Chicken McNuggets leave forever. We can’t go back.

Now, these aren’t spicy spicy, so don’t get your hopes up. If you’re a real chile-head these aren’t going to impress you, but if you’re into very mild food you’ll probably be surprised at how spicy these actually are. We certainly were - we didn’t expect any amount of heat worth mentioning, but these left the backs of our mouths tingling in a certain way that we enjoyed. We aren’t serious chile-heads or anything like that, but we do like our food spicy, and this is a good choice for if you want something that’s very, very gently spicy. The spice coating reminds us of the old Spicy McChickens, something McDonald’s never should have taken off their menu. We will never forgive them for that.

We mentioned not getting the Mighty Hot Sauce earlier, and what we did get was honey mustard and sweet n’ sour, our preferred dipping sauces for bite sized bits of chicken. The honey mustard was okay - maybe a little clashy, with the chile spicy fighting the mustard spicy - but the sweet n’ sour was divine. The two-note flavor of the sweet n’ sour (can you guess the two notes?) contrasted perfectly with the slightly savory spice of chile. It was addictive.

There was only one problem… these things gave us indigestion. Bad. We haven’t had indigestion from fast food, let alone chicken nuggets, in a while. We were in absolute agony for hours after eating them, and the effects were unspeakable. This was probably a one-off thing, but we’re very scared of eating them again. We don’t know what would happen, and we don’t want to know. But if we ever get over our newfound phobia, yes, we’re definitely more of getting these. We might never want a plain Chicken McNugget again.

Categories: food

Tagged: 2020 chicken chicken nuggets mcdonald's spicy