KFC Chizza Review: It's A Fun Gimmick To Try Just Once

KFC Chizza
KFC Chizza - Michael Palan / Static Media

KFC is a fried chicken joint through and through, and for the longest time, the closest it ever got to a pizza was sharing real estate with sister brand Pizza Hut. That all changed in 2015, when KFCs in the Philippines played host to the first-ever "Chizza" (pronounced "cheet-za"), where a fried chicken filet served as a "crust," topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. In a recent press release, Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S., said, "Fried chicken and pizza collaborated to create something even better — 'the Chizza,'" and added good news: "The fan-favorite mashup is finally available in the U.S. after making its way around the world."

To celebrate the release of this much-buzzed-about limited-time-only affair, KFC took over one of its own locations in the heart of Manhattan and turned it into a full-blown, wood-paneled, one-of-a-kind Chizzeria. At this Chizzeria, KFC fanatics and curious bystanders were able to get the first taste. I didn't want to miss out on any of the festivities, so I swung by to KFC-what exactly was going on.

So, now that KFC's home country is finally getting its hands on the Chizza, has it been worth the long wait, or is this innovation just a cut-rate chicken parm? This chew and review is based on taste, texture, flavor, the Chizzas' sense of fun, and overall lovability.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of The Best Fried Chicken Chains

What Does KFC's Chizza Taste Like?

KFC Chizzas
KFC Chizzas - Michael Palan / Static Media

As I pop open the Chizzas' boxes, steam rises out from the chicken fingers that lie before me. They are topped with slightly melted elements that look straight out of a box of Pizza Lunchables. The chicken pieces are very thick and have a nice, crisp brown coating to them, shielding a juicy interior. The bright red marinara sauce that sits on top is nothing overly special, tasting like a basic tomato sauce. It could probably borrow a few of the 11 herbs and spices that made the Colonel's chicken so world famous. The shredded mozzarella seems sparse, tastes like one would expect it to, and needs some pizza gooeyness.

I tried a "plain" Chizza and a standard one that comes with pepperoni. The pepperoni pieces are rather thin, not all that textured, or spiced up, and almost got lost among the grandiose size of the chicken. Still, it fares better as a topping than the sauce or cheese do, so I would make a point to order your Chizza with pepperoni.

It's no real surprise that the strength of this Chizza lies in KFC's chicken. It's crunchy, succulent, and delicious. The sauce could use some pepping up, and the cheese some more meltiness to it, just like it is in KFC's solid Smash'd Potato Bowl. It's ultimately a gimmicky snack that was really fun to have and to hold.

KFC's Chizza Nutritional Information

KFC Chizza Manhattan restaurant
KFC Chizza Manhattan restaurant - Michael Palan / Static Media

The Chizza uses KFC's Extra Crispy boneless chicken filets as a crust and is topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and slices of pepperoni.

A regular Chizza order, which contains two "slices," totals 820 calories and 66 grams of protein. A small Chizza, which only contains a single piece, is, not surprisingly, good for 410 calories and 33 grams of protein.

How To Buy KFC's Chizza

KFC Chizza Manhattan restaurant menu
KFC Chizza Manhattan restaurant menu - Michael Palan / Static Media

Starting February 26, The Chizza is available at participating, nationwide KFCs for a limited time only, while supplies last. The Chizza, which comes with two filet pieces, costs $9.99. For $12.99, a Chizza can be turned into a meal, which includes a drink and side of your choice. A smaller-size Chizza of just one filet piece is also an option and is available for $5.99. Prices may vary by location.

The Chizza is available to purchase anytime during KFC's normal operating hours. Opening hours can be as early as 10:00 and 10:30 a.m., with closing hours differing by location but generally sometime in the late evening. The Chizza can be found on the menu under "Special Offers" and "Combos." It can be ordered in-store at the counter, using self-service kiosks, and at drive-thrus where available. KFC also allows for advance ordering with its Quick Pick-Up option, found on its app or website. In all ordering options, one can customize to remove items from the Chizza, like the pepperoni, sauce, or cheese. Where available, delivery is also an option, and orders can be placed on DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats. Prices may be higher when ordering through third-party websites.

The Final Verdict

KFC Chizza Manhattan restaurant
KFC Chizza Manhattan restaurant - Michael Palan / Static Media

KFC's Chizza is a total attention-grabbing hype item that is definitely worth believing in, at least once. It's absolutely a fun novelty to try, and of course a fun name to say endlessly. I'm not sure how many repeat orders of it are needed from here on out, but if you really can't live without chicken fingers and pizza, then maybe find one of those KFC-Pizza Hut combo restaurants and cut up some chicken to top your pizza.

An interesting discovery happened with the leftovers I had stored in the fridge. Looking for a bit of late-night eats, like cold pizza, I grabbed for my cold Chizza. And you know what? A cold Chizza turned out to be much better than a hot one! Makes sense because cold fried chicken can sometimes be better than hot fried chicken. So maybe KFC should sell the Chizzas chill-zzed?

If the concoction turns out to be a winner stateside, I'd be happy to see some expansion of toppings. Pineapple and ham Chizza? Black olive and onion? How about spicing up the sauce a bit with some hot honey? I mean, everyone's getting super swicy these days, and Pizza Hut nailed it recently with its Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza. Imagine that, but with a body of a chicken finger! All I ask is that the totally rad Chizzeria pop-up location in Manhattan be made into a permanent structure, because it's the visual definition of finger lickin' good -- camera clickin' cool.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.