Being the big fried chicken fan that I am, it was with great pleasure that I received an email from KFC inviting me to sample the Double Down before it made its preview on April 12, 2010. Granted, I had to sign a million waivers, primarily around liability issues from any health problems that might arise from eating the Double Down, but as a fried chicken man, how could I pass up on the opportunity?
You can guess exactly when I took this picture from KFC's website.
Psych!!! Sike?!? wtf knows? Come on now. Did any of you really think KFC would extend an invitation to me to test out the Double Down before its launch on Monday? Here's what really happened:
It was a lazy Saturday afternoon and we were headed to see Jill at Domaine LA when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a bunch of banners for the Double Down at the the KFC on the corner of Vine and De Longpre in Hollywood. Immediately, I thought "there's no way they'd put that many signs up for a product that wasn't available until Monday right?" Right? Curiosity got the better of me and I pulled into the KFC parking lot and said to C "I'm just going to run in real fast and see if the Double Down is really available today."
Once I was inside, I nearly crapped my pants when I realized: it WAS available. What to do though? I just had Sapp's Thai Boat Noodles, so I wasn't hungry. But did I really want to pass up on the opportunity to try out the Double Down? Minutes turned into hours (ok, it was a few more minutes), as I decided what to do. I wasn't planning on eating the Double Down today, especially since I had a lunch
date meeting with one of my twitter unicorns, Jesse aka TriceraPops, Monday for the Double Down showdown tweetup. My fried chicken addiction got the better of me and I ended up getting in line to order one of these bad boys.
With the bag in hand, I jumped in the car, opened up the box and the first I did was...snap a pic.
What were my initial thoughts upon looking at this thing? It's f'ing substantial. It's a large ass sandwich, that's a lot of fried chicken and there is NO WAY that thing is only 540 calories. NO WAY. You're holding two pieces of fried chicken with some cheese, bacon and sauce. It's absurd. With that thought in my head, I took a bite of the thing.
Verdict? Wow, was this thing salty! I couldn't taste anything except salt. In fact, my tongue went numb after the second bite. I could feel my body starting to bloat from two bites of this bad boy. Whatever spices they used on the chicken, it was just too much. I couldn't taste the Colonel's special sauce, but it was probably adding to the saltiness of the "sandwich." 1380mg of sodium my ass. Everything on the nutritional content for the Double Down screams BS once you take a bite.
Don't get me wrong, I love my fried chicken, but when I order a two or three piece combo somewhere, I don't try to eat ALL of the chicken at once. It's eaten and enjoyed one piece at a time. For me, good fried chicken means taking a bite and getting just the right ratio of fried skin and juicy tender meat. You just don't get that with the Double Down because there is TOO MUCH OF IT AT ONCE! Even for someone like me who loves fried chicken, this was overkill. I never thought I'd say I had too much fried chicken, but I had to capitulate with the Double Down. We stuck it back in the box and tossed it in the back seat.
Later on in the afternoon, C and I decided to walk around Hollywood and Melrose like tourists. We'll take a little picture break before getting back to the Double Down situation.
With that little tour Hollywood and Melrose out of the way, dinner became our topic of discussion. Granted, my tongue still felt like it was stuck to a salt lick from the first two bites of the Double Down, but as a fried chicken fanatic, I couldn't let it go to waste. C suggested we eat light and at the moment, it clicked: the Double Down Chopped Salad was born.
Once we got home, we took the remainder of the the Double Down, heated it up and chopped it. It became the protein for our chopped salad.
The Double Down plus the salad was an perfect evening dinner. Chopping up the Double Down brought the fried chicken into proportion and was a perfect complement to the chopped salad.
So in the end, we still salvaged the Double Down. On Monday, I will still slay the Double Down beast with TriceraPops. Game on KFC. Game on. And yes, my life insurance policy is updated.
You can get C's take on the Double Down here. She was the executive chef of the Double Down Chopped Salad.