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KFC Imagines the Future of Fried Chicken Might Be Free of Pesky Bones

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Screengrab: USA Today
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

On April 14th, KFC will introduce Original Recipe Boneless chicken in what it has preemptively declared "The Greatest Day in Chicken History." The company hopes this new boneless, skinless iteration of the Colonel's recipe will be a better seller than its boney predecessors because it will be easier to eat, Associated Press reports. Of course, a piece of fried chicken without skin or bones might also just not be very good?

John Cywinski, president of KFC U.S., told USA Today that Original Recipe Boneless is the "biggest new product introduction for KFC in modern times." Given that KFC has introduced such wonders as the Double Down and the Cheesy Bacon Bowl in recent years, that's really saying something. With research telling them more than 50% of consumers prefer boneless chicken, KFC executives say that within as few as five years the KFC menu might go entirely boneless.

The pieces of bone-free fried chicken are about twice the size of a KFC Crispy Strip. Customers will be able to order white or dark meat, and the pricing is the same as the bone-in fried chicken for a two-piece combo meal. Cywinski says the Original Recipe Boneless shows customers a "more contemporary" product. Contemporary, in this case, must mean possible to eat with a minimum amount of effort.

Original Recipe Boneless chicken is part of the company's "mission to overtly change the way people think about the brand," Cywinski says. Last week, KFC tried to overtly change how kids think about the brand with the new Li'l Bucket kids meal. Now to get adults excited about what's happening a the Colonel's, KFC is launching an ad campaign centered around the tag line "I ate the bones." (USA Today has some of the new commercials.) The concept of the commercials centers around KFC customers who scarf down their Original Recipe chicken so fast they accidentally eat the bones. Oops. Executives say they hope the tag line "will instantly go viral and become a pop-cultural obsession."

Video: The wait is almost over...

· No bones about it: KFC goes boneless [USA Today]
· KFC to offer easy-to-eat boneless chicken [AP]
· The wait is almost over... [YouTube]
· All KFC Coverage on Eater [-E-]