From an interesting group email exchange among some Serious Eaters late last night.
From: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, 4/12/2010, 11:48 p.m.
Subject: Wait a minute ... did KFC reinvent the wheel?
Just had an epiphany ...
KFC's double down: Chicken breaded and fried to a golden brown, stuffed with cheese and cured pork.
Chicken Cordon Bleu: Chicken breaded and fried to a golden brown, stuffed with cheese and cured pork.
I suppose adding the Colonel's "secret sauce" makes it kinda new and a little more gross, but my question is, is KFC started serving Chicken Cordon Bleu, would people be freaking out in the same way?
My guess is no.
From: Carey Jones, 4/13/2010, 12:23 a.m.
Brilliant. Basically, yes. Especially because (on mine, at least) the sauce didn't factor into the taste one bit.
Their genius moment was branding this thing as a sandwich. "Chicken stuffed with bacon and cheese" is a little more attention-grabbing than your average KFC item. "SANDWICH WITH FRIED CHICKEN AS BUN," on the other hand, sounds like a radical fantastic creation à la the Fatty Melt. It's not just that it's a product of bloggy hype, it's pretty genius positioning to get that bloggy hype. People like sandwiches, and they like crazy sandwiches more, even when said crazy sandwiches aren't sandwiches...
From: Robyn Lee, 4/12/2010, 12:28 a.m.
And if this thing were actually on a bun, no one would care..cos it'd just be a dumb double chicken patty sandwich.
DAMN YOU, MARKETING...PEOPLE..
And on that note, SE'r Cassaendra arrived at the same conclusion this morning in this comment:
I can't stand chicken cordon bleu because I don't care for pork, chicken breasts, and cheese...so this looks like just another rehash of that vile dish. Only thing that could make it worse is if they used cilantro and onions. :) I will, however, try a bite because I don't like to pass up chances to try new things.
So there you have it, folks. You're basically eating chicken Cordon Bleu.
Would You Eat the KFC Double Down? »
"...We wanted this to be one of those bad-good foods that's not good but an I-hope-nobody-sees-me-ordering-this pleasure foods. It's not, really. It's just some overly-seasoned chicken with an odd-tasting sauce and too much cheese inside, and the bacon was definitely not hanging over the sides as the ad portrayed. We practically had to pull out tweezers to find it...."