Domino’s Adds to the Lazy Dude’s Arsenal

Domino's Chicken Wings and Boneless Chicken

Domino's Chicken Wings and Boneless Chicken

I Paid: $5.99 for 8 pieces (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 3 stars

Hot on the heels of its epic, moneymaking "Our old pizza sucked so hard, try out our new pizza which is totally better" campaign, Domino's is promising America's not-very-enterprising home diners a whole new wave of tolerable delivered food. This time around, chicken's in the cross hairs, and—not surprisingly, based on the competence of the company's pizza overhaul—the new offerings stand up pretty well.

Domino's customers can choose from five flavors of chicken wings or—if that bit of bone is too much to deal with—lightly herbed boneless chicken nuggets. Each wing or nugget order additionally comes with an optional dipping cup of free sauce on the side.

The wing flavors are pretty straightforward: Fire, Hot, Mild, Sweet Mango Habanero, and BBQ, plus optional dipping cups of Kicker Hot Sauce, New Sweet Mango Habanero, BBQ, Ranch, and Blue Cheese. We tried the Sweet Mango Habanero wings, and found them to pack a surprising amount of real kick and a fruit flavor that was relatively authentic and not cloying. The BBQ wings had a molasses, tomato, and vinegar flavor—not reinventing the wheel, but not destroying it, either. And the dipping sauces held up quite well. The Kicker sauce was satisfyingly hot in a Frank's RedHot kind of way. BBQ and New Sweet Mango Habanero were identical to the stuff on the wings, Ranch was forgettable though up to snuff, and Blue Cheese had an actual blue cheese flavor that gave it some funk and depth.

An enterprising snacker, moving between the Blue Cheese and Kicker dipping sauces, can create a do-it-yourself Buffalo sauce that is absolutely decent and kind of frighteningly delicious when applied to the otherwise mild and unremarkable boneless chicken nuggets.

Ultimately, like Domino's renovated pizza, these chicken products aren't going to set the world aflame: The boneless chicken nuggets are only arguably better than McDonald's, and the wings are equivalent to those served at a hundred thousand passable corner bars from coast to coast. But the ease of home delivery and the legitimate quality of the dipping sauces bring Domino's chicken products up from passable into the realm of formidable. A gourmet's delight? No. A real force in the lazy dude's Friday-night arsenal? Absolutely.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow Chowhound on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.

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