Taste Test: Domino's Specialty Chicken

This week, Domino's released a new item: chicken bites littered with pizza toppings. It's just as gross as it sounds.
 (Photograph: Mark Wright)
Photograph: Mark WrightDomino's Specialty Chicken
 (Photograph: Mark Wright)
Photograph: Mark WrightDomino's Specialty Chicken
 (Photograph: Mark Wright)
Photograph: Mark WrightDomino's Specialty Chicken
 (Photograph: Mark Wright)
Photograph: Mark WrightDomino's Specialty Chicken
 (Photograph: Mark Wright)
Photograph: Mark WrightDomino's Specialty Chicken
By Amy Cavanaugh |

We have to start with the name. “Specialty Chicken”? The new offering from Domino’s, released this week, sounds like something on those hideous/hilarious Weight Watchers cards from 1974.

Specialty Chicken consists of 12 little chicken nuggets topped with cheese and a variety of ingredients. It’s supposedly pizza with a chicken crust, but that seems like a stretch—we've had Domino's pizza and it's nowhere near this bad. There are four varieties—Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Classic Hot Buffalo, Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple, and Sweet BBQ Bacon—and because they all sounded equally awful, we ordered one of each to try. Here’s what they tasted like.

Overall first impressions
Brent DiCrescenzo
It looks like you were roasting marshmallows and they fell into the campfire, so you kicked it in the dirt.
Laura Baginski
There is a lot of char.
Erin Delahanty And crusty cheese.

Classic Hot Buffalo: fried chicken, hot-wing sauce, ranch dressing, cheddar and feta
This tastes burnt.
Jessica Johnson
It mostly tastes like salt. And a wee bit of spiciness at the end.
BD The breading is really soggy and the chicken is really tough.
Zach Long The cheese and breading is just kind of bonded together.
Amy Cavanaugh I know, I didn’t even get any chicken in that bite. Just cheese and breading.
Kris Vire I don’t know if we can be fair to these since they were just sitting in someone’s car.

[Here it’s worth noting that it took an hour and a half for the Specialty Chicken to be delivered, so who knows how long these were just sitting there, congealing.]

BD But you’re never going to get it fresh.
JJ There are just globs of cheese in there.
AC I know. And is that feta? Why is there feta?

Sweet BBQ Bacon: chicken, barbecue sauce, mozzarella, cheddar and bacon
I don’t want to touch this as much as I am to pull it apart.
I hate this more than the buffalo since the sauce is just so sweet and sticky.
ED But the chicken is better than on the first one, where it was spongy.
AC I didn’t get any chicken on the first one!

Crispy Bacon & Tomato: chicken, bacon, tomatoes, garlic Parmesan sauce, mozzarella and cheddar
Ew, god, I can’t even grab a piece.
These should just be between bread since they’re all just variations on a fast food chicken sandwich.
BD ...or just put them all on pizza. This is the most pizza-like.
JJ It’s just salty, salt, salt, salt.
AC And the chicken is so dry.

Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple: chicken, pineapple, jalapeños, mango habanero sauce, mozzarella and cheddar
At least the jalapeños mask a lot.
Who would order this?
ED Stoned college students. Look at this congealed mass here!
BD It’s sweet and sour, tastes Hawaiian, or like bad Chinese food.
KV For the quality of ingredients, I could have invented this in college and thrown it together from frozen ingredients.
BD It looks like what you find after your house burned down. "My beloved toys!"
ED Is that spicy sauce on there?
AC Yeah, you don’t even notice it right away. These have a long burn on them.

We wouldn’t get any of these again, but if we had to
4 votes for Jalapeño-Pineapple
1 vote for Buffalo
2 abstained