The Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles introduced in partnership with Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup. | Courtesy of KFC

From idea to reality, the new Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles menu item at KFC was a long journey in the making.

KFC’s head chef, Bob Das, told Insider Louisville that Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles was one of the menu ideas he’d had for a while that is finally coming to fruition. The dish, which comes in platter and sandwich forms, was introduced as a limited-time item Monday.

“I’ve been here almost 20 years, and I’d say the last 10, I was like: ‘This is going to be a big idea sooner or later guys. We gotta get in front of it.’ And you know, even though it took 10 years probably, here we are now finally getting ready to launch it,” Das said during an interview in October.

It’s not that it took a decade to perfect, but it was shelved for a while as other ideas took hold. In actuality, once Das was given the go-ahead by executives and others, it took less than two years to develop, test and launch. The waffle, Das said, went through 15 variations.

“We did a lot of research, and of course, we landed on this one. Even if you taste the waffle by itself, it’s got so much great, rich flavor,” he said. “There’s little crystals and sugar pearls in it. There’s also vanilla and maple notes. It’s almost a dessert.”

Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Customers can order a platter with KFC’s Extra Crispy fried chicken or tenders with Belgian Liege-style waffles and a side of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, starting at $5.49, or a sandwich with a Hot Honey fried chicken breast between two waffles for $5.99.

Insider was able to taste-test the Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles back in October but had to keep it hush-hush until the formal introduction. We’d suggest the sandwich, as the Hot Honey sauce gives it a little kick and the waffles are strong enough to hold up as a bread substitute without crumbling.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles definitely is worth a try (we’d eat it again); just don’t expect it to taste like something you’d get at Sunday brunch at a sit-down restaurant for $15.

“We want to come up with new ideas altogether, not just new flavors, new sauces, so you know that’s kind of where the chicken and waffles evolved, where’s something different and new that could be unique to bring to KFC versus just another sauce to add to our existing lineup,” Das said.

Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles is available through Dec. 31.

Caitlin Bowling

Caitlin Bowling

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]