By Caitlin Petreycik
September 20, 2018
Shake Shack

It's been quite the week for fast food spicy chicken. First, KFC added Hot Honey Fried Chicken to its late summer lineup (it's served with pickles!), and now Shake Shack has announced the return of a fan favorite—the hot chicken sandwich (also known as the Hot Chick'n), available at locations nationwide (excluding airports, stadiums and ballparks) starting today. 

Originally launched as a limited-time menu item last year (and then cruelly taken away), the Hot Chick'n features an all-natural chicken breast slow-cooked in a buttermilk marinade, hand-dipped in batter, dredged through seasoned flour, fried, and then dusted with a guajillo and cayenne pepper blend. After all that, it's topped with Louisiana hot sauce slaw and kosher dill pickles, and served on the same potato bun as the chain's signature ShackBurger. Oh, and now you can customize the spice levels by asking for it “hot” or “even hotter.”

This isn't the only the only time Shake Shack has made headlines this week. On Monday, the restaurant opened their Innovation Kitchen—a center for menu development in New York City—to the public. The space offers new dishes that are hard to find anywhere else, like the Veggie Shack (currently testing in a few markets), as well as chef-driven collabs like the Humm Burger with Daniel Humm, Piggie Shack burger with Daniel Boulud, and Eel Burger with London’s chef Fergus Henderson. 

Most notably, Innovation Kitchen will also serve up Shake Shack's Chick'n Bites—crispy all-natural chicken nuggets that come with a side of BBQ or honey mustard—which have basically achieved urban legend status since they were first teased in the Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories cookbook that came out in 2017. 

"We didn’t just cut our Chick’n Shack sandwich into smaller pieces and fry it," Shake Shack’s culinary director Mark Rosati told Food & Wine of the Bites, which start rolling out next month. "We took a moment to build it from the ground up—how it’s marinated, how it’s cooked, the flavor profile of the flour, the crispy crust to chicken ration, how big the bites felt in your hand, how easily they dipped into sauces." So, basically, if you love fried chicken but not spicy fried chicken, you still have something to look forward to from Shake Shack this fall.  

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