18 New Chicken Dishes That Debuted in 2022

Source: Courtesy of Del Taco via Facebook

Chain restaurants tend to have standard menus with signature items that keep customers coming back again and again – but they’re also constantly revising and upgrading their menus, trying out new offerings, and rotating dishes on and off their rosters with the seasons or with changing tastes. (That’s certainly the practice at the most successful restaurant chains in America.)

Depending on the style of food each chain specializes in, new introductions tend to be things like pizzas with unusual toppings, imaginative (and not necessarily Italian) pasta creations, non-traditional tacos, putatively healthy salads and bowls, and countless burger variations. (These are the best burger joints in every state.)

Perhaps the most popular medium for new menu items, however – regardless of the main focus of the chain – is our friend the chicken. As a nation, we absolutely love that bird. According to the USDA, chicken currently accounts for 43% of all the meat we consume. No wonder restaurant operations are constantly thinking up new ways to present it to us. (One of our favorite ways of eating chicken is in the form of wings, and these are the best places to get chicken wings in every state.)

To assemble a list of new chicken dishes – from soup to sandwiches to tenders and nuggets – that debuted at some of America’s best-loved chain restaurants this year, 24/7 Tempo reviewed editions of the Menu Tracker column in the restaurant trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News from throughout 2022. Compiled by Bret Thorn, NRN’s senior food and beverage editor, the column details new additions to menus at a wide range of chain restaurants around the U.S. From various iterations of Menu Tracker, we chose only those items tagged as permanently or indefinitely added to menus.

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