How To Fill The KFC Double Down Void In Your Soul

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When the KFC Double Down was born in 2010, the fast food chain claimed to be "rewriting the rules of lunch" by turning the traditional chicken sandwich on its head (via NPR). It succeeded, in a way: The Double Down got rid of regular buns and replaced them with two pieces of fried chicken, adhered together by melted cheese, bacon, and special sauce. Despite its statement-making nature, the Double Down turned out to be one of KFC's less successful ventures.

After a buzz-filled release, people stopped buying KFC's Double Down for quality and health reasons. The New York Times' Sam Sifton called it a "new low" for the chain, summing it up as "a disgusting meal" consisting of "greasy" and "watery" fried chicken. In addition to racking up boos from reviewers for having an "unhealthy" amount of salt and fat, the Double Down also failed to meet KFC's sales expectations, according to CNN Money. The sandwich only accounted for 5% of the chain's sales upon its release, which caused executives to give it the axe after an extended promotional period.

Though it wasn't successful enough to earn a spot on KFC's permanent menu, the Double Down certainly had its share of fans. In the 12 years since its original release, customers have petitioned for its return, and the sandwich has been brought back to various countries for limited periods, per TheStreet. If you don't want to take a chance on waiting for the Double Down to come back to a KFC near you, there are other ways to get your hands on the bunless delight.

Make it from scratch

Though the Double Down is a KFC concoction, there's no rule saying it can't be recreated at home. Containing ingredients you can easily make from scratch (and potentially already have in your fridge), this sandwich makes a totally doable weekend project. Try your hand at an easy copycat KFC fried chicken recipe (using only pounded chicken breasts to avoid any surprise bones), and you'll have made your buns. From there, the construction is easy peasy. Grab some extra barbecue sauce packets leftover from your last visit to KFC, fry up some bacon, and top with American cheese. Voila, a homemade Double Down!

Grab some grocery store fried chicken and bacon

For those not as culinarily inclined, DIY-ing your own KFC Double Down can be more simple. Countless brands sell frozen chicken fillets in grocery stores. According to My Frozen Picks, Hungry-Man makes a mean boneless fried chicken dinner. Buy two so you have both pieces of chicken for your buns, and you'll also have double the mashed potatoes and sweet corn to share with a friend. The blog also recommends Banquet's Southern Fried Chicken, which comes in a pack of 12 and is described as "tender, juicy, and flavorful." Or, when in doubt, Tyson it out. The brand known for kid-friendly chicken nuggets also has an air-fried chicken fillet option available in freezer sections of stores like Target

And for those who would rather not fry up their own bacon, a quick Amazon search shows precooked options from Hormel, Jimmy Dean, Smithfield, and more.

Doctor up KFC tenders at home

While KFC does not currently offer bun-sized fried chicken fillets, it does have fried chicken tenders, which are arguably just mini fillets. So, do what a true gourmand would do and make your own bite-sized Double Down appetizer, slider-style. Grab an order of KFC chicken tenders and your sauce of choice, slap on some slices of bacon and cheese at home, and you've got yourself a Double Down that tastes as close to the real thing as you can get — since the meat will have been made with KFC's secret recipe

Make chicken cordon bleu, AKA a fancy Double Down

A Double Down is fried chicken, pork, and cheese. Well, so is chicken cordon bleu. Impress your friends with a somewhat lighter, way more gourmet version of the KFC classic by making a chicken cordon bleu recipe, consisting of chicken breasts that are pounded thin, rolled with Swiss cheese and sliced ham, and fried with a breadcrumb coating until golden brown. Served with a little salad and a lemon wedge for squeezing, this is the knife-and-fork edition of a Double Down.