We Tried Panda Express X Hot Ones' Blazing Bourbon Chicken And It Wasn't As Spicy As We Feared

tray of chicken and rice
tray of chicken and rice - Bryn Gelbart/Daily Meal

Earlier this year "Hot Ones," of YouTube and hot sauce fame, collaborated with Grubhub to open an NYC pop-up restaurant. Lately, the brand has been on fire and is now back at it again, this time collaborating with Chinese fast food giant Panda Express to bring a spicy new chicken dish to the menu. Panda's new Blazing Bourbon Chicken combines Southern American tradition with Taiwanese-style popcorn chicken, all amped up by the inclusion of "Hot Ones" spiciest sauce, Last Dab Apollo.

I went to the Panda Express X Hot Ones unveiling event in New York City and was lucky enough to be one of the first people to try the new Blazing Bourbon Chicken. The theme of the night was bourbon and spice. Elevated takes on Panda Express appetizers and desserts were served in addition to the night's signature cocktail made from bourbon, blackberry puree, lemon juice, honey, and club soda. It was a sweet and fruity way to begin a meal that would go on to bring the heat.

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What Does The Blazing Bourbon Chicken Taste Like?

blazing bourbon chicken and rice
blazing bourbon chicken and rice - Daily Meal

After learning the Blazing Bourbon Chicken is the spiciest item to ever grace the Panda Express menu, I prepared myself with a handy drink before I gave it a taste. The sauce is made with both Last Dab Apollo and Sweet Bourbon, and I could taste the Scoville units after eating a couple of bites.

Despite using the hottest sauce in the "Hot Ones" lineup, the spice in this dish was pleasantly balanced by the sweet and slightly tangy flavors of the peppers and onions. While the heat didn't take long to build, it never reached dangerous levels.

Nutritional Info For Blazing Bourbon Chicken And How To Order It

blazing bourbon chicken and drink
blazing bourbon chicken and drink - Daily Meal

One serving of Blazing Bourbon Chicken is 5.5 ounces. Each serving contains 300 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, 37 grams of carbohydrates, and 15 grams of protein.

Blazing Bourbon Chicken is available now until January 2, at select Panda Express locations in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Texas, and Washington, D.C. It is included on the entrée menu and be ordered in a bowl, plate, or combo.

Final Thoughts

blazing bourbon chicken
blazing bourbon chicken - Daily Meal

I'm happy to report that the collaboration between Hot Ones and Panda Express is a rousing success. Not only is Panda's new limited-time Blazing Bourbon Chicken delicious, but it also has the perfect amount of heat despite featuring the dreaded Last Dab Apollo. And unlike the Los Calientes Rojo wings I tried at the Hot Ones and Grubhub collab, this dish didn't leave my mouth on fire for multiple minutes afterward.

If you like spicy food and trying out new fast food items, I seriously recommend the Blazing Bourbon Chicken from Panda Express. It's the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, and an item I wish were lasting longer than the start of the new year.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.