It's one of the most coveted Aldi shopping finds: A bag of frozen breaded chicken fillets that puts fans of the discount grocery chain into a frenzy.
Kirkwood chicken breast fillets, also known as "red bag chicken" (RBC) by those who love it, is a hot item at most Aldi stores, flying off of freezer shelves at the low price of $5.99 a bag.
In fact, there are more than 10,000 members in a Facebook group dedicated exclusively to sharing photos, recipes and tips for using the breaded chicken fillets.
It was there that I turned after finding my own bag of RBC at my local Aldi.
Lauren Foley, a member of the group who lives in Vermont, says she drives 45 minutes to her closest Aldi to buy the Kirkwood fillets, which she often pairs with Aldi's brioche buns to make the perfect copycat chicken sandwich.
"It tastes like Chick-fil-A and I'm states away from one," Foley told TODAY Food. "It's the only thing that squelches that craving. I also use it for salads and on rice with teriyaki sauce or just by itself."
Instructions pinned in the Facebook group recommend cooking the fillets in an air fryer at 400 F for 10 minutes per side. I'm not one to argue with chicken cutlet aficionados, so I took the recommended approach when cooking dinner for my own family.
The chicken fillets can also be pan fried, baked or microwaved, making them a truly simple addition to mealtime.
I wanted to experience the breaded fillets as-is the first time, so I served them alongside some roasted potatoes and vegetables with a selection of dipping sauces. They were Southern-style chicken perfection, with a crispy, golden breading and a moist white-meat center. My kids asked for seconds, so we tried chopping up the fillets to make a wrap, which was also a success.
A spokesperson for Aldi told TODAY that, unlike many of the chain's seasonal offerings, Kirkwood chicken fillets should be available in stores year-round. Due to high demand in some areas, however, customers report stores being sold out of the product.
In fact, when I posted in the RBC Facebook group asking for information about the chicken, more than one commenter complained that once the word gets out about how delicious it is, it'll be even more impossible to locate in stores.
"At our core, we're passionate about offering Aldi shoppers high-quality foods and products they enjoy and keep coming back for again and again," the Aldi spokesperson said. "While we aren't biased to one product, we love seeing how much shoppers love the 'RBC,' the community it has created online and the countless recipes fans are creating and sharing.”
"I've made (sandwiches) the original way like Chick-fil-A on brioche with pickles, cordon bleu-style with ham and Swiss, chicken Parmesan-style and Buffalo-style," said Tina Perretta, an RBC Facebook group member who lives in New York. "I've made salads like strawberry poppy seed and Cobb salad. The possibilities are endless."
The chicken fillets were a hit with my family. And, since I grabbed an extra bag while I was shopping at Aldi, we'll definitely be making them again. As a busy mom, having a delicious way to throw chicken into a recipe quickly on a weeknight takes an extra task off my to-do list.
Michaelene Walski, a Pennsylvania fan of the fillets, agrees.
"I have been eating it for years," said Walski. "My family loves it, too. Thankfully, my local store carries a good variety of frozen chicken and always seems to have it in stock."