Costco's Frozen Food Aisle Now Has Your Dark Meat Nugget Fix

Costco's frozen food aisle may be one of the few areas of the store that doesn't constantly get moved around in a clever effort to get shoppers to buy more goods, but that doesn't mean its contents don't change from time to time. And there's a new item in stock that may be of interest to fans of dark meat chicken: a Japanese inspired tatsuta-age made of lightly breaded dark meat chicken from CP Authentic Asia (which also supplied a similar product to LA-area Costcos in late 2015).

In a Reddit post on the Costco subreddit, a user posted a photo of the 3-lb package of what they called "Japanese fried chicken nuggets." The user noted, "It's sooo good in the air fryer!!!" and implored other Costco shoppers to "please go and buy it so they won't stop stocking it." Reactions to the post ranged from "You sold me. I'm going to get some," to "Dark meat nuggets! Sign me up." Although the original poster made the purchase at the Rochester, New York Costco, the dark meat chicken nuggets have also been spotted in Charlottesville, Virginia and in New Jersey according to commenters. Several people also noted that they purchased the product after sampling them at their local Costco.

Tatsu, katsu, karaage?

Several comments on the Reddit post also noted their similarity to Taiwanese popcorn chicken or Japanese karaage. The latter isn't surprising at all since tatsuta-age and karaage are very similar types of Japanese fried chicken, with the main difference being that tatsuta-age chicken is marinated first before being coated in flour or starch and fried. In the case of these Costco tatsuta-age, the chicken is marinated in a ginger and garlic infused sauce and coated with tapioca, cornstarch, and potato starch, which happens to be the magic ingredient for crunchy fried chicken).

While the OP used an air fryer to cook the chicken, you can also use a regular oven, toaster oven, or deep fryer to heat up the chicken. You can even use a microwave if there are no other options, but it's unlikely that they will crisp up properly. Enjoy these chicken tatsuta-age much as you would karaage, on its own with a squeeze of lemon juice and some Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise dressing for dipping, over rice with Japanese pickles, in a sandwich, over a salad, or as a topping for a bowl of ramen.