Having freshly prepared fried chicken handed to you might seem like a holy experience, but eating leftovers that have been reheated? The answer is no. We’ve all had the unfortunate sensation of biting into a perfectly crisp crust, only to see completely dried-out meat below. Or, in the other case, we have compromised by accepting a dry exterior out of concern that the inside may become too dehydrated. Is reheated fried chicken usually a case of having to make concessions? We are here to inform you that there is no need for it to be that way! Continue reading to learn how to reheat fried chicken without losing its tenderness or crispiness.
Is It Safe to Reheat Fried Chicken After It Has Been Prepared?
It really ought to be! It is okay to reheat fried chicken as long as it was first cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit when it was prepared. In addition, it is absolutely OK to reheat as long as it was not left out at room temperature or in the “danger zone” (40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than two hours. In point of fact, as long as the first two requirements have been satisfied, fried chicken may be consumed while it is cold.
If you have any leftover fried chicken, you may store it in the refrigerator for another three to four days, and you can keep it in the freezer for approximately four months.
How to Preserve the Crunchiness of Reheated Fried Chicken
The re-heating of fried chicken may be done in a variety of ways, but before we get into them, let’s go over these three essential guidelines, which will ensure that your reheated chicken leftovers retain their crispiness no matter what.
If you are not reheating the chicken from frozen, the first step is to bring the chicken to room temperature, which may take anywhere from half an hour to a whole hour depending on the size of the pieces. This will guarantee that the food is cooked thoroughly on the inside as well as the outside. It will also assist in avoid the pieces from drying out since it will need less time for the chicken to cook up once it has been prepared in this manner.
Second, make sure that your cooking dish isn’t too crowded. Make sure that the parts are appropriately spaced out and that there is no overlapping. This will assist in each component being properly crisped up.
Last but not least, keep in mind that the rewarming process will take a variable amount of time depending on the size of the item. Cooking the smaller pieces for a shorter period of time and the larger ones for a longer period of time will prevent any of the portions from becoming dry or from not being sufficiently heated.
Before using any of the procedures detailed below, which we have validated via several rounds of testing, you should make sure to adhere to the aforementioned three guidelines.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Reheating Fried Chicken in the Oven
The easiest way to reheat fried chicken in the oven is to set the temperature quite high and bake the chicken for a short amount of time.
Leftovers should be placed on a wire rack that has been placed on a baking sheet after the oven has been preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The wire rack promotes the circulation of hot air, which aids in the process of browning and crisping the bottom of the chicken. If you do not have a rack, you may use a baking sheet that has been coated with foil instead. Bake for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until the exterior is crisp and the interior has reached a temperature of approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The precise amount of time needed to bake each piece will vary according to its size. Wait a few minutes for the chicken to cool down before you start eating it.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Reheating Fried Chicken on the Stovetop
Refrying previously cooked chicken is the most effective method for rewarming it on the stovetop.
Place about 2 inches of neutral oil such as canola in the bottom of a pan or skillet with a heavy bottom. Bring the oil up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit by heating it over medium-high heat. Place a few pieces of chicken that have been at room temperature in the oil in a careful manner. Be careful not to cram too many ingredients into the skillet, since this may cause the oil temperature to drop. Cook for about two to three minutes on each side, or until the outside is crispy. Place the chicken on a wire rack, and wait around 5 minutes before eating it once it has cooled down.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Reheating Fried Chicken in an Air Fryer
Reheating fried chicken is easy to do in an air fryer, which is another fantastic alternative. When using an air fryer, you won’t need any additional oil as you would when cooking on the stovetop.
Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put one layer of chicken that has been cooked and kept at room temperature in the basket. Work on the dish in sections is best, and don’t stack the pieces on top of one another while you’re at it; doing so will prevent the skin from getting crispy. Cook the chicken in the air fryer for two minutes on each side.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Reheating Fried Chicken in a Toaster Oven
A toaster oven may be used instead of the oven in situations when there are just a few pieces of fried chicken to cook and turning on the oven seems like too much labor.
The toaster oven temperature should be set to 400 degrees F. Cover the tray of the toaster oven with aluminium foil. Reheat leftovers at room temperature for ten to fifteen minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking process to ensure crispness on both sides.
The Microwave Approach to Reheating Fried Chicken
If at all possible, we advise staying away from the microwave. Reheating food in a microwave causes it to warm unevenly and brings moisture to the top. When it comes to fried chicken, this almost eliminates any possibility of regaining the dish’s signature crispiness. Having said that, we are very understanding of the situation if a microwave is the only or the best choice that is accessible to you.
If you want the best results, put some paper towel on a dish that can go in the microwave, and then put the fried chicken on top of the towel. Warm the chicken in the microwave at intervals of 30 seconds, turning it over after each interval, until it is ready to eat. A portion of the moisture that is brought to the surface will be absorbed with the assistance of the paper towel.
How to thaw and re-heat fried chicken purchased from the freezer
We went out to the chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago to get their professional recommendation on the most effective method for reheating fried chicken that had been frozen in advance. They said that, “When it comes to chicken that has been frozen, the first tip to follow is to not let it thaw before cooking it. As the chicken thaws, it will exude moisture, which will cause the breading to become less effective.” Instead, they suggest using two distinct procedures.
The first method is to place the chicken on a platter and microwave it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which should take between three and six minutes. This enables the chicken to thaw and reheat in the shortest amount of time while maintaining the highest level of food safety. After that, place the chicken in an oven that has been set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for approximately 7 to 10 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.
The second approach does not involve the use of a microwave but rather an oven. Prepare the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The leftovers should be placed on a baking sheet that has been coated with foil and covered with more foil. The chicken will thaw more evenly this way, and you won’t have to worry about the skin being too hot. Bake for around 35 minutes to an hour, or until each piece has warmed fully. Smaller parts, such as a wing, will take less time, while bigger portions, such as a breast with the bone in, may take up to an hour. As soon as it is done, remove the covering of foil and return the chicken to the oven for a few more minutes, checking it every few minutes to ensure it is reaching the appropriate degree of crispiness.
Even though there is nothing that can compare to the experience of eating freshly cooked fried chicken (maybe with the exception of our Picnic Oven-Fried Chicken), it is still possible to enjoy leftovers that are both crunchy and juicy. It is important to remember to let the chicken pieces come to room temperature before reheating them (unless you are reheating them straight from frozen), to prevent crowding the chicken, and to adjust the cooking time according to the size of each individual piece.
It’s time to select the ideal recipe now that you know how to reheat fried chicken properly. Our version of the famously fiery Nashville Hot Chicken is presented here. You might also try this recipe for Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, which is perfect for the summer. These delectable Air-Fryer “Fried” Chicken Thighs are a great choice if you’re searching for a healthier alternative to traditional fried foods.