How to reheat leftover fried chicken without losing its crispness?
Who doesn’t love fried chicken? It’s crispy, juicy, and delicious! But sometimes you end up with leftovers. Don’t worry, though, because from adding them to a salad to eating them cold right out of the fridge — there are plenty of ways to use up those delicious leftovers!
Reheating those leftovers is another great idea. Today, I’ll show you how to reheat leftover fried chicken without losing its original crispness. So next time you have some fried chicken leftovers, don’t hesitate to get creative.
Is it safe to reheat fried chicken?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, such as how the chicken was cooked, how it was stored, and how long it has been since it was cooked. Generally speaking, however, it is generally safe to reheat fried chicken as long as it is done properly. When reheating leftover fried chicken, make sure the chicken is cooked through to the bone and avoid reheating more than once.
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How do you keep reheated fried chicken crispy?
When reheating any type of meat, the key is to keep the moisture levels in check. Some ways, such as using a microwave to heat up the water in a food, will keep meat moist but soften it uncomfortably. If you’re not careful, other methods, such as the oven, can dry out meat, making it tough and chewy.
There’s no reheating procedure that can make leftover fried chicken taste as fantastic as it does when it’s freshly cooked, but if you’re careful, you can get close. Here’s what I recommend.
1. BRING IT TO ROOM TEMPERATURE: REHEATE THE CHICKEN 20 TO 30 MINUTES AFTER REMOVING IT FROM THE FRIDGE.
Allowing the chicken to come to room temperature reduces the length of time it spends in the oven (and so reduces the chances of it drying out).
2. ADD AIR TO THE CHICKEN BY PLACING IT ON A WIRE RACK AND PREHEATING THE OVEN TO 400°F.
To keep the chicken raised off the pan, we recommend putting a wire rack on a sheet pan. This allows air to circulate and prevents the breading from becoming soggy at the bottom. If you need a wire rack, this is the one we recommend.
3. BAKE CHICKEN FOR 12 TO 15 MINUTES ON HIGH AND FAST.
We’ve determined that when the interior temperature of reheated chicken hits 120°F, it’s ready. In a preheated 400°F oven, this will take between 12 and 15 minutes. That’s spicy enough to be tasty without drying out the mouth. And if you consume it right away, it won’t stay in the danger zone long enough to be dangerous.
The USDA suggests heating any leftovers to 165°F if food safety is your top consideration, but we find that this leaves most fried chicken far too dry.
Smaller pieces will cook faster and be ready sooner than larger pieces, so use an instant-read food thermometer to check the temperature of each piece and remove it from the oven as soon as it’s done.
That concludes our discussion. When the chicken is hot, the outside should be absolutely crispy and ready to eat. Serve with freshly prepared summer sides or on its own.
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How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Conventional Oven
To reheat fried chicken in a conventional oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
Fried chicken is best enjoyed fresh, but if you need to reheat it, the conventional oven is the best way to go. Just be sure not to overcook the chicken, or it will be dry and tough. Assuming you have already fried your chicken, you can reheat it in a conventional oven by following these steps.
First, preheat your oven to 400°F. Then, take your fried chicken out of the refrigerator and let it sit for about 10–15 minutes to take the chill off. This will help the chicken reheat evenly all the way through and prevent it from losing too much moisture.
Next, fit a wire rack inside a baking sheet and arrange the chicken on the rack. This will allow hot air to circulate on all sides of the chicken, even underneath. If you don’t have a wire rack, just use a foil-lined baking sheet.
Then, place the tray in the center of your preheated oven and allow it to cook for approximately 15–20 minutes. The ideal cook time will vary depending on the type and size of your chicken cuts.
To prevent your chicken from drying out, check it after 10 minutes for legs and thighs, and after 15 minutes for breasts. When the chicken has reached your desired level of crispness, remove it from the oven.