There’s definitely something to be said for the ease of a “grab and go” rotisserie chicken from the store. It can be a simple and budget-friendly way to add a crowd favorite to your dinner table — and Costco’s rotisserie chicken is so popular, it even has its own fan club! Plus, when done right, leftover rotisserie chicken tastes great on salads, in sandwiches, alongside a reheated baked potato or as part of a healthy burrito bowl. The possibilities are endless!
That’s why we asked our test kitchen experts along with two professional chefs to weigh in on how to reheat a rotisserie chicken. Before you throw the bird in the oven and call it a day, read on for their time-saving, flavor-boosting tricks:
How to reheat rotisserie chicken parts in the oven
Like reheating a steak, reheating leftover rotisserie chicken in the oven is the smart way to go — it’s a top way to keep chicken moist and fresh-tasting. And it’s the favorite method of Elana Karp, head chef and culinary co-founder at Plated. Here’s her five easy steps to reheat a rotisserie chicken in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the rotisserie chicken in a high-sided baking dish.
- Add a bit of chicken stock to the baking dish. You’ll want enough liquid to come up about ¼ inch in the baking dish. If you don’t have chicken stock, you can substitute water.
- Place the baking dish in the oven.
- Reheat the rotisserie chicken in the oven until the liquid is bubbling and the chicken is warmed all the way through. This method will keep the chicken moist while reheating — as opposed to a microwave or reheating without the added liquid, both of which would dry out the rotisserie chicken.
How to reheat a whole rotisserie chicken in the oven
When it comes to how long to reheat a whole rotisserie chicken in the oven, patience is key. “We’re talking about a whole bird here, so it’s not going to be as quick and simple, as say, a bowl of pasta,” says cookbook author Dan Churchill, aka The Healthy Chef.
One important note: “My general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be reheating chicken more than once,” Churchill says. “So if you don’t think you’ll be able to serve and finish the full chicken in one sitting, only reheat the pieces that you plan to consume.”
Below, Churchill describes how to reheat a whole rotisserie chicken in six easy steps:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add a little bit of broth, gravy or even water to the bottom of an oven-safe dish (a ceramic or glass pan will work, or even a disposable aluminum pan will do).
- Place the chicken in the pan and cover it with an oven-safe top, or if you don’t have one that fits, wrap the chicken tightly with aluminum foil. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.
- Roast the chicken for roughly 25 minutes. The size of your chicken will determine how long you leave it in the oven, but the most important thing to check is that the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you remove it. (That is where your thermometer comes in. Of course, the chicken is already cooked, so you don’t have to worry about undercooking, but nothing’s worse than a piece of meat that is only partly warm.)
- Remove the lid (or foil) and cook for five more minutes to crisp up the skin.
- If you want an extra crispy skin, turn your oven on broil and stick the chicken in, uncovered, for 10 to 15 seconds. Make sure to keep a close eye on it. If the chicken needs more time, you can always put it back in for another 10 to 15 seconds. But Churchill doesn’t recommend broiling a whole rotisserie chicken for any longer than 15-second intervals while watching it closely for doneness.
Want to try this method but worried that the chicken may burn in the broiler? Susan Chiusano, FIRST for Women test kitchen manager, suggests switching your broil setting to low. “My oven at home has a low broil setting, so I use that often to crisp things with less chance of burning,” she explains. “Keep the chicken 4 inches away from the heat source to be on the safe side.” With these helpful tips, your rotisserie chicken will be golden brown on the outside and moist and tender on the inside!
How to reheat a rotisserie chicken in the microwave
While not the best way to reheat rotisserie chicken pieces, Churchill says using a microwave is okay in a pinch. That said, he recommends only reheating chicken pieces instead of the whole chicken. Below is his method for how to reheat a rotisserie chicken in the microwave.
- Separate the piece (or pieces) of chicken that you’re going to warm up and make sure there are no bones (which heat faster and can dry out the chicken).
- Wrap each piece of chicken in a damp, microwave-safe paper towel.
- Place the chicken pieces in a microwave-safe dish and heat at 30-second intervals, checking after each interval until you’ve reached the desired temperature.
How to reheat a rotisserie chicken on the stovetop
You can also reheat chicken pieces in a pan on the stovetop, but Churchill says it’s best to skip this option for a whole chicken. Here are his tips:
- Cut the chicken into strips.
- Place a pan on the stove on medium heat.
- Add a bit of olive oil or cooking spray to the pan.
- Add the chicken strips to the pan.
- Sauté the chicken strips, stirring constantly to prevent them from sticking. This is also an excellent opportunity to throw some other colorful ingredients into the mix such as canned tomatoes, chopped peppers, mushrooms or spinach.
What to do with leftover rotisserie chicken
Need something to do with any leftover rotisserie chicken? Check out one of Churchill’s favorite recipes for Chicken and Chickpea Soup. You can adapt this recipe to any cuts of chicken you might have on hand; just skip roasting the meat, and simply shred your leftover rotisserie chicken into the bowls just before serving. Plus, this recipe for High-Protein Buffalo Chicken Dip is a perfect snack if you need to use up any remaining chicken.
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