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How to Reheat Fried Chicken That’s Crispy, Crunchy, and Finger-Licking Good

HelloFresh

If last night’s chicken dinner is calling out to you from the fridge, you better get ready to take a few notes on how to reheat fried chicken. Sure, you can just grab a piece from the fridge and chow down, but there’s something about the smell and taste of a warm piece of fried chicken. And let’s face it, crispy drumsticks, breasts, and thighs are good no matter what method you use to reheat leftover fried chicken. With that said, there are a few techniques and tips that will help you reheat fried chicken so it stays crispy. 

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Oven


(Photo Credit: HelloFresh)


The oven is definitely the preferred method if you want to reheat crispy fried chicken, and the experts agree. Chef Thomas Boemer of Revival restaurant says the best way to reheat fried chicken without drying it out is to place the leftover fried chicken on a baking rack tented with aluminum foil and reheat in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven. “The tenting prevents the crust from darkening, and it also prevents the chicken from drying out,” he explains. 

If you’re thinking about trying this method, you might be wondering how long to reheat fried chicken in the oven. HelloFresh chef, Claudia Sidoti, says to expect this process to take around 30 minutes. But, it’s relatively simple and what you end up with is crispy fried chicken that’s warm on the inside. Here, Sidoti shares her expert steps to reheat fried chicken in the oven. 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Take the fried chicken out of the refrigerator and set on the counter while the oven preheats. This will allow all of the pieces to reach a similar internal temperature.
  3. Place the chicken on an oven-safe baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. 
  4. Place the pan in the oven on the center rack for about 10 minutes.
  5. Make sure to check on the chicken frequently, as they may heat at different speeds.

As a general rule, Sidoti says that thicker pieces will heat at a slower rate than smaller pieces. But, if the chicken is crispy on the outside and warm all the way through, they're done.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in the Microwave

Microwaves are best known for being the “go to” kitchen tool when time is tight. While this is not Sidoti’s preferred method, she knows that many people need to use the microwave in a pinch. That said, if you go this route, be aware that the fried chicken tends to dry out the already soggy skin as it cooks. “This will result in a soft, soggy texture that won't compare to the crisp skin you can achieve when reheated properly,” she explains. However, Sidoti says that if you’re in a pinch, follow these steps for reheating fried chicken in the microwave

  1. Take your fried chicken out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit out for 10 minutes, so it approaches room temperature. This is done for almost all methods of reheating to prevent chicken from losing moisture during the heating.
  2. Place a paper towel over the plate to help the chicken avoid getting too soggy. The towel will take in some of the moisture. 
  3. Microwave the fried chicken in 30-second intervals until warm. Be careful not to over-microwave or it'll dry out.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken in a Toaster Oven

When it comes to the best way to reheat leftover fried chicken, the oven and toaster oven are neck and neck for first place. So, if you’re a pro with the toaster oven, you might want to stick with this method to reheat fried chicken so it stays crispy. Sidoti shares her six steps for reheating fried chicken in the toaster oven.  

  1. Line the baking sheet from your toaster oven with aluminum foil. 
  2. Set toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and let it pre-heat for a few minutes. Place a handful of fried chicken on a plate. 
  3. Cover the plate with a paper towel. 
  4. Microwave the fried chicken for about one minute to one minute 45 seconds. Remove the plate from the microwave and place the chicken on the baking sheet. 
  5. Stick the baking sheet in the toaster oven for about two to three additional minutes. 
  6. Let the chicken stand until just about lukewarm to touch. 

How to Reheat Frozen Fried Chicken 

You worked hard to whip up some homemade fried chicken, so the last thing you want to do is toss out the leftovers. The good news is, you can freeze the pieces for later. Here is the best method, according to Sidoti, for reheating frozen fried chicken. 

  1. Thaw the frozen leftover fried chicken in the microwave until the temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit as measured with a food thermometer. 
  2. Follow directions for reheating fried chicken in the oven (as noted above) 
  3. Place the chicken on an oven-safe baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. 
  4. Place the pan in the oven on the center rack for about 10 minutes. 
  5. Make sure to check on the chicken frequently as they may heat at different speeds.  

As a general rule, thicker pieces will heat at a slower rate than smaller pieces. If the chicken is crispy on the outside and warm all the way through, they're done.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken: More Tips

Since fried chicken can be finicky, there’s always a few extra techniques you can try that will help you get finger-licking good leftovers. Plus, knowing how to reheat fried chicken without it getting soggy is easy once you know the right tips. Sidoti recommends covering the fried chicken with paper towels to keep it from getting soggy. This works well if you’re reheating in the microwave. Since this backyard favorite is best when it’s crispy, you also need to know how to reheat fried chicken so it stays crispy. 

And if it’s crispy you want, Sidoti suggests the oven method. When fried chicken is a few days old, it tends to dry out. Sidoti says to reheat fried chicken without drying it out, all you need to do is spritz the pieces with a bit of water, which helps to create more moisture. 

How to Reheat Drive-Thru Chicken to Perfection

We all know that homemade fried chicken paired with a baked potato, sweet potato, or corn on the cob is a winner for dinner, but sometimes you have to hit the drive-thru. If you have fast food leftovers sitting in your fridge, you’re in luck. Because it’s not hard to reheat Kentucky Fried Chicken or to reheat Publix Fried Chicken. Since both restaurants serve up similar types of meat, you can follow any of the methods we described above.  

In case you’re wondering about about the best way to reheat a few of those sides, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just follow the methods described here, and you will have dinner on the table in no time.

This article was originally written by Sara Lindberg. 

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