Although the holiday season is usually filled with main dishes like roast turkey and ham, there’s still something to be said for the ease of a “grab and go” chicken from the grocery store. For example, picking up the hot-and-ready chicken can be a simple way to add a crowd favorite to your dinner table for any picky eaters in the family. Plus, learning how to reheat a rotisserie chicken can help you stay healthy in between all your festive feasts. 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.
But if you’re not sure if the quick cooking method you use is the best way to reheat rotisserie chicken pieces, don’t worry. We asked 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, check out what the expert chefs have to say about everything from how long to reheat rotisserie chicken to specifically how to reheat a rotisserie chicken from Costco and how to reheat a rotisserie chicken without drying it out. With just a few extra seconds of prep work, you’ll have plenty of meals of tender, still-juicy chicken in your future by using these easy cooking methods.
How to Reheat a Rotisserie Chicken in the Oven
Like reheating a steak, reheating rotisserie chicken in the oven is the smart way to go — especially if you like chicken that is moist and tastes fresh. Fortunately for us, Elana Karp, head chef and culinary co-founder at Plated, says her favorite food to make is chicken, and sharing tips on how to reheat a rotisserie chicken without drying it out is right up her alley. Here, Karp shows us in five easy steps how 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 1/4 inch in the baking dish. And if you don’t have chicken stock, you can always substitute water.
- Place the baking dish in the 400-degree 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
When it comes to learning how long to reheat 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 Dan Churchill, the healthy chef and host of Feast With Friends on Genius Kitchen.
As a professional chef, Churchill knows a thing or two about how to reheat a whole rotisserie chicken. “My general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be reheating chicken more than once. 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,” he explains.
Here, Churchill describes how to reheat a 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 under-cooking, 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 (again, make sure the chicken reaches 165 degrees before removing the lid).
- If you want an extra crispy skin, turn your oven on broil and stick the chicken in, uncovered, for 10-15 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 10-15 seconds. But Churchill doesn’t recommend broiling a whole rotisserie chicken for any longer than 15-second intervals while watching it closely for doneness.
In addition to the above tips on how to reheat a whole rotisserie chicken, Churchill also recommends having a meat thermometer handy to make sure the full chicken is heated thoroughly and consistently.
Other Ways to Reheat a Rotisserie Chicken
If waiting for the oven to heat up is not an option, then knowing how to reheat a store-bought rotisserie chicken in the microwave, slow cooker, or stovetop is a must.
While not the best way to reheat rotisserie chicken pieces, Churchill says using a microwave is OK in a pinch. That said, he recommends only reheating chicken pieces vs. the whole chicken at one time. 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.
You can also reheat chicken in a simple stovetop pan, but Churchill says this is not the best option for a whole chicken. Instead, he gives the following tips on how to reheat a rotisserie chicken in a stovetop pan.
- 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.
How to Reheat Costco Rotisserie Chicken
One of the best things about buying a rotisserie chicken from Costco is being able to reheat it the next day. After all, those birds are huge! But if you’re not sure how to reheat Costco rotisserie chicken, you may want to consider following the directions on the label. (Note: Any of the methods for reheating rotisserie chicken above can also work for your Costco chicken.)
The first step in knowing how to reheat a rotisserie chicken from Costco is to check the label. In addition to nutritional information, the label also has directions on how to reheat store-bought rotisserie chicken. But in case you don’t have one of their seasoned rotisserie chickens in front of you, here’s what the label says about how to reheat Costco rotisserie chicken.
- Leave the chicken in tray and place in the microwave.
- Reheat on medium until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heating times will vary based on the power of the microwave.
In case you need something to do with all of this leftover reheated 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.
This post was written by Sara Lindberg.