Grilled, boiled, baked, roasted, glazed, and seared, but fried is the most common, easiest, and crispiest of all. Yes, who could resist the smell of freshly fried chicken? Its oozing juiciness and that noisy crackle of crispy skin as you chew?
Oh, my belly starts to growl suddenly!
There is no denying the fact that chicken is one of the most cost-efficient meals out there. Storing it as a leftover is also easy and you do need not worry about it being spoiled for a short time as long as you keep it refrigerated.
The only problem is, leftover fried chickens, when stored, can be dry, hard as a rock, and flavorless when reheated.
With that said, there are so many ways to reheating fried chicken. However, the big question is, how to reheat the fried chicken and still have the same crispiness like it’s a newly cooked one?
How to Reheat Fried Chicken
There are only two recommended methods on how to reheat fried chicken and still be crispy. These are re-frying in a pan and reheating in an oven.
1. Re-flying Chicken in a Pan
The traditional and most common way of reheating leftover chicken can recover its level of crispiness and juiciness. Why not, right? After all, IT IS FRIED CHICKEN, so re-frying it will be the best and easiest option to reheat it.
You will need
- Fried Chicken leftovers
- Wire Rack
- Heavy pan
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Get chicken leftovers from the refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature. Let it sit for 30 minutes before frying in order to achieve a perfectly refried chicken. (This is to prevent the sudden drop in oil temperature when you put the chicken into the pan that can result in not not-so crispy chicken.)
- Add the oil of your choice – recommended oils are canola or vegetable oil – to the heavy pan. You need to pour oil enough for the leftover chickens to be submerged in the oil. Turn to high heat.
- Using the tongs, add the leftover chickens to the hot oil. Put only a few pieces at a time in order to refry the chickens properly. Cook chickens for at least 2 to 3 minutes, constantly turning chicken over to prevent burning. (You can get a crispier chicken if you cook it longer, however, if cooked for too long, you might have a dry chicken as a result.)
- Use the wire rack to drain oil off the chicken for at least 3 to 5 minutes.
- Enjoy the crisp!
2. Re-Heating in an Oven
Well, if you want to stop using oil because maybe you are on an “oil-conscious diet” right now, then this oven method of reheating your leftover chicken may be your pick. Like the first method, this too can give back the crispiness of your chicken and savor its juiciness minus the oil.
You will need
- Fried Chicken Leftovers
- Wire Rack
- Tongs (Optional)
- Aluminum Foil (Optional)
- Baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 400°. While waiting for the oven to warm up, take the leftover chicken out of the refrigerator and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and reach a room temperature.
- Put your leftover chicken pieces on a wire rack over a baking sheet. For an easier clean up after baking, you can put aluminum foil on the baking sheet if you want. (Putting your chicken on a wire rack will prevent steaming instead of baking and the bottom part of the chicken from getting soggy.)
- Bake chicken at 400°. Chicken breasts can be reheated for up to 14-18 minutes. Thighs and legs, on the other hand, can take lesser time to bake. You can leave your chicken to bake for 8 to 12 minutes or turn your chicken using tongs halfway through the cooking process. Make sure that you reheated your chicken at least 120° internally to make it safe for you to eat.
- Enjoy the crisp and while hot!
These two are the most recommended way to reheat your leftover chicken. Now, let us look at other common reheating fried chicken methods that you should avoid.
Ineffective Ways To Reheat Fried Chicken
1. Re-heating using Microwave
Even though this method is a convenient and quick way to reheat various kinds of food, you cannot expect the same outcome for a fried chicken. When placed in a microwave, the refrigerated, cold-fried chicken will remain soggy, especially the skin, because it cannot dry it out.
The result? A warm, reheated chicken minus crispiness that looks unappetizing. This method does not produce a delicious, crispy-skinned fried chicken than those that have been properly reheated.
2. Re-heating using Toaster Oven
People mostly use a toaster oven as their last resort in reheating fried chicken. That’s okay. However, this method cannot guarantee that your chicken will be reheated evenly. The outer part might be warm, but the inside can still be cold.
One more problem, because the oven toaster does not have enough heating power, it cannot produce a crispy skin that most people love and crave.
3. Searing on Dry Skillet
It is not a very good idea to reheat leftover fried chickens in a skillet without oil. Not! Such a method will cause the meat to become dry because the dry pan can seep moisture and fat from the chicken. Moreover, the irregularity in the chicken’s shape can make it difficult to reheat the inner parts evenly.
4. Using paper towel
Using paper towels to drain or get rid of excess oils on the fried chicken is a common practice. However, we do recommend you stop doing this. Why? It makes the fried chicken’s skin soggy. Since paper towels do absorb grease but from the air in the kitchen, leaving the reheated fried chicken in it for too long can rehydrate the once crispy skin and make it soggy.
So, those are the big No-no’s when reheating fried chicken now. As a bonus, I also added some yummy, delicious recipe ideas you can make using your reheated crispy fried chicken leftovers.
Because, admit it or not, plain fried chicken, AGAIN, is too boring for your taste buds. So let’s add a little twist and whip up some genius reheated fried chicken leftover meals to enjoy!
Turn Fried Chicken Leftovers A New Exciting Recipe
Recipe 1: Fried Chicken Sandwich
Are you looking for a snack? Say no more! This easy-to-make, hearty chicken sandwich will satisfy your taste buds in no time!
- 15-20 pieces of re-heated fried chicken tenders
- ¼ cup of Honey Mustard dressing
- 1 French Bread Loaf
- Horizontally cut the French bread loaf in two. Frome each half, scoop out the soft bread at the center and leave only a shell of ½ inch thick for the filling.
- Toss honey mustard dressing and coleslaw together until coated. Cover bottom shell of the load with coleslaw and re-heated fried chicken tenders.
- Top with the remaining bread shell. Then cut into sandwiches.
Recipe 2: Fried Chicken Salad
If you start to feel guilty about eating fried chicken again, then you can create a healthy salad with it. That’s a win-win for you.
- Re-heated fried chicken breast
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- Cut the fried chicken into bite size.
- Make a dressing with lemon juice, mustard, buttermilk mayo and season with pepper and salt.
- Slice tomatoes and lettuce to desired cuts. Toss tomatoes, lettuce, red onions and fried chicken breast in a bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing over the bowl and toss again to coat the chicken and vegetables.
Recipe 3: Fried Chicken Parmesan Pizza
If you’re craving a pizza right now, then topping it with your reheated fried chicken will satisfy your tummy. This Fried Chicken Parmesan Pizza will be ready in just 20 minutes.
- 6 reheated fried chicken strips
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese
- ½ can of pizza sauce
- 1 package of frozen garlic bread loaf
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Arrange the garlic bread loaf on a baking sheet, buttered sides up.
- Bake garlic bread for 8-9 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Spread pizza sauce over the garlic bread
- Cut the fried chicken strips into ½ inch pieces. Arrange cut chicken strips over the pizza sauce. Then, sprinkle with basil and cheese.
- At 400 degrees, bake until cheese melts or for 8-10 minutes.
Recipe 4: Fried Chicken Tacos And Buttermilk-Jalapeño Sauce
Put that reheated crispy fried chicken for good use and serve one of this yummy recipes in no time!
- 12 reheated fried chicken breasts
- Sliced radishes
- 12 warmed corn tortillas
- 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, stemmed
- 1 large jalapeno pepper
- Cup of light Ranch dressing, refrigerated
- In a food processor or blender, blend lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, and ranch dressing for 2-3 seconds or until smooth.
- Place 1 reheated fried chicken breast in each corn tortillas.
- Serve with sliced radishes and dressing.
The Final Judgment
Guys, try to ponder upon our tips? Did you find our step-by-step guide helpful? By chancing upon our method, I hope corrected the ways you might currently be doing in reheating your fried chicken leftovers. I sure do hope that the recipes I have added gave you some idea to turn a simple, reheated fried chicken into another amazing meal for your family.
Anyone using the two conventional ways can achieve reheating fried chicken and regaining its juiciness and crispiness. There are other methods; however, they cannot give you perfectly crispy fried chickens as the other two do. Believe it.
Please don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends. Who knows, this might help them with their “how-to’s fried chicken leftover” needs!