Fried chicken is one of the most loved foods on this planet. There is almost no person who can resist crispy chicken, and if you add fries on the side, you get the favorite dish of every second person, regardless of age.
Considering how yummy the pieces of fried chicken are, it’s hard to believe that leftover fried chicken can remain after lunch. But it happens. Rarely, but it happens.
Here’s what to do to enjoy your reheated chicken the next day as well.
How To Store Fried Chicken
We have two ways you can reheat the fried chicken leftovers, but no matter which way you choose, a few tips are worth anyhow.
Keep the fried chicken in a cool place
When you have pieces of fried chicken left, whether that be homemade fried chicken or KFC fried chicken, immediately store them in the refrigerator. Place in a container or refrigerator bag and store it in a safe, cool place in the fridge.
This prevents the development of harmful bacteria that are, by no means, good on meat. Under no circumstances, do not leave the chicken overnight at room temperature. Cold fried chicken is also easier to reheat and maintain crispiness.
Allow it to stand for a while before reheating
If you have time, before reheating, it would be good to leave the cold chicken for at least 10 minutes, preferably half an hour, at room temperature. This will eliminate the cold that remained in the meat, and the chicken will heat up much nicer and more evenly, no matter what reheating technique you use.
How to Reheat Leftover Fried Chicken in the Oven
We will tell you straight away that this is the best way if you want to get nearly crispy and tasty chicken like it was the first day. This way, the chicken will not sag and become gooey, and the crust will actually be crispy. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the chicken
In fact, you can do these two things at the same time. Turn on the stove to preheat to 350 °F and take the chicken out of the fridge. Just as the oven heats up for about 15 minutes, the chicken will have time to warm up a bit at room temperature. Put the chicken on a wire rack to assure it’s being heated equally from every side.
Step 2: Put the chicken in the oven
Place chicken on a foil lined baking sheet or baking tray and roast it at this temperature for about 15 minutes. You can turn pieces of chicken halfway to heat up evenly and keep the humidity equal. If you prefer, you can check the internal temperature with a thermometer.
Step 3: Increase the temperature
Now is the time to give the finishing touch to the warm-up process and ensure your chicken’s crispiness. Turn up the oven to 400 °F and leave for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. This should really make the breaded chicken as delicious as it was in the beginning.
Reheating Fried Chicken in the Microwave
First of all, we must say that this is not the happiest solution. The skin will be soggy somehow, and at the bottom, you could get moist pads instead of a crispy texture. But if this is the only solution you have on hand or you just don’t have time for the oven, try to make the most of it.
Step 1: Leave the chicken for 10 minutes at room temperature
Letting the chicken stand for ten minutes after taking it out of the fridge could help you at least a bit to get a uniformly heated and tastier fried chicken. If you have the time, don’t skip this step.
Step 2: Use shorter warm-up intervals
Instead of turning on the microwave for a few minutes, opt for short intervals. Heat the chicken in 30-second sequences. Then turn the pieces over and turn on again for 30 seconds, and so on until you reach the desired meat temperature. This way, the meat will heat up better, and you will avoid the underside of the chicken loosening and becoming soggy.
Heating Up Fried Chicken Using Air Fryer
All of you who invested money in an air fryer must have already saluted your decision many times. Thanks to this device, you can prepare and reheat food very quickly, and it will be a great choice for warming up cold fried chicken.
Step 1: Let it stand at room temperature
Again, if you have the luxury of an extra ten minutes, it would be good to let the chicken sit a bit after taking it out of the refrigerator. That way, the interior of the meat will not be chilly.
Step 2: Heat up the air fryer
Preheat the device to a minimum of 350 °F and ideally to 375 °F. A slightly higher temperature will contribute to crispy crust.
Step 3: Insert the chicken and heat up
Arrange the chicken pieces in the basket in a single layer. Packing several pieces on top of each other will not be a good idea because some parts will be less heated than others. Then put it in the air fryer and heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, turning the pieces in the middle of the cycle to reheat chicken evenly.
Reheating fried chicken will never give the same flavor and texture precisely as it was when freshly cooked. But with the help of an oven, you could get at least approximate results and keep the crust crispy. It would be best if you have a little more time for that, about 40 minutes, and the effort will be all worth it.
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