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How to Reheat Fried Chicken?


If fried chicken is one of your favorite meals, you might be tempted to cook or buy larger portions of this tasty food than you could possibly eat at once. The same happens with the irresistible pizza you more than often leave in the pan, and to learn more about this, check it out here. Coming back to the fried chicken issue, if you’ve got more than a reasonable share of the crunchy thing, here is why and how you can reheat it safely.


Why should I reheat fried chicken?

Whether you choose to reheat fried chicken or not is actually a matter of personal preference; if you like having your fried chicken cold for the second round, there is no rule that keeps you from enjoying your meal this way.

Nonetheless, since most people love fried chicken precisely for the crunchy feel and lingering smell that comes from its hot temperature, reheating this dish might be the only way you can truly enjoy eating it even when it is no longer fresh.

This being said, it is up to you to choose how you eat that extra fried chicken that you still have from lunch. Nonetheless, knowing how to reheat it properly can help you do this for guests or family members who don’t fancy a cold piece of chicken for dinner.

What are the best ways to reheat fried chicken?

There are different ways of reheating fried chicken to make it warm and yummy again while preserving the same qualities it had the first time you ate it. One of these methods is re-frying the chicken. Of course, you will need a cooker and a good pan that is large enough for this purpose.

Before you fry the chicken again, you should first make sure that it has a suitable temperature. If you’ve put this product in the fridge for a few hours after your first feast, it’s time to take it out and, based on how cold it is, wait for a half an hour or even less so that the meat reaches room temperature.

While you are waiting for the meat to reach the right temperature, make sure you deposit it in a safe place, especially if you have curious cats or ever-hungry dogs that may attempt to get a fair share of it. Moreover, now you can also take advantage and do other necessary stuff such as setting the table

Re-frying the chicken is one good way of making sure that you will be able to enjoy once again its crispy and savory content. However, the temperature is an essential factor in getting that crisp feeling back; if you don’t wait enough and you simply put the cold piece of meat in the pan, you risk compromising the result.

Cold chicken, in contact with hot oil, will automatically produce a decrease in the oil’s temperature. To get back to the necessary frying temperature, the oil will need approximately 90 seconds and, although it seems so little, this interval is enough for you to lose the possibility of achieving a crispy surface.

If you are wondering what type of pan is better for a re-fry operation, there are several options, so you don’t have to be too picky about this. Generally, heavier pans such as those made of cast iron are ideal as they have a better heat retention capacity.

To fry the chicken again, you need to use a generous amount of oil. The chicken piece doesn’t have to be completely covered by oil, but at least its bottom should be surrounded by it from all sides.

Another golden rule that typically applies to cooking fried dishes refers to the type of oil you use. You should normally avoid oils that don’t have a high smoke point such as olive oil and opt for those that have it, for example, vegetable oil such as sunflower oil.

This is the most common and one of the most affordable options. Other products that can work equally well are canola oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, all of which can easily be found in the average supermarket.

Although olive oil is an excellent and healthy choice, it is not appropriate for fried meals. This oil is mainly used with other cooking methods and it is also a great addition to any salad. However, when you try to fry something in it, it will produce a peculiar smoke that will actually be detrimental to the food’s quality as it can give it a bitter taste.

After you choose your oil and allow it to reach a suitable frying temperature, it’s time to submerge the pieces of chicken and, based on how large they are, you can put two pieces simultaneously in the pan or even more. Each piece should be fried on each side for around 2 minutes.

During this time, make sure you constantly check each piece and turn it on the other side when needed so that it doesn’t become too dry or burnt. You know how crispy and well-fried your chicken should be so how much time you invest in re-frying is literally a matter of taste.

After you are done, take the chicken out of the pan and let the oil drain by putting the pieces on a wire rack. If you do this, the extra-oil will not ruin your chicken’s crispiness. In only a couple of minutes, the oil should drain, and you will be able to enjoy your palatable meal.  

If you are not quite fond of taking so many steps in order to re-heat your chicken, or you don’t have the time and nerve to turn the chicken on each side and avoid over-frying it, you can choose to simply heat it again in the oven.

To do this, you need to let the chicken reach room temperature before you put it in the oven, for reasons that have been stated above. Beforehand, the oven should also be preheated at a temperature of around 370 degrees.

You will need a pan for this process as well. Baking sheet is also necessary, and you have to lay the sheet on the pan and put the pieces of chicken on top of it. Additionally, you can also use aluminum foil as a lining, which will reduce the mess.

Once the pan is ready, put it inside, on the middle rack. The necessary time to heat the meat may be anywhere between 10 minutes and half an hour depending on the oven’s temperature and how big the chicken pieces are.

The thighs and the breast, for example, will require more time because they are bigger. If you choose this re-heating method, you will still need to check each piece of chicken as the small ones tend to get dry if left for too long in the oven. If the chicken’s skin feels crispy and the inside is warm, you can take it out. 

What should I avoid while reheating my fried chicken?

I know this is going to sound harsh, especially if you are working extra hours and you are still in front of your laptop by dinner time, struggling to finish the last tasks and the only soothing thought is that fried chicken you could reheat within a matter of seconds.

Resisting the temptation of putting your meal in the microwave to get it over with as soon as possible is almost unbearable. However, keep in mind that this specialty should not be reheated in a microwave unless you accept compromising its quality. 

You will surely have a warm meal once you’re done reheating your chicken in the microwave, but that’s about everything you’ll get. Nothing from its irresistible and crispy texture will be preserved if you use the microwave.

Moreover, the chicken will simply have a different, softer feel that doesn’t compare to the crunchy meat you are eager to eat.

Another common mistake you should avoid after you enjoyed your first round of fried chicken or once you reheat your food is leaving it on a paper towel. This might be the first thing that comes in handy, but it is a big no-no.

Laying the warm chicken on a tissue surface might seem a great idea as this material can absorb the fat which comes in abundance with this chicken specialty. Nonetheless, by doing this, you are actually achieving the opposite result.

The liquid absorbed in the tissue will then be reabsorbed back by the skin of the chicken, thus taking you back to square one.

Fried chicken is one of those meals that some of us simply can’t get enough of. If you love this dish and you are used to cooking more than you can eat in one round, now you know how to safely reheat it.