How To Reheat Chicken In The Oven
If you've ever tried reheating chicken in a microwave, you must've terribly failed. But if you don't own an air fryer, an oven will do more than enough to get perfectly reheated chicken that you won't even know you're eating leftovers.
Reheating leftovers has often been misunderstood as gross or flavorless, but not after you learn the 'right' way. As you scroll on, you'll find the best ways to reheat your chicken and also how to store it again!
A Guide To Reheating Chicken In The Oven
While planning on reheating chicken, you need to look into the correct way to prep it and the best ways to retain its moisture to make the chicken flavorful again. So, let's look at each of them:
- Prepping To Reheat Chicken
When you bring it out the next day, your leftover chicken can appear soggy and out of moisture. So, if you've refrigerated your chicken, bring it out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature; this usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Here's what it does:
- Helps to achieve even heating through all layers of meat.
- Allows for moisture retention throughout the reheating process.
- Cuts down on time needed to reheat it, preventing a dried-out or burnt chicken.
While your chicken is out, it is the best time to preheat your oven; anywhere between 350-400° F is a safe temperature. These steps seem simple but are foolproof ways to make the next step much easier.
- Retaining Moisture While Reheating Chicken
Many of us have experienced dried-out chicken (or any other meat) when we reheat it. And while it is common for us to accept that sorry state thinking it's because they are just 'leftovers,' it is not so. There are lots of ways to retain moisture when reheating chicken, and here are a few:
- Use wire racks: The wire racks you use to place your chicken after frying them can be used while reheating them to perfection. Simply place the chicken pieces over the rack and put them into the oven. And remember to keep some space between each piece.
This is beneficial as it allows the chicken to get evenly reheated. Since the racks provide space between the chicken's bottom part and the tray, the heated air flows through every part of the chicken. Simple, right? Anyone can do this, and it doesn't need any extra effort!
- The bread and broth method: A loaf of bread can save your day, and it's true when you also have some chicken broth. All you'll need to do is lay your bread on the baking tray, dampen them with some broth and place your chicken over them. As the oven heats the chicken, the moisture from the bread gets absorbed into the meat, allowing for an even cooking and a juicy final product.
Now, if you don't have chicken broth (which will give a better aroma), you can use vegetable broth or plain water!
- Use aluminum foil: Before you get into the process, remember that this method works best for chicken recipes that do not involve a crispy exterior.
Take a large aluminum foil (something bigger than the backing sheet is preferred), and place your chicken at the center. Then, brush some olive oil or sauce, cover the chicken with the foil, and wrap it tightly. Place this inside a 325° F preheated oven, and you can take it out once the meat's internal temperature reaches 160° F.
As mentioned, we don't recommend you follow this method for deep-fried chicken. Else, you'll lose the crunch.
How Long Can You Keep Chicken Leftovers?
Sometimes, we don't succeed in finishing our leftover chicken. So they become leftovers again. But that's okay because they can stay edible for days.
Chicken that is properly sealed and refrigerated will stay edible for up to 4 days. The way to do this is to place the chicken in an airtight container or seal it with foil right after you're done eating and once it's cool enough. Then you can refrigerate the chicken, take it out and reheat it whenever you want.
If you get lazy in the part where it involves sealing, your chicken will probably undergo some bacteria outgrowth and even mess with your stomach. That's where the 'prevention is better than cure' can apply when considering chicken.
How To Use Reheated Chicken
There are countless dishes you can come up with for reheated chicken, but here are two of our favorites for some inspo:
- Chicken biryani: Don't feel in the mood for cooking? A biryani with leftover chicken will save your day.
- Pizza: If you're craving some cheesy treats but have no fresh meat at hand, simply shred some leftover chicken to grace your pizza.
So, you're now familiar with some of the best methods you can perfectly reheat chicken in an oven. Follow the steps we've mentioned, and you'll always have your chicken juicy, tender, flavorful, and crisp– exactly the way it was the night before. And you'll never think of leftovers as gross!