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How to reheat chicken (Without drying it out)

How to reheat chicken (Without drying it out)

Chicken is one of the most versatile ingredients to work with in the kitchen. It cooks beautifully and is the go-to option for weeknight dinner. 

The only issue that comes with chicken is that it tends to dry out when reheated. So, if you can’t get enough of your favorite chicken-based dish, it’s best to take the time to learn how to reheat chicken the right way.

How to reheat chicken: The right way to do it!

Here are three different methods that you can consider to safely reheat cooked chicken while making sure it stays soft and moist.

Reheating leftover chicken in the microwave

When you are short on time, consider reheating chicken breasts or leftover chicken in the microwave to enjoy perfectly heated chicken in less than five minutes. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces, especially when reheating chicken breast. This is important as chicken dries out when heated for a long time. Smaller pieces will heat quickly, effectively reducing the heating time.
  2. Arrange the chicken on a microwave-safe plate. Make sure that the parts do not overlap and are lined in a single layer. Leave some space between the pieces to allow for even heating.
  3. Add 1T or so of water or chicken to the dish for best results.
  4. Use a damp paper towel to cover the chicken pieces. Doing so will keep the chicken from drying out excessively. DO NOT use tin foil or plastic wrap for this purpose.
  5. Set the timer on the microwave for 1.5 to 5 minutes, depending on the amount of chicken you are heating. For a single serving, set 1.5 minutes, increasing time considering the amount of chicken.
  6. Halt the microwave at the halfway mark, and turn the chicken carefully to ensure even heating.
  7. Touch the chicken pieces with your finger to make sure it is warmed properly. If the chicken is still cold, continue to reheat in 30-second increments until the desired temperature is acquired.
  8. Remove from the microwave and let it cool for about 2 minutes before serving.

Reheating chicken in the oven

If you have plenty of time on your hands and want to reheat many chicken pieces at once, then warming up leftover chicken in the oven is the best choice for you. Here’s how to reheat chicken in the oven. 

  1. Defrost the chicken. You don’t have to bring it to room temperature, but make sure it’s not frozen solid.
  2. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces to prevent drying while reheating. This step is especially important when you are reheating chicken breasts. 
  3. Place the chicken pieces in an oven-safe pan, leaving space between the pieces.
  4. Drizzle the leftover pan juices or chicken broth on the chicken and cover the pan using a cookie sheet or aluminum foil.
  5. Preheat the oven to about 425° F. Place the chicken into the oven. The reheating time depends on the size of the pieces. The larger the chicken pieces, the longer they will take to reheat. 
  6. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you reheat the chicken pieces to 165° F through the middle.
  7. Remove from the oven. Wait a couple of minutes.
  8. Enjoy hot and tender chicken! 

Warming up chicken on a stovetop

Reheating chicken on a stovetop is another viable option. It’s easy and takes only a few minutes. Here’s how to heat chicken on a stovetop. 

  1. Put a non-stick pan on low heat. Make sure the pan is not too hot; otherwise, the chicken might dry out.
  2. Add 1T of oil or butter to the pan to keep the chicken soft and tender as it reheats. You can also substitute oil or butter with 1T of chicken broth.
  3. Place the chicken in the pan and let it reheat. Move the pieces frequently to avoid burning and ensure even heating.
  4. Once the chicken is thoroughly reheated, remove it from the pan. Let the pieces rest for about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

The bottom line

These are the top three ways to reheat chicken like a pro. 

Ultimately, warming up leftover chicken is simple. Whether you do it on the stove or in the oven or microwave, as long as you follow the methods mentioned above, your chicken pieces will never dry out again!

How to reheat chicken

How to reheat chicken

Here’s everything you need to know about reheating chicken in an oven - from defrosting the chicken to the important use of a meat thermometer.

Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Oven-safe pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Chicken broth
  • A meat thermometer

Instructions

  1. Defrost the chicken. You don’t have to bring it to room temperature, but make sure it’s not frozen solid.
  2. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces to prevent drying while reheating. This step is especially important when you are reheating chicken breasts.  
  3. Place the chicken pieces in an oven-safe pan, leaving space between the pieces.  
  4. Drizzle the leftover pan juices or chicken broth on the chicken and cover the pan using a cookie sheet or aluminum foil.
  5. Preheat the oven to about 425° F. Place the chicken into the oven. The reheating time depends on the size of the pieces. The larger the chicken pieces, the longer they will take to reheat. 
  6. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you reheat the chicken pieces to 165° F through the middle.
  7. Remove from the oven. Wait a couple of minutes. 
  8. Enjoy hot and tender chicken!

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