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The best ways to reheat fried chicken

Updated July 20, 2017

There is no denying the fact that fried chicken is its most deliciously crispy and succulent straight from the oven the day it is cooked. But sometimes you want to plan for meals ahead of time or you simply make more chicken than you thought you would and want to avoid waste. It's possible to store leftover fried chicken and reheat it later without sacrificing all of its original taste and texture -- you just have to follow a few rules.

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The oven

Reheating fried chicken in the oven is the best way to recapture the most of its former crispiness and juiciness. Reheating the chicken in a convection oven is ideal as a convection oven's efficient air circulation promotes perfectly even reheating. Place the fried chicken on a baking tray lined with foil. Bake at 176 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the type of chicken piece. For example, thigh pieces only need about 15 minutes while breasts would need up to 25 minutes. The chicken is ready once it is heated through and has a relatively crisp skin.

Reheating refrigerated leftover fried chicken

Leftover fried chicken can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to four days. Before placing previously refrigerated leftover chicken into the oven for reheating, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Doing this helps ensure a crispier skin and prevents uneven reheating.

Reheating frozen leftover fried chicken

As fresh fried chicken is best, followed by refrigerated leftovers, frozen fried chicken is not ideal but you can freeze it for up to four months if needed. For food safety reasons, thaw frozen fried chicken in the refrigerator a day or two before you plan on eating it, rather than on the kitchen counter. Once thawed, allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing it in the oven for reheating.


A soggy piece of leftover fried chicken is far from appetizing. If you do not reheat the chicken carefully, that may be all you get. To prevent soggy skin, make sure your oven is completely preheated before you place the chicken in for reheating. To re-crisp the chicken up as much as possible, wrap each chicken piece in foil before placing it on the baking tray. Lastly, avoid reheating fried chicken in the microwave; this method is the fastest way to an unevenly reheated piece of chicken and will result in soggy skin.

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About the Author

Serene Leavitt has been researching, writing and editing since 2007. She created original content for "Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel" and edited for The Little Biggy Corporation, an online review database. Leavitt is a self-taught expert in nutrition, fitness and health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University.

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