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When it comes to fried chicken, you don’t ever really find anyone that doesn’t drool at the sight of it. If you ever think about preparing fried chicken, be it fresh or Canned Chicken, to serve it to your family, or maybe when you’re having friends over, you usually don’t have to worry about leftovers because no one in their right mind would leave any behind when they can feast on it as much as they can.
But maybe one day you prepare some, expecting the kids, for example, to take care of all the amount that you’ve made. Maybe the children that day had a small snack when they were out, and they don’t feel like they’re up to the task of wiping everything out.
In days like these, you can find yourself in a dilemma. What would you do? Throw away the remaining amount in the Garbage Disposal, or store it in a FoodSaver to be eaten at another time. Of course, the idea of throwing away fried chicken is borderline blasphemy.
So you might be wondering now, how can I store the chicken and reheat it properly, without losing all the amazing taste and texture that it had when it was first prepared. The good thing for you is we’ve got you covered. We have a bunch of tested methods for reheating fried chicken, and we’re going to give you a rundown of the best ones we know about.
The Chicken Must Be Fried Well First
The state of your fried chicken at the moment you prepare it is crucial to how it’s going to be when you decide to reheat it after storing it. If your chicken is moist and tender when you prepare it, then it’s not going to be too tasteless and dry when you reheat it.
When it comes to frying chicken, it does tend to get rubbery and dry. Fortunately, you can learn a couple of tricks that will help you in avoiding these issues:
- Cold meat from the fridge should not be fried (it should be left for half an hour at room temperature)
- The oil to use should be that of a natural taste (e.g., vegetable oil, canola, Olive Oil …)
- Prepare the chicken on a closed pan
- Instead of placing the chicken on a paper towel where it’ll soak up the fat, let it drain on a wire rack with a baking sheet under it.
How to Freeze the Chicken
Another factor that plays into the quality of fried chicken after reheating is the way you go about freezing it. What you need to know at first is that warm chicken must never be frozen. If you’ve just prepared chicken that you have to store for later use, wait for it to cool down on the Cooling Rack first.
Knowing that, take a freezer wrap and cover the entirety of each piece to prevent freezer burns. We would recommend that you go the extra mile and add another layer of the wrap, as well using aluminum foil and an airtight Food Storage Container (zip bags for example) before putting it in the Chest Freezer.
For maximum effect, we also advice dedicating the freezer’s back for the chicken as it’s the coldest area. If you do so, the chicken can remain consumable for up to four months.
Now that we’ve covered the freezing, we can get to the thawing. There are three methods to go about doing this. You can put the chicken in a bowl inside the Compact Refrigerator, under running cold water or in the Microwave. Avoid thawing it at room temperature if you don’t want to risk of bacteria.
Using the Oven for Reheating
So you have all your chicken thawed, and you’re looking for a way to get that tasty crispy feeling back like when you’ve first prepared them.
If you have any expertise in the kitchen, you should know that there are tools sometimes that can solve multiple variations of the same problem. Just like how the oven is great for reheating a number of other meals, it is also great for reheating fried chicken. So if you’ve got yourself a toaster or a Convection Oven, you’re good to go. So now that we made that clear, let’s explain how to do it perfectly:
- Once the chicken has thawed, you’ll have to leave it for 30 minutes at room temperature
- Crank up your oven up to 375° (use an Oven Thermometer). Do not forget to clean it first. Oven Cleaners exist for a reason, right?
- Take the chicken and either place it on a baking sheet that’s non-sticky, or simply line the baking sheet using tinfoil.
- Place the chicken on the center rack of the oven
- Let it cook for 10 minutes
- Just in case you want to have soft chicken instead of crispy, sprinkle it with some water to keep it from getting dry while cooking
- Make sure to always keep your eye on the chicken. It will take 10 to 30 minutes for it to be ready
- Once you get it out, take it to the wire rack for about 10 minutes to cool down
Follow these steps, and if you do so correctly, you might even get a better result than when you cooked them the first time. What we want to say is, the oven is such a good tool for reheating leftover chicken when you have it just waiting to be eaten. Do not forget to use your Oven Mitt for safety.
Using the Pan for Reheating
This wasn’t a method that we were sure of exactly at first. But we wouldn’t know for sure without trying it first, would we? And as we did, we got some interesting results. Here’s what we’ve done:
- Keep the chicken out at room temperature to cool down. You do not want to put cold chicken in hot oil, trust us
- As we’ve talked before, you’ll want to use oil that’s used for frying in a pan or maybe in a deep fryer if you possess one.
- Place the chicken as gently as possible in the hot oil
- Turn the chicken frequently on their sides as they cook each 3 minutes
- Once the chicken is ready and done, put it on a wire rack and let it get rid of all that oiliness for around 5 minutes.
We should mention that the chicken may turn up kind of oily. But that remains a matter of preference above all else. For those who don’t like the grease, you might find yourself waiting extra time to lose all the oil, leaving you with, once again, cold chicken (you can also try using a Fat Separator).
Mistakes to Avoid
If you talk about the subject in front of other people, you might hear them mentioning kitchen mistakes here and there. We’re going to clarify these mistakes for those who may not be aware of them. And we hope that you do not have to fall in them in the future.
- Reheating in the microwave: Of course, you might be thinking about this. The microwave makes everything simple and quick. And you might want to have simply and quickly prepared chicken. But here’s the catch, depending on the microwave might lead you to get soggy and soft pieces. So try to avoid it as much as possible.
- Using paper towel to cool down the chicken
- Searing chicken in the Skillet
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, there are only two methods that you should adopt when you want to reheat fried chicken. You can either go with the pan or the skillet or the most obvious choice: the oven, it gives the best results.
Keep in mind that refrying will make things crispier, like skin for example. And as we said earlier, food is a matter of preference, so different people will react to that information in different manners. On the other hand, oven reheating doesn’t require oil, and it does not affect the nutritional value of the chicken.
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