Mastering how to reheat fried chicken in the oven is literally one of the best cooking hacks that you can learn. I hate food waste and one of the best ways is to use up leftovers – properly. There’s no use cooking soggy fried chicken up, you need to make it crisp and delicious again without drying it out.
I have a fast food/takeout food weakness that I just have no interest in making at home – fried chicken. While I may try making real fried chicken one day at home, so that I can learn and help you guys learn it as well, I would honestly rather order fried chicken out at every opportunity. Whether it’s a chain restaurant close by (not the big K, I cannot eat their chicken) or our local guys that make the BEST fried chicken, it’s a go-to choice when I want take-out. There are never leftovers to ever bother heating up, as I love cold fried chicken for breakfast.
Last Thursday however, I was left with 7 pieces of fried chicken that I wasn’t going to be able to use up. We were leaving to a conference the next day and weren’t home for three days. I looked at the chicken pieces, chucked them into a plastic freezer bag and froze them over the weekend.
I think I accidentally discovered the best way to reheat fried chicken – which is actually from frozen, not refrigerated. I honestly threw the chicken pieces in the freezer because I couldn’t stand the thought of coming home and throwing them out of the refrigerator. (You know you do it too, you have the best intentions of eating leftovers and then just throw them out a few days later, right?) I was determined we were going to have another meal of chicken somehow, whether I was going to use the meat in soup or pasta.
By the time we were home, I figured that the kids wouldn’t balk at another feed of fried chicken. I was going to defrost it, then heat it, but then started muttering to myself about how frozen chicken always ends up so crispy somehow. I decided that cooking it from entirely frozen *should* work like a charm. I started it lower, until it was heated through and then cranked the oven to crisp up the skin.
Now I am going to be honest with you, cold fried chicken the next day is pretty much my favourite food – better than hot fried chicken – and I will still continue to eat it for breakfast cold. That said, I am absolutely going to keep this trick in my back pocket for times when we aren’t home for cold fried chicken or there is enough for an entire meal and I can make it into a hot meal another time.
So, who is on the cold fried chicken the next day team? Team Cold Chicken Forever!
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How to Reheat Fried Chicken
- Cook Time
- 40 minutes
- Total Time
- 40 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 4 frozen pieces of fried chicken
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- Place a wire baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Put the chicken pieces on top, with a couple of inches of space between them.
- Cook in the oven for 25- 30 minutes until the chicken thighs are hot and register 150 °F on a thermometer. Turn the oven up to 400°F for 10-15 minutes until the outer skin is nicely crisped again and the thighs are 165°F. Remove and serve!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
Is there any way you could have made this article longer, used more words? You are reheating chicken.
Karlynn Johnston says
Whatever, Karen. Go yell at the manager somewhere else.
Hey Rick, any way you can learn to use the Jump to Recipe button on the top of the page instead of being rude if you don’t want to read??
I was thinking the same thing
Best info out there for reheating leftover fried chicken!!! Thanks for sharing!
I had leftover chicken breast from Popeye’s so I froze them. I baked them in my toaster oven at the suggested temp., after thirty minutes it was done and crispy, another fifteen minutes would have burnt them to a crisp.
Having said that, they tasted just as good if not better than the day I got the chicken.
Gwen Green says
This really works! I had a LOT of leftover fried chicken and I could not throw it away. I froze it and the next morning googled how to reheat fried chicken and yours was the ONLY one that didn’t suggest deboning and making something else. I’m
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!
So glad that you loved it!
This was perfect. I had smaller pieces (wings, thighs) and reheat 350 for 20 minutes and 400 for 15 minutes and the chicken came out perfectly crunchy and still moist. Thank you!
One of the best things I’ve ever added to my kitchen arsenal is an electric turbo convection oven. Its shape is round and it has dedicated space on my stovetop; that’s how often I use it. It has pretty much replaced my oven. I can also make some serious seared rare steaks in it, awesome fish, too. Absolutely perfect for leftover fried chicken and pizza, even from frozen.
As a side note, if the temp of chicken is a concern and it was cooked to the proper temp initially, there is no reason to measure the temp again.
Cold leftover fried chicken, cold leftover pizza good enough to make lots today so there will be some tomorrow.
The rest of the family like hot chicken thanks for the tip.
Karlynn Johnston says
Oh yes, I LOVE cold pizza! I should do a post on that though, because my family likes pizza hot ( weirdos!)
alexander marelia says
Oh My God!!! this actually works!! Tastes as good as the first night from Popeyes. Used a temp probe and only was close. Unbelievable A s good if not better than fresh. Wife loves my chicken enchiladas. I hate them New way to use LO
Chicken. Also the salad with the $20 oil didn’t hurt!!
That’s awesome to hear; thanks for trusting me with your leftovers lol!!!