Freshly cooked chicken is moist and delicious, but after reheating, that crispy, succulent chicken often becomes tough, dry and flavorless. Whether you're reheating a take-out rotisserie chicken from your supermarket or home-cooked chicken pieces, proper reheating in the oven or microwave retains the flavor and texture of the chicken. No matter what reheating method you choose, the most important thing is to reheat the chicken safely. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil. The foil should be large enough to extend beyond the sides of the baking sheet.
Place the chicken in the center of the baking sheet. Pull the sides of the aluminum foil up and wrap the chicken tightly with the foil.
Reheat the chicken until the internal temperature of the meat registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer.
Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate or dish. If you are reheating pieces, place the largest, meatiest pieces towards the outside of the dish and smaller pieces in the center. Food on the outer edge of the dish cooks faster.
Cover the chicken with sauce such as barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce or cream of mushroom soup. Alternatively, coat the chicken pieces with a prepared coating mix. Liquid or coating mix isn't required, but will ensure the reheated chicken is moist.
Place a piece of microwave-safe plastic wrap over the dish. If you use regular plastic wrap, don't allow the plastic to touch the food, as the plastic can melt and transfer the chemicals in the plastic to the chicken.
Reheat the chicken for two to three minutes, then turn the pieces over and stir the sauce. Resume cooking for an additional two to three minutes, or until the center of the thickest piece of chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking time varies depending on the amount and size of the chicken pieces and the power of your microwave oven.
- Purdue University 4-H Youth Development: Microwave Cooking
- SFGate.com; The Best Way to Reheat Chicken; Amanda Berne; February 2004
- "Seattle Times": Reheating Takeout: The Right Way to Warm it All Up
- North Dakota State University Extension: Cooking for Groups; A Volunteer's Guide to Food Safety; June 2001