Few dishes deliver an encore like chicken Parmesan. Similar to lasagna, it often makes a better impression the second time on the dinner table, once the chicken, sauce, cheese and seasonings have had time to commingle. Still, reheating can lead to a disappointing outcome if you rush the process, so take your time, heed some general reheating tips and give your chicken Parmesan the star billing it deserves.
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General Reheating Steps
Thaw frozen chicken Parmesan for the best results. It can be reheated from a frozen state, but it might take twice as long. Put the pan in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Then give the chicken Parmesan time to come to room temperature before heating.
Sprinkle some drops of water on top of the chicken Parmesan to compensate for the moisture that evaporated while it was in the freezer or refrigerator. Be restrained; you can always add more water later if the chicken Parmesan seems dry.
Enliven the breading on the chicken Parmesan by putting the pan in the broiler for a minute or two after reheating it in the oven or microwave. Even though the crunchy chicken Parmesan is probably covered in tomato sauce and cheese, a brisk interlude in the broiler can fortify all reheated foods.
Check the internal temperature of the chicken Parmesan with an instant-read thermometer; it should register 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check a large pan in several places to ensure that the dish has cooked evenly throughout.
Reheat in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and give it time to come to full temperature. Cover the pan of chicken Parmesan with aluminum foil.
Place the chicken Parmesan in the oven and reheat it for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and stir the sauce and pasta, if any. Rotate the pan in the oven 180 degrees.
Heat the pan for another 10 minutes before checking the temperature. Add more sauce or cheese to the dish, if you desire, before serving.
Reheat in the Microwave
Cover the lasagna pan with plastic wrap. Leave one corner open or fold it back over the pan so that heat and steam can escape.
Play it safe and set your microwave at 50 percent power. Microwaves can heat food erratically, leaving some spots hot and others cold and heating generally from the outside in. Slowing down this speedy process by 50 percent won’t delay the dish’s arrival on your table by much, and the result will be worth it.
Remove the plastic wrap and stir the sauce and pasta in the pan after 60 seconds. Rotate the pan manually if your microwave does not contain a self-propelled platform. Stir and check the chicken Parmesan every 60 seconds thereafter until it reaches a safe 165 degrees.
- Weight Watchers: A Practical Guide to Thawing and Reheating Food
- Huffington Post: The 6 Mistakes You're Making Reheating That Food
- University of Arizona: Cooperative Extension: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences: Food Safety, Preparation and Storage Tips
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- FoodSafety.gov: The Good, The Bad, The Reheated: Cooking and Handling Leftovers
- Betty Crocker: Tips for Freezing and Reheating Food