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How to Reheat Chicken Without Drying It Out

author image M.H. Dyer
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
How to Reheat Chicken Without Drying It Out
Enjoy your leftover chicken with these reheating tips to keep your dish moist and delicious. Photo Credit: YelenaYemchuk/iStock/GettyImages

Freshly cooked chicken is moist and delicious, but after reheating, that crispy, succulent chicken often becomes tough, dry and flavorless.

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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 before eating.

Read more: Healthy Ways to Cook Chicken

Reheating in the Oven

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat your oven to 325 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.

Step 2: Reheat Your Chicken

To help keep your reheated chicken skin crispy, brush your chicken lightly with olive oil prior to wrapping it in the foil and placing in the oven.

Place your baking sheet in the oven and reheat the chicken until the internal temperature of the meat registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer.

Read more: How to Cook Roast Chicken on a Stovetop

Reheating in the Microwave

Step 1: Prepare Your Plate or Dish

Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate or dish. If you are reheating pieces, place the largest, meatiest pieces toward the outside of the dish and the smaller pieces in the center. Food on the outer edge of the dish cooks faster.

Step 2: Prepare Your Chicken

Cover the chicken with a sauce such as barbecue, teriyaki 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.

Step 3: Wrap Your Dish

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 chemicals to the chicken.

Step 4: Reheat Your 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.

Read more: Chicken for Weight Loss

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