How To Reheat Fried Chicken In A Skillet So That It Tastes Freshly Made

Pieces of fried chicken
Pieces of fried chicken - Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock

A crispy, golden exterior and tender, juicy meat are hallmarks of fried chicken. Whether you've made your own recipe (or our classic buttermilk fried chicken recipe) or grabbed a bucket from KFC, this Southern dish is best served hot. So, what do you do when you have leftover fried chicken? Instead of throwing your leftovers away or wasting any pieces of fried goodness on subpar heating methods, such as the microwave, Tasting Table offers a better way to reheat fried chicken to help it taste freshly made.

Out of all the ways to reheat fried chicken, the pan-frying method is your best bet. To utilize this method, start by letting your leftover fried chicken reach room temperature, which could take up to 30 minutes or more depending on whether your leftovers were stored in the refrigerator or freezer overnight. Next, take a skillet with a shallow layer of vegetable oil and place it on the stove at medium-high heat. After the oil has reached 300 degrees Fahrenheit, add your fried chicken to the skillet; however, do not overcrowd it as that could drop the temperature of the oil. Each piece of chicken should only take a few minutes per side. When each piece is done, set it on a wire rack to cool and drain before eating.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Why You Should Reheat Fried Chicken In A Skillet

Pan-frying leftover fried chicken
Pan-frying leftover fried chicken - Teerasak1988/Getty Images

When stored in the refrigerator or freezer, fried chicken loses all of its best qualities, such as its crispiness or juiciness. Therefore, reheating leftovers is the only way to recapture those qualities. You can opt for other reheating methods, but those methods do not yield as good results as the pan-frying method for a few reasons.

One of the main reasons the pan-frying method of reheating fried chicken is the best is because this method closely mimics the original way the chicken was made. As the name implies, fried chicken is fried in oil, which is exactly what you're doing when reheating it by pan-frying. Because of this, the chicken comes out tasting freshly made since the oil helps to re-crisp the breading and reheat the meat inside.

In addition, other reheating methods have their drawbacks. For instance, microwaving fried chicken is great for when you want to reheat it fast; however, your chicken will likely come out soggy because the microwave essentially works by heating and boiling the water molecules in food. Cooking leftover fried chicken in the oven is a great alternative to the pan-frying method, except that it takes much longer since you need to preheat the oven and your chicken may come out dry if left in for too long. For these reasons, pan-frying leftover fried chicken is the best way to guarantee it comes out tasting freshly made.

Read the original article on Tasting Table