Chicken is one of the most versatile foods you can cook, and it’s often used as the star of its own dish, not as an extra ingredient. Popular dishes include chicken fajitas, chicken parmesan, butter chicken, and many more. Either way, while it’s super-delicious and healthy, if handled or stored incorrectly, chicken can be seriously unforgiving. Call it crazy, but you must follow storage and handling rules carefully to avoid health issues, such as food poisoning and salmonella.
And since it’s best to only reheat chicken once, you want to make it count by reheating chicken in the best way possible: the oven. Here’s how to nail this method every time to guarantee a perfect chicken.
Why Reheat in the Oven?
To put it simply, the general rule of thumb for reheating chicken is to reheat it in the same place it was originally cooked. So, since you roasted your chicken in the oven, reheat it in the oven. Pretty simple, right?
Reheating chicken in the oven keeps your chicken super moist and helps bring it back to how it tasted when you first either cooked it or took it home: crispy, moist and delicious. Use any other method, like a microwave, for example, and it could dry out the chicken.
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Keep in mind the very small difference between roast and rotisserie chicken: You essentially roast a chicken at home and pick up a rotisserie at the store. So you will have to reheat a rotisserie chicken in the oven.
Reheating Roasted, Rotisserie or Baked Chicken
To reheat, start by heating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the chicken in a high-sided baking dish. Add about ¼-inch chicken broth or water to the dish.
Once the oven is heated, place the chicken inside, and reheat it until the liquid is bubbling and the chicken is warmed throughout. This includes making sure the wings, chicken breast and the legs are cooked. It should be piping hot throughout, at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit throughout.
Reheating Chicken Separately
It’s possible to reheat just the wings, breast or legs separately. Just watch the oven more closely or even use a food thermometer since individual pieces of chicken reheat a lot faster. The goal is to reheat the chicken, not re-cook it, since this would mean dry pieces that feel and taste like sandpaper.
If it’s a chicken breast, be sure to add some liquid to the pan to help keep it moist. This isn’t as necessary for wings or legs since for them you want to ensure crispiness. Also, if you’re simply trying to reheat small, cut-up pieces, do so by wrapping them in foil. Once reheated, be sure to eat it right away since you only want to reheat chicken once.
Sarah is a multi-platform writer and editor. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Vital Proteins, Healthline, Diply, and more. When she's not writing, she's trying to keep up with her border collie, Emmy.