Looking forward to leftover chicken for a yummy lunch or quick dinner? Before you head for the microwave, check out these 3 easy methods to reheat chicken, so it stays juicy and flavorful.
Everyone has a favorite chicken recipe that yields enough for another meal or two so you can just “heat and eat”. However, if you’re not careful, just popping a piece of cold chicken in a microwave can result in overcooked meat that’s hard to chew and takes a gallon of water to wash down.
Below you’ll find every tip and step-by-step instructions to reheat chicken back to its state of tender perfection.
Best Way to Reheat Cooked Chicken
I’m a major advocate for baking/cooking chicken ahead for quick meals later in the week. When it comes to properly reheating the chicken, there are a few ways to do it without drying out the meat; on the stove-top, in the oven, or microwave. Each method comes with pros and cons, which I’ve listed for you below:
|Oven Pros||Oven Cons|
|Best for bone-in, skin-on cuts, and breaded cuts||Takes longer|
|Keeps chicken skin crispy|
|Evenly reheats the meat|
|Microwave Pros||Microwave Cons|
|Best for non-breaded cuts of chicken||Easy to dry out the chicken|
|Fast||Unevenly reheats the meat|
|Stovetop Pros||Stovetop Cons|
|Best for boneless, skinless chicken cuts||Loss of seasonings|
|Retains the most moisture||Not suitable for breaded or basted chicken|
|Evenly reheats the meat|
How to Reheat Chicken in The Oven
While reheating chicken in the oven takes longer than the microwave and stove-top, it yields the best results and makes the chicken taste like it was baked that day. Here’s what to do:
Reheating Chicken in the Oven
Turn the oven to 350F.
- Add water
Place the chicken pieces into a baking dish, add about 1 cup chicken broth or water to the dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 15 minutes before removing the foil and baking for another 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F and the skin has a little crisp to it.
How to Reheat Chicken in the Microwave
The microwave is a quick method when you’re short on time although, I don’t recommend it for breaded, bone-in, or skin-on cuts. Before you put the chicken on a plate and zap it, read the directions below:
Place the boneless, skinless chicken pieces in a microwave-safe dish, making sure smaller pieces are in the center and larger pieces on the outer edge.
- Add Water
Add a tablespoon or two of water, this will help keep the chicken moist.
- Cover and Reheat
Cover the dish with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap. Reheat for 2 minutes, flip the chicken pieces, and heat in 30-second intervals until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
If you do have bone-in, skin-on chicken that you need to reheat quickly, make sure to remove the chicken from the bone, before microwaving.
How to Reheat on the Stove
Have boneless, skinless chicken you want to reheat? The stove-top is a quick and easy method but if not done right, the chicken can dry out fast. Follow the directions below to keep the meat moist and flavorful:
- Grab a Skillet
Place enough water in a large skillet to cover the bottom and set over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken to the skillet and lower the heat to medium. Cover with a lid and cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165F, about 6 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Remove from heat and serve.
Related: How to Defrost Chicken
Can You Reheat Chicken on the Bone
You can reheat any cut of bone-in chicken, and the oven is your best bet to keeping the meat moist and skin crispy.
Keeping It From Getting Dry
There’s nothing more disappointing than rubbery, overcooked chicken, here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen- ever:
Adding water or chicken broth to whatever dish you are reheating the chicken in will create steam and helps add moisture to the meat.
Tinfoil if you’re using the oven, a skillet lid on the stove-top, or a damp paper towel in the microwave, all three trap the liquid/steam in the dish.
The smaller the piece of chicken, the higher chance it has of drying out. If possible, keep the chicken cuts intact until after reheating. If you are reheating cubed or sliced chicken, be sure to watch it carefully and check the internal temperature periodically so it won’t overcook and dry out.
Do you find tips like these helpful for making perfectly cooked chicken? Then be sure to check out the Chicken. It’s What’s for Dinner ebook.
It has helpful pointers like the best ways to cook each cut of chicken, how to safely defrost chicken, and 70+ recipes your family will love.
How to Reheat Chicken Breasts
Boneless, skinless chicken breast is a popular cut for all sorts of recipes and easy to reheat on the stove-top or in the oven, with delicious results.
Chicken covered in a coating or sauce, such as my Melt in Your Mouth Chicken, will do better reheating in the oven. The sauce reheats without falling off or burning on the surface.
Otherwise, quickly reheat pan sauteéd or grilled chicken breasts on the stove-top following the directions above.
How to Reheat Roasted Chicken
This method does take a little longer, but it works if you want to serve a whole chicken for dinner with crispy skin and tastes like it was baked that day. Here’s how to make it happen:
Reheat the oven to 350F or 400F.
Place the entire rotisserie chicken in a rimmed baking dish. Add 1 cup chicken broth or water and cover with foil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F or 15 minutes at 400F. Remove the foil and bake for an extra 5 minutes until the skin is crispy.
Remove from the oven, allow to rest 5 minutes, and serve as desired.
With these tips, you’ll be able to reheat any type of chicken and make sure it is still juicy and delicious when you serve it the second time.