How to Reheat Fried Chicken

We found two top methods to make it nice and crisp.

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Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin ,Food Stylist: Anne DisrudeProp Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©Yunhee Kim 2011

Yunhee Kim, Yunhee Kim 2011

By Heath Goldman for Food Network Kitchen

There's nothing wrong with savoring cold fried chicken (we love it in this brilliant Fried Chicken Salad), but sometimes you simply want your fried chicken to taste hot and crispy like it came out of the deep fryer five minutes ago. We get it. Whether you’re reheating homemade fried chicken or leftover takeout, you deserve that crisp-skinned fried favorite to taste its best. Luckily we’ve got a foolproof method that’ll make leftover fried chicken crisp without drying it out.

First things first: Resist the urge to microwave your fried chicken — all it’ll get you is a hot and soggy mess. You can do better.

Instead, we recommend turning to your oven (or your air fryer, but more on that later) for the best results. Reheating the chicken in a hot oven quickly crisps up the skin and heats through the meat without drying it out.

Our method: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, pull the leftover fried chicken from the fridge. Fit a wire rack inside of baking sheet and arrange the chicken on the rack in a single layer. While the oven preheats, the chicken will come to room temperature. Allowing the chicken to come to room temperature ensures that it cooks more evenly. Next, pop the chicken in the oven and bake until the skin feels hot and very crispy, about 15 minutes. We like using a rack instead of simply plopping the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet because the rack allows the oven’s hot air to reach and crisp-up every single nook and cranny in the chicken skin.

A quick word on whether or not you should cover the chicken in foil. While you might think that covering it with foil will prevent the chicken from drying out, it ends up trapping steam as the chicken cooks and makes for sad, soggy skin. So whatever you do, make sure you skip the foil.

If you happen to own an air fryer, you can certainly reheat your fried chicken in its basket. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and let the fried chicken come to room temperature. Next, arrange the fried chicken in a single layer and cook it for about four minutes, flipping it once to ensure even cooking. Resist the urge to pile up fried chicken in the basket. To achieve crispy skin you have to cook it in a single layer. This may mean cooking one or two pieces at a time, but trust us, being the patience pays off.

Now, is anyone else in the mood to whip up a double batch of tasty fried chicken? We have a few suggestions.

Ina Garten has a secret. She marinates her chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, shallot, garlic and jalapeños overnight for extra crispiness and a gentle kick of flavor.



Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin ,Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©2011

Yunhee Kim, 2011

Did you know that frying chicken in equal parts peanut oil and shortening leads to the crispiest results imaginable?



Ree Drummond's Fried Chicken for the Big House Clean Up and Spring is Sprung episodes of The Pioneer Woman with Ree Drummond, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Calling all newbies to DIY fried chicken. Ree Drummond’s recipe has just a few ingredients and is easy to follow.



Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

Marshall Troy, 2012,Cooking Channel,LLC

We’d never guess this healthier option wasn’t cooked in the deep fryer. Corn cereal crumbs, crushed crackers and a light spray of olive oil before baking guarantee crispy results, while yogurt tenderizes the chicken.

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