Fried chicken is one of the most authentic American dishes that you can eat. There is just something about it that makes it finger-licking good every single time you eat it.
Fried chicken can take a lot of work and effort to make but it’s usually well worth it.
One of the great things about fried chicken is that you can freeze it after frying it and save it for later. This is a good way to preserve leftovers or even to make a large batch of fried chicken and have some for a later meal.
How do you reheat frozen fried chicken without making it soggy? The best way to reheat frozen fried chicken is through a two-step process that uses the microwave and the oven. However, you can make do by using either the oven or the microwave alone, with some sacrifice of quality.
In this guide, we will walk you through all of the best options for reheating frozen fried chicken. There is more than one way to do so and you might find that you have a preference or that you learn something new about your reheating options as well.
Keep reading to learn all about how to reheat frozen fried chicken and more.
A Complete Guide to Reheating Frozen Fried Chicken
When you freeze fried chicken, it’s always nerve-wracking to consider how you are going to heat it back up again. Fried chicken is made with some sort of layers that hold on breading and the instant thought is how can you possibly maintain quality when you reheat it?
Even when you reheat fried chicken that hasn’t been frozen, it can be a bit of a challenge, right?
It’s true. It can be complicated.
But, with the proper tips and processes, you really can successfully reheat fried chicken and not worry nearly as much about awful side effects. Some of the most common side effects include loss of breading as well as soggy breading.
How to Reheat Frozen Fried Chicken
Here is our recommended process for reheating frozen fried chicken. This is the best way to reheat frozen fried chicken for the best results. However, we will also share a couple of other options you can try out too.
For the best reheated frozen chicken, follow these steps:
- Thaw the frozen fried chicken using your microwave. Bring the chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees through this method.
- Once you have done this part, transfer the chicken to a baking dish of some sort. We recommend lining your baking sheet with foil for the best results. No need to cover the chicken at this point in the game.
- Bake the fried chicken in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.
This process is the best way to reheat your chicken without dealing with soggy breading from the process.
This will both reheat and crisp the chicken to keep the same flavor and texture that we all love of fresh fried chicken.
Alternative Reheating Options for Frozen Fried Chicken
There are a couple of different options you can try out if you don’t want to use the microwave.
Although what we have found is that using the microwave in this manner as explained above really produces the best overall results and you don’t have to wait for defrosting time.
We feel this works best because the leading reason for soggy breading is the moisture that accumulates during the thawing process. It is for this reason that we recommend that you don’t fully thaw the chicken before reheating it.
If you would like to stick to either the oven or the microwave when reheating your fried chicken, we’ve laid out some best steps.
Keep in mind that reheating times may take longer because the chicken is frozen in the following scenarios. Check on your chicken often and monitor the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it is fully cooked before serving again.
Reheating Frozen Fried Chicken in the Oven Alone
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil.
- Place the frozen fried chicken in the pan.
- Cover the pan with another layer of foil.
- Bake at this temperature for about 30 minutes. Check the chicken often and feel free to turn it halfway through.
- When the chicken has reached 165 degrees, remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes for a final crisping effect.
Reheating Frozen Fried Chicken in the Microwave
With the microwave, we do want to make you aware that you are more likely to experience dried-out meat from this method. You definitely won’t get the crisp skin and breading that you’re used to from fried chicken.
Instead, you will get slightly dry chicken with slightly moist breading. Overall, the flavor is still delicious but we want you to be aware the results may not be what you want.
To microwave frozen chicken, follow this process:
- Let your chicken sit out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes from the time you remove it from the freezer. This will help bring the chicken closer to room temperature.
- Cover the chicken with a paper towel, this will help with any excess moisture that causes soggy breading.
- Microwave the fried chicken initially for 1 full minute.
- After that, microwave in 30-second intervals, rotating the chicken at each interval.
- Heat to desired warmness. Remember that it is best if the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
With this method, it is best if you are only reheating a couple of pieces of chicken. If you are reheating several pieces, we recommend trying another method.
Understanding How Reheating Effects Frozen Fried Chicken
Here’s the thing. We want you to be fully informed and fully aware of how each of these methods can affect your chicken.
If you are going to reheat your chicken, the very best method is the two-part process that thaws in the microwave and then crisps in the oven. This will provide the greatest results that will give you fried chicken most similar to when it was fresh.
The microwave is a last resort option but it is available when you need something besides an oven reheating process.
Let’s cover a few pros and cons of reheating frozen fried chicken.
Pros of Reheating Frozen Fried Chicken
- You can make large batches of fried chicken and freeze some for later.
- You can enjoy that yummy dish at your leisure.
- Freezing is a great preservation option.
- Reheating doesn’t take hours of time.
- You can reheat the chicken without thawing.
Cons of Reheating Frozen Fried Chicken
- It is challenging to combat soggy breading.
- It is also challenging to combat dry chicken.
- The best method requires a two-step process.
- It takes some care and technique to have good results.
Fried chicken that has been frozen can absolutely be reheated. After all, what would be the purpose of freezing it if you can’t reheat it?
We want you to know that we are not discouraging you from this process, but we also want to be real with you and make sure you understand that there are risks in the quality of chicken when you reheat it.
However, on a more positive note, if you are able to use the oven or the 2-step process we highly recommend, you shouldn’t have any major issues.
When it comes to worrying about soggy breading or extra-dry chicken meat, this is the best process that will help you prevent these issues from happening.
If you choose to use an alternative method, be aware that the risks of dry chicken or soggy breading are slightly more elevated.
We hope that you find this guide to reheating frozen fried chicken to be a valuable resource for getting the job done. It’s slightly more complicated than some reheating processes but the results are well worth the effort.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section to see if there is any additional information you might find helpful for you.
How Long Can You Freeze Fried Chicken?
Fried chicken freezes well but it is recommended that you eat it within about 6 months of freezing it for the best results. Frozen foods can last indefinitely in the freezer if packaged properly but the longer they are frozen, the more the quality can diminish.
How Long Can You Store Fried Chicken in the Fridge?
When you put fried chicken in the fridge, it is best to only store it that way for about 3 or 4 days. You can move it to the freezer, where it will be kept for months, or eat it in that time frame.
Can You Freeze Reheated Fried Chicken?
We don’t recommend that you re-freeze fried chicken. If your fried chicken was reheated after storing it for a day or two in the fridge, you can probably freeze it. Just be aware that the reheating process also diminishes the quality so it probably won’t be quite the same.
Can You Thaw Frozen Fried Chicken in the Fridge?
Yes, you can thaw frozen fried chicken in the fridge if that is your preference. However, be aware that the thawing process usually includes excess moisture and this could lead to your breading being slightly soggy.