To keep fried chicken crispy once you’ve prepared them, place them in the oven at an extremely low temperature until you’re ready to serve. If you’d like to cook fried leftover chicken, you just need to heat them in an oven to an extremely high temperature. This will allow the coating to dry while the chicken is warming.
Crispy, fried foods are one of the greatest food inventions of all time! There are a lot of multi-million-dollar firms based around crispy fried chickens, to be sure.
It’s delicious and juicy inside but exceptionally crisp and crispy on the outside. It’s a treat, delicious!
But here’s where reality hits and hits hard – soggy, mushy, and wet, not-so-crispy-chicken. It’s horrible and, unavoidably, the only way to get there.
There’s a bright side, too. It doesn’t matter if you make it yourself, buy frozen chicken fried. You can keep them crisp and even make them crispy again!
Read on to see the methods to keep fried chicken crispy and how to reheat leftover fried chicken.
Crispy Fried Chicken
You may have seen that we love crispy fried chicken. Making it requires perfect ratios of ingredients, the most effective execution of the method, and cooking the chicken at precise temperatures for a specific period.
However, after all that work, the chicken may last only for around an hour – if you’re lucky! Luckily, throughout the years, we’ve had a lot of fun in the realm of fried chicken, and today we’ll be sharing our best practices with you.
Before you begin to learn the method, it is essential to understand what you’re working on first and how it can affect the method you decide to use.
The first aspect you should consider is the kind of chicken you want to refrigerate. Fried chicken could be made at home (prepared from scratch), frozen chicken fried, or store-bought ready-to-eat Fried chicken (from a fast-food franchise).
Each has distinct features and, therefore, will require different strategies to ensure they are crisp. Within each category, each brand or franchise contains different components that could influence how you cook.
If this method does not work for the specific type or type of frozen chicken you are using, keep it in mind and try a different method next time.
Another thing to be considered is when looking to revive the chicken that you fried. It could be to keep the chicken crisp over some time before eating, or you’d like to make a fresh crisp from leftover chicken that you fried.
Reheating chicken leftovers and making them crisp differs from making fried chicken crisp for about an hour or two.
What Makes Fried Chicken Crispy
When you consider the method employed to prepare fried chicken, it’s always the same process with slight differences in ratios and method.
The chicken’s meat is cleaned and washed to eliminate impurities or unusual flavors. It’s not necessary, and most people don’t bother. It’s just to be a safety measure.
The chicken pieces are then individually coated with flour that has been seasoned, followed by an egg mix, then breadcrumbs that are seasoned. There are wide varieties of ingredients that could be substituted for this. However, the process is always the same.
Most often, each piece is coated two times to give an improved coating and, in the end, more crisp and clean pieces.
After the pieces are coated, most recipes recommend letting them rest in the fridge to in the firming of the coating. This is dependent on the recipe and its specific ingredients.
The chicken is then cooked with hot oils between 320 and 360 degrees F (160-180degC). There are two main reasons food becomes crispy after it is fried, but it always helps to choose the best oils for frying your chicken in.
This is not the real method that is used. Frying food in extremely hot oil will remove the water from the meal, which results in a dry-out, crisp product. This is what happens when your food sizzles inside the fryer. It is water being released from the ingredient as it reacts with oil.
Another element that causes food items to be crispy is the ingredients employed, in this case, eggs, and egg mix. Have you ever baked an egg to see the edges turn a bit crisp? It’s the same in this case too.
The moisture inside the egg is eliminated in the cooking process, which is why the egg coating is crispy while the chicken remains soft and moist.
Who would have thought that the fried chicken was so complex?!
How Fried Chicken Can Lose Crispiness
If frying food strips moisture away to form an extremely crispy crust, it’s clear that adding moisture would cause it to lose its crispness.
It’s not like you’re smothering your crispy fried chicken in water, but the moisture is everywhere! When the temperature is at room temperature, crisp chicken can absorb moisture in the air and become soggy.
A refrigerator uses liquid cooling systems to help cool food items. Consequently, fried chicken will indeed absorb moisture in it too.
The most effective way to keep your chicken crisp is to keep it out of moisture, But how do you do this?
How To Keep Fried Chicken Crispy
Let’s begin with freshly prepared Fried chicken you can make at home. Making fried chicken at home can be an extensive and messy task, so most of the time, people make it ahead of time to clean up and do other chores before eating their dinner.
Once the chicken is taken off the grill, it begins to absorb moisture from the chicken’s flesh and the air around it.
These techniques are best suited when you cook your own chicken or freeze chicken. However, they are not for chicken that has been pre-cooked. The chicken that you bought from a store has been sitting out for a while before you even purchased it, and after it’s been taken away from their ovens or heating elements, applying these methods won’t do much.
1. Keep Fresh Fried Chicken Crispy Up To An Hour
This method is great when you’ve just cooked and you want to ensure that your food is crispy prior to serving or to ensure that your subsequent servings are in good condition prior to returning to get more.
To keep your freshly fried chicken crisp for around an hour, take these steps after you complete the cooking process:
- Put a wire rack over an oven sheet or roasting tray.
- When you’ve cooked an entire batch or piece of chicken, take the chicken from the fryer and put your chicken on the wire rack. Be sure that the pieces aren’t touching.
- Continue this process until your chicken is fried.
- Place it in a dry, cool location away from drafts or direct sunlight. Both can accelerate the process of absorbing moisture. Microwave or oven which hasn’t been utilized for the purpose of cooking will be the best choice.
The reason that the “paper towel method” doesn’t perform is that the chicken is left in the oil, then it becomes soggy once more. This is an excellent method to remove the excess grease from your chicken and keep it from liquids and crisp.Pros:
- This is a great option for when you’re required to fry an entire batch of chicken. As the first pieces are taken out, they’ll likely remain for a few minutes or perhaps an hour. This will help keep the pieces crisp while you work on preparing them.
- This recipe doesn’t require any additional effort or prep. Simply fry the chicken and place your chicken on the plate.
- This method doesn’t need specific equipment or equipment and will not cost you a dime (like changing paper towels can).
- This method is not a good way to keep your chicken crisp for a prolonged time. Anything that is longer than 45 minutes or one hour will result in the chicken cooling down, taking in moisture, and becoming too wet.
This method is ideal for when you want something easy to keep your chicken crisp just before eating or when you’re eating.
2. Keep Fried Chicken Crispy 2+ Hours
What happens if you need a way to keep your chicken crisp for a long time, like during a large party or family gathering?
The first option is great for normal nights. However, there are times when you’d like something that you don’t need to worry about for just a few hours.
To keep your freshly fried chicken crisp for a few hours, Follow these steps:
- The oven should be set to 200degF (100degC).
- Set a wire rack on top of the baking pan or roasting tray.
- Once you’ve cooked an entire batch or piece of chicken, take it from the fryer and then place it on the rack of wire. Make sure that the pieces do not meet. Repeat this process until your chicken is cooked.
- After you have finished cooking, put your baking pan and the wire rack in the oven at low temperature. The chicken can be kept inside for about two hours before it begins drying out the chicken’s flesh.
- If you think it is getting too hot in your oven, you could reduce the temperature, but not too much since the moisture needs to be evaporated continuously.
- This method is extremely effective as it uses method 1 to stop the chicken from getting wet, as the chicken is drained over a wire rack and not using paper towels.
- Utilizing an oven set to the lowest temperature will help eliminate all moisture out of the poultry and is simple to do and a hassle-free process.
- The chicken can be kept by the ultra-crispy heat for a few hours as you wait for your guests to arrive or do some errands.
- This process requires the oven to be turned on for the entire time, and that consumes plenty of power, a.k.a. money.
- It is not a good idea to use leftover chicken.
3. Refry Store Bought Fried Chicken – Same Day
After the chicken cooked in the oven goes out of the oven at the market, it begins to absorb moisture and becomes watery.
It won’t be nearly as crisp when you get to your home. This is the best way to bring back fried chicken that you bought on that same day:
- Prepare your oven for 350degF (180degC).
- Put a wire rack over the baking pan or roasting tray.
- The chicken pieces should be laid out in one stack on the rack and placed in the oven.
- Bake in a high-temperature oven for around 5-8 minutes or until the coating is crispy once more.
- If you wish for the meat to remain crisp for a few hours following the cooking, lower the temperature to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) and keep the chicken to rest until prepared to cook it. Or, you could just reheat the chicken when you require it.
- It is a quick and easy method to heat up store-bought chicken.
- Cook the chicken and make it crisper.
- After a certain period of time, there’s no way to make it easier to re-crisp the fried chicken from a store just because it’s been stored too long, and it heats and cools too frequently.
- It is also possible to make it fried in a deep fryer and then fry it again; however, this could not work in certain instances.
How To Store Leftover Fried Chicken Crispy
The term “leftover chicken” refers to any chicken portion that has been placed inside the freezer to completely cool and then heated.
When you freeze fried chicken, it’s harder to get your fried chicken to a crisp appearance since the coating has taken in much moisture during this time and has become watery.
We have found that the following recipes work great with leftover chicken that you have cooked yourself; however, not so well with store-bought or frozen pieces. Be sure to have kept it in a proper manner first!
1. In The Oven
Here’s how to bring back your leftovers from the kitchen, the most effective method:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200degC).
- As the oven is heating, take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Set it aside at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- Set a wire rack on top of oven sheets or roasting tray.
- The chicken pieces should be laid out in one stack on the rack and then placed in the oven.
- Bake in a hot oven for around 12-20 minutes and until the chicken has warmed up and the coating has become crispy and crispy.
- It is an extremely efficient method. Thanks to it being a wire rack will circulate throughout the piece and result in a uniformly fresh product.
- This is a simple technique that usually takes time. It’s not necessary to do much work. It is possible to place your cake in the oven and then leave it until it’s done.
- It requires a number of additional steps, and you’ll need an hour to cook the chicken.
- Note: Chicken is not able to be revived once this method has been used. It is recommended that chicken not be cooked two times.
2. In The Fryer
If you own a fryer, this is an excellent method of heating up and crisping up leftover chicken that you have fried:
- Preheat your oil until it is at 360DegF (180degC).
- When the hot oil has begun to heat up, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it stand on the counter at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
- After your chicken is rested and the oil has become hot, then add the chicken into the fryer (in appropriate quantities, which should be small) and cook for approximately 5-10 minutes until your chicken is crispy again and is completely cooked.
- This is a great option because you might have the oil that you originally cooked your chicken with. The oil can be reused within the fryer or in the pot, which means fewer dishes and less cleanup.
- This is a faster method than heating an oven to cook your poultry.
- This process requires more focus because the temperature of the oil is to be controlled in order to stop the chicken from burning completely prior to being heated.
- Chicken becomes darker as it cooks in oil. It’s not a major issue. However, some people do not like chicken that is too dark.
3. In An Air Fryer
If you own an air fryer that you own, this is an ideal method to cook cooked chicken. The air fryer will ensure that it is crispy and nice.
- Pre-heat your air fryer to 400 degF (200degC).
- While the oven is heating up, take the chicken out of the refrigerator, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
- Set the chickens on an air-tight rack in a single layer, then put them in the oven fryer. Cook for 12-15 minutes to ensure that it is cooked to the perfect temperature and the coating has become crispy.
It creates crispy chicken pieces and is suitable with any leftover chicken, no matter if it’s fresh, frozen, or bought from a supermarket (although the timings for frying may differ slightly).
- Air fryers provide great dry air circulation and blend the best features from both oven and fryer processes.
- It’s an extremely simple and easy method to use.
- This method is suitable for just about any cooked chicken.
- Needs special equipment.