Whether you’re reheating chicken from KFC, Publix, or your local fried chicken joint, the air fryer is the best way to get those crispies back. The appliance uses dry, circulating heat to prevent the breading from getting soggy, and it works in minutes.
The key is to let the chicken come to room temperature before reheating and to spritz it with water or broth if it seems dry. Follow these tips for perfectly reheated fried chicken every time!
Prep the chicken
When you make air-fried chicken, you’ll have tender and juicy chicken breasts that are perfect for adding to salads, bowls, or sandwiches. This simple recipe uses ingredients most people have on hand and is great for meal prep.
You’ll need skinless, boneless chicken breasts, olive oil, a seasoned blend (like paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder), and salt. Be sure to use a meat thermometer and check for doneness. The chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you serve it.
Wash and pat the chicken dry before coating it with the rub. Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies, and don’t forget the top of the chicken breast. If you notice any spots that are not soaking up the oil, spray them lightly with cooking spray to help them crisp up.
Preheat the air fryer.
The air fryer is a game-changer when it comes to reheating fried chicken. It crisps it up, heats it through without drying it out, and does so in mere minutes! It’s the best way to reheat fried chicken and works for breasts, wings, drumsticks, and chicken tenders.
Make sure the chicken is completely cooled before you reheat it. If it’s still warm, it will start to cook again and could end up dry or overcooked.
Also, be sure to preheat your air fryer before placing the chicken in it. This helps the hot air circulate more evenly. Finally, don’t stack the chicken pieces together; this can prevent them from heating up properly. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces, so be sure to check them frequently and flip them halfway through.
Place the chicken in the basket.
Unlike the microwave, which makes leftovers soggy, and the skillet, which creates dry skin, the air fryer uses circulating hot air to crisp up the chicken without creating soggy, oily spots. The result is tender, juicy chicken with crunchy, crispy skin.
If you’re using bone-in chicken, make sure to cook it until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to test for doneness is with a meat thermometer.
If you’re reheating wings, drumsticks, or chicken breasts, try trussing them with twine for the best results. It helps the chicken retain its shape while cooking and also makes it easier to remove from the basket. Before placing the chicken in the air fryer, brush the chicken with some of your reserved seasoning mixture. This will help the skin crisp up even more.
Don’t overcrowd the basket.
If the chicken is piled too closely, it will not cook evenly. The air fryer works by circulating the hot air over the food, so it’s important to leave enough space to allow the hot air to reach all sides of the chicken.
If you’re reheating multiple pieces of chicken, it may be helpful to cook them in batches. This will also help prevent overcrowding the basket and ensure that each piece of chicken is fully reheated.
Another way to ensure that the chicken is properly reheated is to use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a thermometer will help you avoid overcooking the chicken and making it tough and chewy. Also, avoid covering the chicken with foil; this traps steam and makes it soggy.
Flip Halfway Through
Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, the air fryer can breathe new life into leftover fried chicken. The best part is that it’s healthier than reheating in the microwave!
The cooking time depends on the size of the chicken pieces. Smaller, thinner pieces cook faster than larger ones. It also depends on how crispy you like the skin. If the skin seems dry, try spritzing it with water or broth before placing it in the air fryer.
It’s important to flip the chicken halfway through the cooking time so that it cooks evenly. Remember to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The chicken is safe to eat when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not reheat fried chicken more than once. You may run the risk of food poisoning if you do!
Tip: Brush the pieces with your preferred sauce before putting them in the air fryer! That is correct! your preferred sauce with a brush! We enjoy buffalo, honey mustard, BBQ, and even a ginger-soy salad dressing, which creates a distinctive flavour profile. Why not offer a cup of ranch dressing for dipping with the dish?
For more instructions about how to use, please see how to use air fryer blog.
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