How to Reheat Leftover Chicken from KFC Bucket Meals

When you’re ordering lots of food from KFC, checking out the bucket meals is always a good idea. With the prices for bucket meals between $11-43, you get a lot for a reasonable amount of money. But more often than not, you end up with too much food.

That’s especially true when you order when you’re just ordering for yourself and figure that $20 is a reasonable price to pay. That can get you the 8 Piece Family Fill Up, which means you’re getting 8 pieces of chicken. That’s almost impossible to finish, especially as the meal also comes with 2 large mashed potatoes and gravy, a large coleslaw, and 4 biscuits.

Still, you can always enjoy the chicken later in the day, or even tomorrow. The chicken can keep. But how do you reheat the chicken? It’s not as fun eating chicken when it’s cold.

The good news is that you can reheat the chicken easily enough. There are several ways you can do this:

Oven (or Toaster Oven)

This can take 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how cold the chicken got. It’ll take long if the chicken was in the freezer, instead of just in the fridge.

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
    2. Set the fried chicken on a baking sheet. For easier cleanup, cover the baking sheet with foil.
    3. Place this in the oven, for about 15 to 25 minutes. Breasts and thighs will take longer to reheat (20-25 mins) compared to legs and wings (15-20 mins).
    4. Make sure they’re not overcooked, so keep a close watch.
    5. Remove from the oven when done. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
    6. Let it cool a bit, then enjoy.

It’s the same process with the toaster oven, though it may take a bit longer.

Air Fryer

Do you have an air fryer? This is the option that’s great if you’re in a hurry.

    1. Set the leftover fried chicken in the air fryer basket.
    2. For optimal results, spray the chicken with extra virgin olive oil.
    3. Reheat the chicken at 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) for about 6 to 7 minutes. That’s 3 minutes on each side.
    4. After that, take out the fried chicken from the air fryer. Let it cool for a bit, and it’s ready.

Deep Fryer

Using a deep fryer is another good method to try. The main risk, however, is that you end up overcooking the chicken if you’re not too careful. Some say that it’s not healthy to add more oil to the chicken. But if that’s all right with you, then go ahead.

    1. Heat up enough oil in your deep fryer.
    2. Set the fried chicken in the deep fryer basket and make sure that the chicken pieces are totally submerged in the oil.
    3. This won’t take long, though. You’ll only need about 3 to 5 minutes. Keep in mind that you’re only reheating the chicken. It’s already been cooked before, so there’s no need to overdo it. Overcooking the chicken just won’t do.
    4. Once again, after enough time has passed, take the chicken pieces out, let them cool, and have fun.

Frying Pan (Skillet or Stovetop)

This isn’t a healthy option either, as you’re frying the chicken once again. That means more oil absorbed, and therefore you have more of the fat. You’re also risking that the chicken coating turns up soggy as a result, if you’re not careful.

    1. Use a medium flame to preheat your skillet or frying pan.
    2. Add some oil to the pan, and then let it heat up.
    3. When you’ve properly heated up the oil, put in the pieces of chicken to the frying pan.
    4. Leave the chicken pieces in for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Again, this is about reheating the chicken. You’re not cooking the chicken, as it’s already been cooked.
    5. Take it out, let it cool, and enjoy!

Final Words

How come there’s no mention of the ubiquitous microwave oven? That’s off the list, because it seriously messes up the chicken. You end up with a soggy mess, with a mushy exterior that’s the very opposite of “crunchy” and “crispy”.

If you’re not bothered with that, then you can always just set the chicken pieces in the microwave for about 30 to 60 seconds. But if you don’t care about the crispy chicken, then why the heck did you insist on KFC in the first place?

So do yourself a favor, and reheat the fried chicken properly when you’re dealing with leftover chicken from a KFC Bucket Meal.

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