Rotisserie chicken is meant to be eaten warm and straight out of the container (no plates, please), while standing at the kitchen counter. However, on those rare occasions when your poultry survives to see the inside of your refrigerator, you need to know how to reheat a rotisserie chicken without robbing it of its store-bought splendor. Read on for some tried-and-true methods that will deliver a delicious meal the next day.
How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken on the Stovetop
Head straight to the stove if you plan on reheating rotisserie chicken for use in a recipe, rather than devouring it straight off the bone. (Taco night, anyone?) This method requires minimal cooking time but a little more prep work. Roll up your sleeves—here’s how it’s done:
1. Cut the whole chicken into pieces and set aside in a bowl. One by one, place each piece of chicken back on the cutting board and cut the meat off the bone. Shred the deboned meat with your fingers, feeling for and discarding any cartilage you encounter. Put the shredded meat in a separate bowl. (Note: we recommend saving the bones in the freezer for homemade chicken stock.)
2. Place a cast-iron pan (or any sauté pan) on the stove and let it warm over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Then add one tablespoon of olive oil or butter and swirl the pan until the cooking fat has distributed evenly.
3. Place shredded chicken in the pan and stir frequently for two minutes, or until the meat is coated and starting to warm.
4. Add one to two cups of chicken broth or water and any additional spices you would like to include. Reduce heat to medium-low. Keep in mind that the amount of liquid will depend on how much meat the bird yielded; start with one cup and gradually add more when you notice the liquid evaporating in order to avoid over-drying your dinner.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the shredded chicken to simmer in cooking liquid for 10 minutes. The chicken is done when the meat achieves a tender texture and has an internal temperature of 165°F.
6. Your rotisserie feast is now ready to be used in...just about anything. But check out our recipe ideas below for a little mealtime inspiration.
How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken in the Oven
Using the oven to reheat rotisserie chicken takes a little longer but your patience will be rewarded with a moist, juicy bird. This method also boasts the benefit of producing perfectly crispy skin, for chicken that’s even better than when you first brought it home from the store (because crispy skin is everything).
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and let the chicken rest on the counter while you wait. If you take the chill off before reheating, cooking time is reduced (i.e., you can get to the eating part sooner).
2. When both the oven and the bird are ready, place chicken in a high-sided roasting or casserole dish and add one cup of liquid. Chicken broth is best, but if you don’t have any on hand, water will work just fine. Be sure to scrape out any of the juices and fat from the original container (especially if using water).
3. Tightly cover the cooking dish with a double layer of foil so that no steam can escape and the chicken will retain its moisture. Place the covered dish in the preheated oven and cook the whole bird for roughly 25 minutes. (Less time if you already had yourself a rotisserie chicken snack.)
4. Once the chicken has reached an internal temp of 165°F, pull it out of the oven and remove the foil.
5. Now it’s time to get that coveted crispy skin: Crank the oven up to the broil setting and place the chicken under the broiler. Be sure to keep a close eye on your bird because the magic happens fast. We suggest checking every 15 seconds. When the skin is golden brown and crispy to the touch, it’s time to chow down on your chicken dinner.
How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken in the Microwave
You were ready to go to town on that chicken like...yesterday. If you can’t resist for a full 25 minutes, the microwave will get you where you want to be in much less time. That said, microwaves are notorious for nuking the tender texture and juicy flavor out of food, so proceed with caution and reheat only single portions for best results.
1. Butcher your bird: Cut the whole chicken into its component parts and decide which one is on your menu. For microwave reheating, thighs and drumsticks are your best bet, because the dark meat won’t dry out as easily. (Plus, the skin on that breast is basically calling out for a date with the broiler.)
3. Moisten a paper towel with water for each piece of chicken you plan to consume and wrap the pieces up individually in their wet blankets.
4. Place the chicken pieces in the microwave and heat on medium in 30-second intervals, checking the temperature after each half-minute.
5. Remember: The chicken has already been cooked, so you don’t have to worry about food safety on the reheat (provided the meat was handled safely, of course). So whether you like it lukewarm or piping hot is simply a matter of personal preference. When you’ve arrived at your sweet spot, enjoy the spoils.
My Rotisserie Chicken Is Ready...Now What?
Your rotisserie feast is raring to go but your current rotation of chicken recipes has grown rather stale. Why not skip the mashed potato side and try something more exotic, like this comforting rotisserie chicken ramen dish? Or spice up Taco Tuesdays with a chicken tinga taco recipe. Finally, if you’re craving the decadence of a risotto dish, but don’t want your biceps to take the beating, check out this oven-baked chicken and mushroom risotto for maximum returns on minimal effort. The possibilities are endless…and your protein is perfection.