Chicken breast is a popular type of meat that many people enjoy, and it can be served in various ways.
When you have leftover chicken breast after cooking for several days, there are some easy ways to reheat it without drying out the meat or making it harsh.
In this post, we will cover three different methods to reheat your chicken breast so that you can enjoy it again.
Can You Eat Leftover Chicken Breast?
Eating leftovers is a great way to save money, but not all leftovers are safe for consumption.
So can you eat leftover chicken breast?
The answer is yes. However, there are specific guidelines to follow before throwing leftover chicken in the fridge for another day.
For starters, make sure the meat is well-cooked before placing it in containers or bags for storage.
Then place your leftover chicken breast on a clean surface and store it at 40 to 140 degrees F.
Next, keep cooked poultry away from raw foods like seafood or juice containing bacteria harmful to humans.
This will prevent cross-contamination during meal preparation. Food can be dangerous if not properly clean.
Lastly, don’t forget about proper thawing procedures when you plan on cooking leftovers again later.
You can always heat frozen leftovers, but only if you thoroughly defrosted them beforehand.
How to Store Leftover or Cooked Chicken Breast?
To store leftover or cooked chicken breast, it’s essential to follow a few steps.
Store in airtight containers or vacuum seal bags.
These are preferable because they will not allow the meat to absorb any odors, which can cause spoilage and give your chicken a bad taste.
If you don’t have these storage containers at home, it’s okay to use plastic wrap or store wrapped in aluminum foil.
Refrigerate within two hours of cooking; once cooled completely, put into the freezer for up to six months (make sure that there is no raw poultry touching other frozen food).
To prevent cross-contamination with other foods while storing cooked meats like bacon or ham, place them on separate shelves.
How to Tell if Chicken Breast is Bad to Eat?
Before reheating a leftover chicken breast, you should use your nose as a guide.
If the meat has an unpleasant odor or smells sour, like ammonia, it isn’t good to eat.
Another way to tell if cooked chicken breasts are spoiled is with your eyes; look for any discoloration from its original deep red color in places where fat may have accumulated during cooking – this can indicate spoilage.
You can also spot spoiled chicken breasts by checking the feel of them.
If you poke the cooked chicken with your finger and there is little give, or if it feels rubbery to touch, then it’s best not to eat this chicken breast.
Finally, look for off-flavors in a bad piece of meat.
You can do this by tasting a small amount; any sourness on the tongue could indicate that something has gone wrong in the cooking process and should be avoided.
How to Reheat Chicken Breast in Microwave?
If you have a microwave, then this is the perfect guide to reheating your chicken breasts.
They will be heated up and ready for consumption in just minutes or adding to other dishes like stir-fry.
Before you start this process, make sure to have a microwave-safe container for the chicken breast that is big enough so they can lay flat.
Place the chicken breast in the container and then cover it with plastic wrap, twisting to seal tightly.
This will prevent any pieces from burning during the reheating process and help to keep them moist.
Microwave for about two minutes until fully heated through. If you want, feel free to season before reheating as well.
After you are done, wait an additional two minutes before opening to allow time for steam release.
It would be best to experiment with different times until you find out how long it takes to reheating your breasts to do it consistently every time.
How to Reheat Chicken Breast in Oven?
It turns out reheating cooked meats in an oven can be surprisingly simple, as long as you know how to do it.
To reheat cooked chicken breast in the oven, follow these steps:
- Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of an ovenproof dish and place it in the oven.
- Lay the chicken breasts in a single layer on top of the dish and close with aluminum foil, if desired.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F until warmed through.
Don’t forget salt and pepper. Adding these seasonings can make your dish taste like it’s brand new again.
This technique will work well with other types of meat as well.
How to Reheat Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Oven?
Frozen chicken breasts can be a great way to avoid cooking during the hot summer months.
However, if you forget about them and thawed them in your fridge or freezer, it’s time for reheating.
A quick and easy way to reheat frozen chicken breasts in the oven is as follows:
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the frozen chicken breasts on a cookie sheet or baking dish either in one layer.
- Brush each piece with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over it.
- Place the chicken into the preheated oven for about 15 minutes on each side.
How to Reheat Chicken Breast on the Stovetop?
How can you make a hearty meal without heating the kitchen? You’re in luck.
Heating chicken breasts on your stovetop are both quick and easy. There are a few ways to do this, but the most common is.
- Preheat your pan with oil or butter on medium heat, place chicken in it, and allow one side to cook for about five minutes before flipping over.
- The cooking time will vary depending upon how thick the meat.
- Use an instant-read thermometer inserted (it should be at 165°F) to guide when to finish off the chicken breast.
- Once cooked through, remove from stovetop and cut up pieces using kitchen scissors into smaller strips, making them easier to eat and share with the family.
- Add in veggies like peas, carrots, broccoli, or potatoes to bulk up your dish by baking them on a separate pan for about 20 minutes before adding chicken breast.
How to Reheat Chicken Breast in Air Fryer?
Some people are not satisfied with the convenience of microwaving their food.
One alternative is to use an air fryer, which can be a more healthy way to reheat your chicken.
Unlike a conventional oven, which heats from the top down, an air fryer cooks from all angles with no need for turning or flipping your meat halfway through cooking time.
When you’re reheating meat in this manner, less fat is used, and there’s little chance of overcooking, as can happen in microwaves where everything seems well cooked but turns out dry on the inside.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F.
- Line the base of your air fryer with parchment paper.
- Place the chicken breasts on top and set them to cook for five minutes or until they reach a safe internal temperature, depending on how you like it best.
- When reheating meat in an air fryer, use less fat than cooking from raw because there is no need to brown any surfaces.
- I recommend using olive oil spray (or nonstick cooking spray). You also may want to be careful not to overcook your food as it can start drying out very quickly in an air fryer.
- Serve with any sides you like.
If your chicken breast was frozen when cooked, make sure to allow at least 40 minutes of defrosting time before cooking again to get a delicious result..
What to Do with Leftover or Cooked Chicken Breast?
Are you tired of cooking the same chicken breast recipe over and over again? I get it.
There is only so much one can do with a plain roast or baked dish. But there are still many delicious ways to use up your leftover chicken breast.
Here are some great ways to save your leftover cooked chicken:
Chop up the meat and put it in an omelet for breakfast, on top of salads for lunches, and fill inside tacos at dinner time.
Use it as a topping for pizza with pesto sauce, as a filling for rolled tacos, on top of tortillas with vegetables, and salsa for a fajita.
Add it to soup or stew, as the base for goulash, in chicken salad sandwiches with mayo and celery, and on top of salads.
These are just some ideas to get you started – but I am sure that your imagination will take over from there.
The options are endless, so don’t throw out those cooked chicken breasts.
Use them up instead by coming up with new recipes using leftover cooked chicken breast meat.
The perfect way to reheat chicken breast is dependent on your taste preferences.
If you want a moist and juicy result, it may be best to use the microwave or stovetop method.
We recommend using the oven for those who prefer their meat dry and crispy as this will produce that desired texture with less risk of overcooking.
Which method would work best for you?