Why You Should Never Reheat Dried-Out Chicken

If you cook a full chicken, or buy a rotisserie chicken from the store, then you may very well find yourself with leftovers. At first, you may be excited you don't have to cook the next day — but then you see that the chicken has dried out. Your first instinct may be to just reheat it anyway and see what happens, but this would be a mistake.

If you reheat dried chicken, whether in the microwave or in the oven, you are just going to cook it further and worsen the problem. Yep, unfortunately, this will just make the chicken even more tough and even more dry because the chicken will continue losing moisture each time it's reheated. To try to avoid dried out chicken, you don't want to reheat chicken more than once — instead, heat up only the portions you need at one time. However, that's not a fool proof method, so you may end up with dried chicken anyway. In this case, there, unfortunately, isn't a good solution out there — you should instead focus on ways that you can enjoy the chicken cold. If you're skeptical, don't worry, there are plenty of options out there for satisfying meals featuring cold chicken.

Meal ideas to use up cold chicken

One of the most straightforward — and best — ways to use up cold chicken is to include it in a salad. From Caesar salad to cobb salad and so on, just about every salad is made better and more filling with the inclusion of chicken — and since all of the other ingredients are also cold, the cold chicken will fit right in. The salad idea doesn't have to be limited to typical, leaf-based salads; you could use your cold chicken in a cranberry and pecan chicken salad, a chicken macaroni salad, or add it to a southwest pasta salad. The dressings in salads will only help to conceal any dryness that the chicken may have.

Cold chicken also works well for wraps and sandwiches. Just like it will fit perfectly into a Caesar salad, it can also be used for a Caesar salad wrap. Or, you can make your own sandwich filled with your favorite ingredients — it can be as simple as chicken, lettuce, and cheese. Just make sure to include a condiment — such as a garlic or chipotle aioli — to help add some moisture to the meal, since the chicken may be lacking a bit in juiciness.