We know some may be reading this headline with extremely large question marks flashing through their mind. What exactly do you mean by “leftover fried chicken”? Are there people who have such a high level of self-control that they have to face a situation like this? If this is your current train of thought, we understand your confusion and encourage you to continue as you are. A life without leftover fried chicken is an entirely satisfactory one.
However, for those of you who can relate to this issue (whether you got a little carried away with your weekend frying project, overestimated the number of people attending your pool party, or got a little too excited about a sale on prepared fried chicken at the hot bar deli counter, etc…), we’re here to offer you tasty, smart solutions to this mini-crisis. God forbid you were forced to do the unthinkable and throw away fried chicken. *GASP.* No, it should never come to that.
Here are some of our favorite re-uses for your bounty of crispy chicken. We wouldn’t judge anyone for purchasing more than enough fried chicken specifically to use the leftovers for one of the following purposes. However, let it be known that there is no shame in eating it cold, straight from the plastic container, while standing at the kitchen counter in your bathrobe. Do you.
Top Uses of Fried Chicken
Combine it with a green salad.
You are the picture of health by tossing your leftover chicken into a vat of crunchy vegetables. Congratulations! But seriously, we’re all about #balance, and there’s no better protein to add to your salad than some chopped-up bits of fried chicken. You can’t go wrong whether you heat it before mixing it in or serving it cold. Keep your grilled chicken for another (difficult) day.
Prepare a Buffalo Chicken Wrap
We need to discuss how compatible buffalo sauce and fried chicken are. #CoupleGoals, am I right? Grab a bottle of Frank’s or Texas Pete or whatever flaming condiment you’re passionate about and get to dousing. Warm-up a tortilla, spread some blue cheese dressing on it (you know you like it), add some lettuce and tomatoes (or don’t, whatever), and carefully arrange the doused chicken pieces. Yes, you did it!
Combine it with your Waffle Batter.
Yes, you read that correctly and believe us when we say you’ll be grateful. Since we all know that a good fried chicken and waffles breakfast is unrivaled, why not take it a step further and incorporate leftover fried chicken into the batter (chicken-n-waffles Chicken IN waffles). The hot edges of your waffle iron will bring back the crispy bits of your chicken, and every bite of the waffle will be chock full of salty, crunchy goodness.
Add it to a Creamy Chicken Salad.
Keep reading because there is a level of chicken-inception here that may be difficult to follow. Rather than staying within the lines and using pale, flavorless chicken breasts as the foundation of your next creamy chicken salad, jazz it up with leftover fried chicken. The crispy, fried bits add a punch of salty flavor and crunchy texture to the dip, making it ideal for dipping crackers or sandwich filling. It’s also a lot of fun to say: “Fried Chicken Chicken Salad.”
Finish Your Deviled Egg.
We’re still unsure if the chicken or the egg came first, but we know that these Hot Chicken Deviled Eggs are a flavor explosion. These bite-sized cuties are ideal for picnics or summer entertaining. Guests will enjoy this clever appetizer, and they won’t know it’s made with repurposed leftovers. Top those with hot sauce and pickles, because why not?
Chicken and Waffles.
Just because it’s leftover fried chicken doesn’t mean it can’t be the show’s star the next time. Make some fresh, fluffy waffles, fry up some bacon, and make a simple white gravy with the drippings to complete the chicken and waffles. Place the reheated chicken on top and drizzle with maple syrup. Voila.
Fried Chicken Sandwich.
It’s an obvious choice, but it’s a safe and reliable option. And it’s never a good sign when you order a grilled chicken sandwich, and the meat between the buns is as dry as sawdust. Fried chicken is a simple solution. Add a few leaves of butter lettuce and a few slices of ripe tomatoes to the sandwich, or add any leftover Popeyes coleslaw and soft buns.
Tacos with Fried Chicken.
Instead of taco seasoning, embrace the Cajun flavors of Popeyes spicy chicken in a simple taco with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, lots of bold cheese, and salsa. Or, add some seasonal vegetables, pickled vegetables, and Mexican crema for a West Coast twist.
You’re about to feel bad about eating fried chicken when you realize you can make an incredible salad with it. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. To taste, make a dressing with mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the fried chicken and serve with lettuce and tomatoes for a guilt-free fried chicken lunch or dinner. You can also make a chicken Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, bacon, and Caesar dressing.
Fried Chicken in Korean Style.
When the chicken is already moist and juicy, you don’t need to do much to it to make another tasty meal. Reheat the chicken in the oven until hot and crispy, then toss it in a sauce made of gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, and ketchup, and top with sesame seeds.
OK, we’re not calling this a traditional recipe, but it works, and it works well. Top the fried chicken with homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, and bake until the chicken is hot and the cheese is bubbling. It couldn’t be simpler.
Chicken Curry Katsu in Japanese Style.
Traditionally, Japanese curry katsu consists of a panko-breaded and fried cutlet, either pork or chicken, served on a bed of rice with a curry sauce. Half of the work is already done if you don’t have to fry the chicken yourself. Make a sauce with any of the popular brands of Japanese boxed curry roux and serve with mild Popeyes chicken for a warming and comforting dish in a matter of minutes.
Chicken Banh Mi.
If you’ve never had a banh mi before, this is the Vietnamese sandwich you need in your life. It’s also very easy to customize, making it ideal for using up lean white meat and savory dark meat.
You only need some short, crusty bread rolls (think like a sub but a little smaller).
Smear them with pate and mayo, then pile on pickled vegetables, green onions, cilantro, fresh chilis, and seasonings for a truly delectable sandwich that elevates your classic fried meat to new heights of flavor.
Chicken Pot Pie.
This comfort food classic is a great way to use up leftover chicken.
All you need is a refrigerated pie crust, frozen mixed vegetables, chicken broth, all-purpose flour, heavy cream, and fresh herbs like parsley and thyme. Because your chicken is already cooked, all you have to do is combine everything and bake it.
The aroma is enticing, making this the perfect meal for a chilly day!
Wrapped Spicy Thai Chicken Salad.
Make your leftovers a little more exotic by wrapping them in a new twist. Take the meat off the bones and chop it up.
Then add your favorite fresh ingredients, such as julienned carrots, cilantro, red cabbage, shredded lettuce, and fresh herbs.
Anything goes, but don’t forget to dunk it in the peanut dressing for the ultimate pairing!
Pizza with Barbecued Chicken.
If you only have a few pieces of fried chicken left, barbecue chicken pizza is a great way to use it. This meal does not require a lot of meat.
You can also make it better than any takeout restaurant. Before topping with the chicken and cheese, smear some pizza dough with your favorite barbecue sauce.
To finish, add some vegetables and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. Alternatively, be inventive in your pairings.
There is no wrong way to prepare this delicious pizza for your next meal.
Here’s a fun way to use leftover meat we can serve for any occasion.
Chicken quesadillas are the best no-fuss option when friends come over to watch the game, or you want to make a meal that even the kids will eat.
Load up flour tortillas with cheese and shred your chicken. If desired, top with vegetables or serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side.
Make as many as possible because these things will disappear almost as quickly as you serve them!
Baked Chicken Alfredo.
Dinner tonight should be creamy and soothing.
This fuss-free meal is perfect for a crowd or freezing into meal prep portions for later.
Dice up the cooked chicken meat, add some jarred sauce, noodles, parmesan, and milk, and bake until golden brown. It also works well for gatherings, so why waste time in the kitchen when you can pop it in the oven and enjoy your company?
Sandwiches with Classic Chicken Salad.
Nothing beats a tried-and-true, so turn those fried chicken pieces into chicken salad for sandwiches. Although breast meat is typically the best, don’t let that deter you from repurposing your chicken.
Make a fantastic sandwich filling with mayonnaise, onion, celery, and tarragon. You can also add a hard-boiled egg for extra richness and flavor.
Salad with Smoky Chipotle Chicken.
This smoky chipotle chicken salad is perfect if you want to make a chicken salad that isn’t your typical chicken salad!
Your grilled chicken is accompanied by smoky bacon, sweet peaches, creamy blue cheese crumbles, and a delicious vinaigrette with just the right amount of tanginess.
This flavor combination hits all the right notes and is also a healthy option.
Chicken enchiladas are an excellent way to spice up a chicken dinner.
You can also use the green or red sauce to make them.
Look for those sauces in your supermarket’s international section.
Fill flour tortillas with cooked chicken and cheese, top with enchilada sauce and additional cheese, and bake until hot, bubbly, and melty!
Croquettes de Chicken Maison.
You’d have to be insane not to enjoy homemade chicken croquettes, which are golden brown and creamy and delicious on the inside.
While they appear complicated, they are extremely simple to make.
Making these for parties or a fun appetizer for dinner on the weekend becomes even easier with your cooked chicken.
Milk and flour aid in preparing the sauce, which resembles a rich and creamy bechamel.
You’ll love this dish, and it’s incredibly simple to prepare!
What are the Health Advantages of Consuming Chicken?
Chicken contains a variety of nutrients that are necessary for good health. A small amount of chicken also helps with fullness, making it an excellent food for many diets.
Here are some additional advantages to eating chicken:
- Protein is required for strong, healthy muscles and other tissues throughout the body.
- Selenium, phosphorus, and niacin are all found in chicken.
- It’s also high in B vitamins and tryptophan, which have a calming effect.
- Chicken contains vitamin B6, which promotes heart health.
- Chicken contains zinc, potassium, and other essential nutrients that help your body run smoothly.
What is the Most Delicious Part of the Chicken?
Choose whether you want a single cut of chicken or a variety of cuts. Some recipes call for boneless chicken breast, whereas others prefer bone-in skin-on chicken thighs or legs. If you’re baking or frying chicken, a variety of cuts may be the best option so that everyone has a favorite.
When using chicken in an appetizer, you can use any bird part. We can make this delicious bacon-wrapped chicken tenders recipe with chicken breast, but boneless skinless thighs work just as well.
Is it Necessary to Rinse Chicken Before Cooking it?
Some people prefer to rinse their chicken before cooking. That is something I was taught when I first began cooking; however, I have since learned that this is not a good idea.
When you rinse raw chicken, bacteria may splash onto the faucet, kitchen counters, your pan, or your clothing. This allows dangerous bacteria to spread, which can make you very sick.
How Should Leftover Chicken be Reheated?
- Thaw the frozen chicken in a casserole or soup recipe if you want to use it first. If you want to heat the chicken, use your oven, microwave, or air fryer.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F for the oven method. Put the chicken in a dish that can be covered and moistened with water or chicken broth. Cover and heat until the internal temperature reach 365 F.
- Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a paper towel or plastic wrap if you’re microwaving it. Cook for 2 minutes on high. If that isn’t enough, cook in 30-second increments for another 30 seconds.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F before putting your chicken in. Cooking oil, spray the basket, and arrange the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip it over and cook for another 2 minutes, or until heated.
- The thickness of the meat will determine how long it takes to reheat the leftover chicken, regardless of how you choose to do it. Thinner pieces, such as wings, will heat faster, while larger pieces, such as thighs or breasts, will take longer. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165 F.
You can track your family and taste buds into thinking your leftover fried chicken is a new meal.
Because, indeed, it is.
It will be when you combine it with these refreshing fried chicken recipes. Don’t be concerned about your fried chicken bounty.
We’ve got all these great ideas for combining them to make brand new meals that you and your family will enjoy! Aren’t you hungry right now? Then get that chicken and start cooking one of these delicious leftover fried chicken recipes!