Have leftovers from your last visit to El Pollo Norteño? Here’s how to store and reheat leftover chicken for your next meal.
Storing Leftover Chicken
First off, remember to always keep your leftover food in the fridge or freezer, depending on how long you intend to store it.
Regardless of how you store it, it’s important to ensure that the chicken doesn’t sit at room temperature for more than two hours before refrigerating it or freezing it. The reason is that this gives bacteria time to breed and spoil your leftovers.
To refrigerate cooked chicken, place it in air-tight containers or wrap it tight in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. When stored this way in the fridge, leftover chicken stays good for up to three days.
Leftover chicken can be kept in the freezer for three to four months. To freeze cooked chicken, first place it in a zip-top bag labeled with the freeze date. Then press out as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing it and putting it in the freezer.
How to Reheat Leftover Chicken
If you froze your leftover chicken, you’ll have to defrost it before reheating it. To do this, just take the chicken out of the freezer and leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge.
Thawing chicken at room temperature is NOT recommended because it may cause bacterial growth.
- Oven. First preheat the oven at about 400°F. Then take the chicken out of the fridge, put it on a wire rack atop a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remember: the internal temperature of chicken should be 165°F; you can use a meat thermometer to check this.
- Skillet. Place a skillet over medium heat and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet. Once the water simmers, add the chicken and stir it until it reaches a safe temperature of at least 165°F
- Microwave. Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and sprinkle a few teaspoons of plain water and a drizzle of olive oil to keep it moist. Then cover everything with microwavable plastic and microwave for two minutes. If the chicken doesn’t reach the desired temperature of 165°F after the first two minutes, keep microwaving at 30-second intervals until the safe temperature is achieved.
El Pollo Norteño: Authentic Mexican Food
Hungry for delicious, authentic Mexican food? Contact El Pollo Norteño today!
Visit any of our four locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our authentic Mexican dishes: amazing chicken grilled to perfection over real Mesquite charcoal, caldo de pollo, flan, carnitas, carne asada, and more.