While certainly one of the most Americanized Italian dishes, Chicken Parmesan is a favorite for many people. The reasons why are simple: a lightly fried chicken cutlet, rich sauce, and melted, gooey cheese. However, while it may taste perfect coming out of the kitchen, knowing how to reheat chicken parmesan can be a problem.
Below we will look at a number of the issues as well as the best methods for reheating chicken parmesan.
Chicken Parmesan With Pasta or Without?
Unless the chicken parmesan in question is a slider (in which case you’ll have to contend with how to reheat the bread), chances are that your chicken parmesan came with a hearty helping of pasta.
However, pasta can be difficult to reheat under the best of circumstances, much less with chicken.
Therefore, we advise separating the chicken and the pasta. Then, mix the pasta thoroughly in the sauce, and even consider adding a few spoonfuls of water to make sure that every strand is moist.
From there, put the pasta in the microwave, stirring every thirty seconds. This will help make sure that the pasta tastes as close to al dente as possible.
Three Components, Four Textures
Now on to the chicken parmesan itself. While a standard piece of chicken parmesan has three distinct components, there are actually four textures at play. Ideally, you’ll want to make sure that the sauce is rich without being too thick and that the cheese is gooey and melty without being too stringy.
The chicken presents two textures, and the best way to reheat one often sacrifices the other. The breading should be super crispy, while the chicken meat should remain moist.
However, while this would be a bigger problem with a larger piece of chicken, because chicken parmesan is pounded so thinly, we can largely focus on maintaining crispness. Of course, we won’t want to completely ignore the juiciness of the chicken, but in this case it can be secondary.
What to Avoid
There are a few methods that you’ll absolutely want to avoid. As tempting as it might be, don’t try to scrape the cheese and sauce off the chicken. This will only cause the chicken to lose its breading, while putting pieces of the breading in the sauce.
Additionally, putting the chicken parmesan into an air fryer for a short period of time could produce good results, but given the high temperature and constantly moving air, it is likely to burn any exposed sauce.
This is especially true if the sauce in question has a high sugar content, which is a guarantee with most takeout or canned tomato sauces.
Best Ways to Reheat Chicken Parmesan
Instead, try one of these two great ways to reheat chicken parmesan. First, consider using the microwave. While it will not preserve the crispness of the breading, it will make sure that the cheese is gooey without being burnt, and that the sauce is warm without being blackened.
Remember that short bursts work best, and that moving the chicken parmesan itself around on the plate should help.
Second, put the whole piece of chicken parmesan on a sheet pan and warm it in a 300-350 degree oven.
This will enable everything to slowly come up to temperature, while the hot surrounding air minimizes crust crispness loss.
Be sure to keep an eye on the chicken parmesan, as if you leave it in the oven too long the sauce may start to burn or the chicken will start to dry out.