If you love Chinese food, you have probably experienced being leftover with sweet and sour chicken. Now you wonder how to reheat the sweet and sour chicken.
Sweet and sour chicken usually comes in bite-size chicken pieces battered in cornstarch and flour then deep-fried. The chicken is served with glossy tangy and sweet sauce.
If you cook a large batch of sweet and sour chicken or buy some at a restaurant, you may be wondering what the best method to reheat sweet and sour chicken is. This article is for you because we will cover several reheating methods.
Generally, sweet and sour chicken is not difficult to reheat. We will discuss four methods of reheating sweet and sour chicken; in the air fryer, in the oven, in the microwave, and in the saucepan.
How to reheat sweet and sour chicken in the air fryer
This is arguably the best method of reheating sweet and sour chicken. Here is how to reheat sweet and sour chicken in the air fryer.
- Remove the chicken from the sauce and pat dry using paper towels.
- Place the sauce in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Reheat the sauce in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit, then reheat your chicken for 3 minutes.
- Let the chicken rest on the rack for 1 minute, then add it to your reheated sauce and enjoy.
How to reheat sweet and sour chicken in the oven
Here is how to reheat sweet and sour chicken in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the sweet and sour chicken in an oven-safe dish or container.
- Use foil to cover the dish. This will ensure that the chicken does not dry out.
- Place the dish in your oven and let the chicken reheat for 20 minutes. If you are reheating a large batch, you can leave it in the oven for an extra 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy.
Although this reheating method takes up a lot of time, it is one of the best methods because it maintains the freshness and quality of the chicken.
The downside of using this method is that the chicken will not be crispy or crunchy. However, the chicken will still be as delicious as it was before.
How to reheat sweet and sour chicken in the microwave
If you want a quick fix, you can reheat your sweet and sour chicken in the microwave.
However, I do not recommend using this method as it can leave your chicken soggy. Here is how to reheat sweet and sour chicken in the microwave.
- Remove the chicken from the sauce.
- Pour the sauce into a microwave-safe container and heat it for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently.
- As the sauce heats up, warm your chicken in a saucepan.
- Once the sauce is warm, add the reheated chicken to the sauce.
How to reheat sweet and sour chicken in a saucepan
If you do not have a microwave or oven, you can reheat both the gravy and chicken separately in a saucepan and then plate them together.
What to do so that your sweet and sour chicken remains crispy
Until you are ready to plate your sweet and sour chicken, you should keep the sauce and the chicken pieces separately. This way, the chicken will remain crispy.
In case you already soaked the chicken in sauce, use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. It may not be as crispy as it was before, but it will still be crisp.
Storing the chicken
You should store sweet and sour chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it.
However, if you want it to last for much longer, you should freeze it. Frozen sweet and sour chicken can last for three months.
It would be best if you stored the chicken and the sauce separately. If the chicken was already in the sauce, remove it and pat dry using paper towels before freezing.
How to properly freeze sweet and sour chicken
To freeze sweet and sour chicken, you first need to let the chicken cool completely. Separate the chicken pieces from the sauce and then use paper towels to dry the chicken pieces.
Pour the sauce into a freezer bag (preferably heavy-duty) and squeeze out all the excess air. In a separate freezer bag or airtight container, place the chicken pieces and seal them tightly.
Place the freezer bags in your freezer. When frozen properly, the sweet and sour chicken will retain its good quality for up to three months.
You may want to remove the bell peppers from your sauce before freezing because they tend to get mushy when frozen.
You can always add fresh bell peppers when reheating for that fresh bite. However, if you don’t mind how the peppers keep when frozen, you can choose to leave them intact.
To defrost sweet and sour chicken, place both the sauce and chicken pieces in your refrigerator overnight.
Sweet and sour chicken shelf life
The shelf life of your sweet and sour chicken greatly depends on how you store it. If you keep it in your refrigerator, the sweet and sour chicken will last for three days. If you freeze it, it will last for approximately three months.
Note that you should not leave sweet and sour chicken at room temperature for more than two hours as it will become unsafe to eat.
How to reheat sweet and sour chicken balls
You should reheat sweet and sour chicken balls the same way you reheat the sweet and sour chicken. Just be sure to pat the chicken dry before reheating in your oven, air fryer, or microwave. This way, the chicken will be as crispy as it was before.
How to make sweet and sour chicken at home
You can make sweet and sour chicken at home by following these seven simple steps.
Step one: Marinate the chicken.
To marinate your chicken, whisk two eggs in a bowl, add cornstarch, rice wine, baking soda, and sesame oil and then stir in your chicken.
Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients.
Step two: Make the sweet and sour sauce.
To make the sauce, you will need sugar, pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, salt, soy sauce, ketchup, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes.
Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, and once completely combined, set it aside.
Step three: Bread your chicken.
In a bowl, whisk together cornstarch, flour, and your preferred seasonings. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the breading.
Toss the chicken in the breading until all pieces are well-coated.
Step four: Cook your chicken
You can cook your chicken by either deep frying, shallow frying, pan-frying, or baking.
All the cooking methods will give you crispy chicken. However, if you want your chicken to be extra crispy, you should deep fry it.
Step five: Stir fry your vegetables
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of oil. Add pineapple pieces and onions, stir fry for two minutes, and then add ginger, garlic, and bell peppers.
Stir fry the veggies for two minutes.
Step six: Add the sweet and sour sauce.
Add your sweet and sour sauce to the skillet and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Step 7: Add your chicken.
Once the sauce thickens, add your crispy chicken to the sauce and coat all the chicken pieces.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.
If you cooked more than enough sweet and sour chicken or bought take-out and have some leftovers, you need to reheat it before enjoying it once more.
You can use any of the methods we have discussed above to reheat your sweet and sour chicken.
You will realize that the chicken will go back to its original crispy texture and tangy flavor if you do it properly.
Let me know which method of reheating you like best in the comments.