Chinese takeaway food can be a bit of a gamble sometimes. You often order a lot more than you need, and then you wonder how you can store it to avoid wasting it away.
General Tso’s chicken is one such dish. It tastes unbelievably delicious when you first get it. But what about the leftovers you couldn’t finish? How to reheat General Tso chicken?
Can You Reheat General Tso’s Chicken?
First things first, can you even reheat this dish without compromising its taste and quality? Fortunately, the answer is yes.
Additionally, there are a variety of ways you can reheat your General Tso’s chicken. You can use a skillet, you can do it using an oven, or even a microwave. But like all other leftover food items, one of these ways will work better for your dish than the others.
Keep reading to find out the best solution to reheating General Tso’s chicken. You might just find a few tricks and tips to getting it right too. And, I will also include my favorite recipe for a healthy homemade version of General Tso’s Chicken!
How To Reheat General Tso Chicken – The Best Way
Like with all Chinese food items, the best way to reheat this dish is to use a skillet over a stovetop. A wok works just as well! Using a skillet will ensure that your food doesn’t get overcooked while reheating, and will help you avoid that rubbery texture that is usually associated with reheated Chinese food.
To use this method, follow these next few steps:
- Place your pan/work on the stove and set your heat on medium-high.
- Add some oil to your pan and add in your leftover General Tso’s Chicken.
- This dish needs a high temperature to reheat, but make sure you do not burn your food. Keep Stirring.
- You can add some water to your wok pan. The steam from the water will thoroughly reheat your food.
- Give it another 4-5 minutes and your General Tso’s Chicken is ready to eat!
Pro Tip: You can add some soy sauce or sesame seed to your oil to add some flavor to your leftover chicken. A garnish of fresh spring onions will also work well.
How To Reheat General Tso Chicken Using An Oven
Another great option to reheat your leftover General Tso’s Chicken is to put it in the oven.
Using an oven preserves the original texture of the food, and unlike a microwave, it will also ensure even reheating of your food.
If you have decided to use this option, you need to follow the next few steps:
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your leftover chicken in an oven-safe dish. Spread it out so that you don’t burn it.
- Cover your dish with aluminum foil, and seal the edges so that no heat escapes the dish.
- Reheat your food for 5-10 minutes. Check to see if it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the last minute of your oven timer, carefully remove the oven foil and expose your chicken to direct heat under the oven. This will make the chicken extra crispy.
- Let the dish cool down on a rack for 2-3 minutes and you’re ready to enjoy your General Tso’s Chicken!
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How To Reheat General Tso Chicken Using A Microwave
Before I tell you how you can reheat your chicken using a microwave, here’s a piece of friendly advice- Don’t!
It’s not that you can’t reheat your food in the microwave. After all, I’m no stranger to using a microwave when it comes to reheating Chinese leftovers. But when it comes to fried items that have been tossed in gravy, all a microwave will do is make them soggy, rubbery, and sometimes overcook them too much.
However, if you still choose to try it out for yourself, you’re welcome to. Make sure you use these tips to optimize your results!
- When you microwave your chicken, spread it out evenly on your dish. This will help you avoid unevenly heating your chicken.
- Keep a damp paper towel over your dish, or sprinkle very little water in your dish. This will help your chicken from becoming too dry.
- Heat your food at short intervals of 30 seconds, after which lightly stir it. Repeat the procedure until your General Tso’s Chicken is nice and warm.
- It might also help if you keep a glass of water along with your dish in the microwave. The water absorbs any excess heat radiation and keeps your food from overcooking.
How To Reheat General Tso Chicken Using An AirFryer
Who even knew you could do that, right? Not only is it possible, but it is also ridiculously easy!
To reheat General Tso Chicken, read the following steps:
- Preheat your AirFryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray your AirFryer-safe container with oil. Alternatively, you could line the basket with AirFryer-safe parchment paper.
- Lower the temperature to 380F and heat for about 4 minutes, flipping it halfway through.
- Let it rest for a minute and your chicken is as tender and crispy as new!
How To Reheat General Tso Chicken Using A Rice Cooker
If you think that rice cookers are only meant to slow-cook rice, let me introduce you to a world of possibilities. Rice cookers help reheat some of the most versatile dishes. And unlike the microwave, its slow cooking technology preserves its original taste and texture too!
You don’t even have to worry about the temperature or heating time when it comes to rice cooker reheating. All you need to do is place your chicken in your rice cooker and cover it with a lid. Once you feel like the chicken is warm enough, place it in the ‘keep warm’ setting. You’re done!
How To Store General Tso Chicken – Can You Freeze It?
Here’s a lifehack that will save you so much time going forward. When it comes to fried Chinese items, or breaded chicken dishes (think General Tso, orange chicken, and the like), you need to follow one rule of thumb while storing them.
Related Article: How to Reheat Chipotle Bowl
Always separate your meat from whatever little sauce/gravy it comes with. Store the sauce in a small air-tight container and keep it in your refrigerator. Store your chicken/meat separately in another air-tight container/bag and depending upon when you need it you can either refrigerate it or freeze it. While reheating, microwave your sauce and add it to an already reheated chicken!
Healthy General Tso Chicken Recipe
There are two-three recipes I love when it comes to making General Tso’s Chicken, and they’re my go-to recipes for make-at-home General Tso that tastes just as good as any restaurant made version!
- If you’re looking to make General Tso exactly like the restaurant takeout version (you know, the same fat content basically), This recipe by Recipetineats provides a detailed step-by-step guide to making it. It even has pictures to help you!
- If, however, you need a lighter, healthier version that tastes just as good, I would suggest checking out Skinnytaste and DamnDelicious for their version of General Tso’s Chicken!
Can you reheat leftover Chinese chicken? Is it safe?
Yes, you can reheat leftover Chinese chicken. To err on the side of caution, do not store meat items for more than 4-5 days.
Can you freeze leftover General Tso’s Chicken?
If done right, your leftover chicken may last in the freezer for 3-4 months. Homemade General Tso is safer to freeze than a takeaway, and always freeze it within two hours of making it.
Is General Tso’s chicken healthy?
For those watching over their weight, this one isn’t the best option out there. Instead, you can make a healthier, homemade version that has far fewer calories and fat content!
There are many ways for you to reheat your General Tso’s Chicken. You can even freeze it for greater shelf life, although the sooner you consume it the better. General Tso’s is a versatile dish with lots of flavors and you shouldn’t have to throw it away.
I hope this article helped you. If you have any further questions feel free to drop a comment below!
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.