If you’ve got cold chicken, that’s been bought as cooked/cold chicken, or that you’ve cooled yourself and kept properly in the fridge, then you might wonder “Can I add cold chicken to recipes and reheat?” … this is really straight forward to answer.
The answer is yes, you can. Cold chicken is often used as leftovers turned into casseroles, curry or a chicken pie. Indeed, UK chef Paul Hollywood even cooks his chicken pie fillings, then cools them, before turning them into a pie.
It’s perfectly safe. You just have to ensure that whatever you are making from the cold chicken in your recipes is reheated thoroughly before you serve it. No cold spots in the middle and you’re fine!
There is a specific temperature you should reheat cold chicken to, to ensure it’s safe. The temperature to reheat chicken to is when it has an internal temperature of 165°F/75°C – this is the temperature at which bacteria is killed, if it were present. You can test and check the temperature by using a regular meat thermometer. An internal temperature is what you get when you press the meat thermometer inside the meat, not just touching the surface. A digital meat thermometer is best as you can clearly read the temperature off the gauge and don’t have to stand near the kitchen window trying to work out if the temperature’s 160 or 170 as your glasses are in the other room or it’s nighttime and your kitchen lighting’s poor 🙂
Digital food thermometers cost from £2-3, with most costing under £10, if you order one on ebay you could have it in your kitchen within 1-3 days! Digital Food Thermometer – they’re great stocking fillers for new cooks, a gift for students going off to Uni, or as a house-warming gift too!
Chicken Pie Recipe Using Cold Chicken
The cheats chicken pie uses a pack of shop bought ready-cooked chicken, a tin of soup (mushroom, or chicken, or even vegetable), some frozen veg/peas and ready-made pastry! Simply grease/line the dish with the pastry; combine the cold chicken with soup (for quantities go by eye/what looks nice to you); defrost the frozen veggies in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes and mix those in; spoon the chicken pie filling into the pastry case, fit a pastry lid; bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden.