Fried chicken is the ultimate food for both adults and children, but the only downside is how long it takes to prepare it. To make life easier, you can prepare a large batch of fried chicken and freeze it.
Yes! It is safe to freeze fried chicken. Simply wrap the chicken in a freezer bag and place it in the freezer. To enjoy the fried chicken make sure to cook it within 4 months.
Do you want to learn more about fried chicken? Read on to find the answers to all your questions.
How to freeze fried chicken?
Having a stock of frozen fried chicken in your freezer is always a good idea for any unannounced guests or a good snack on days you don’t want to cook much. It is essential to carry out the steps for freezing fried chicken with extreme care and caution, or the breading of the chicken might get ruined.
Cool the freshly made chicken, then proceed to wrapping it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Put the wrapped chicken in a labeled freezer bag and place it in the freezer. Simply defrost the chicken whenever you want to eat.
All you must do is follow the following steps to make sure your chicken does not turn out soggy!
The ultimate guide to freezing fried chicken
STEP 1: Cooling the chicken
If you are using freshly fried chicken, you should cool each piece thoroughly before prepping it and placing it in the freezer. Make sure each piece has cooled down sufficiently for you to proceed to the next step; otherwise, the chicken might turn out to be soggy.
STEP 2: Wrapping it up
First, you need to wrap all the chicken pieces in plastic wrap or freezer wrap, individually and meticulously. You need to make sure they all are appropriately covered. Otherwise, the pieces will be prone to freezer burn. You can carry out an optional step to ensure another layer of protection and lower the chance of freezer burn. For this, all you need to do is wrap the already-covered pieces in aluminum foil.
STEP 3: Putting the fried chicken in a freezer bag
Once you have correctly wrapped the fried chicken, you can put them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. This step is essential as it will not only add another protective layer but also help retain the moisture inside the chicken.
STEP 4: Correctly label the package
It is crucial to label the freezer bag or container as a precautionary measure before placing it inside the freezer. Frozen fried chicken can last up to four months in the freezer. Having a date label will help determine if the chicken is fit for use or not.
STEP 5: Placing it in the freezer
You should make sure to transfer the prepped fried chicken to the freezer within two hours after preparation. Moreover, check your freezer’s temperature and make sure it is set to 0°F.
Once you have followed all these steps in progression, your fried chicken will be stored well in the freezer, and you can quickly defrost and eat it anytime you want. Read on to learn more about prepping the chicken and the defrosting process.
Here is another article on freezing muffins without ruining them!
How to prep the chicken for storage?
The storage process is straightforward; however, the trick to a good fried chicken after freezing lies in the prepping for the storage process. There are little things that you need to consider that make a massive difference in the quality of frozen fried chicken.
After preparation fried chicken should not be left at room temperature for longer than 60 minutes.
However, it takes time for the fried chicken to cool down to room temperature completely, so you don’t have to rush the storage procedure. The cooling down method is of utmost importance because it ensures the quality of your breading. If this step isn’t carried out properly, the breading may turn out soggy than crispy.
Read this article on the effects of fried chicken on the human body for further info.
How to defrost and reheat frozen fried chicken?
Until now, we have covered the basics of prepping fried chicken for storage and then storing it in the freezer, but what do we do after that? How to use the fried chicken after freezing it?
All you need to do is let it defrost properly. Defrost or thaw the chicken either in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat it in a microwave or oven.
This is a significant step that needs to be carried out with utmost care as the texture of the chicken depends on it. Do you want it to have the same crispiness as the newly-cooked chicken?
You will have to follow an effortless procedure to defrost the chicken and indulge in its deliciousness properly.
The correct way to defrost or thaw the fried chicken
You could either let the chicken thaw at room temperature after unwrapping it, or you can let it thaw in the refrigerator; however, this requires some preplanning and is a lengthy alternative.
Thawing in the fridge
You can let the frozen chicken sit in the fridge overnight and allow it to thaw thoroughly. It usually takes about 8-12 hours for the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator.
Thawing at room temperature
You could unwrap the frozen fried chicken and let it thaw at room temperature, which would take an hour at most.
Choose any method that suits you time-wise as both methods will give the same results.
Also, check this article on freezing fruits after thawing them!
Reheating the fried Chicken
There are two preferred ways to reheat your chicken to retain its texture and crispiness. Refrying is not a good option as it can make the chicken soggy or give it an overcooked flavor.
You can choose any reheating method that suits you considering the availability of said appliances; however, it is better to use an oven. Just make sure never to use a stovetop or a toaster oven for reheating your frozen fried chicken as they would not be able to heat it evenly.
Reheating fried chicken in an oven
Firstly, preheat the oven to 375°F. Then layer a sheet of aluminum foil on your pan. This will help with the cleanup process later but will also help retain the crispiness of the chicken’s breading. For better results, cover the top of the pan with a layer of aluminum.
Place the defrosted chicken pieces in the oven and heat them for 15-25 minutes at 400°F. Leg pieces and wings take less time, i.e., 15-20 minutes, to cook; however, thigh and breast pieces take a relatively long time, i.e., 20-25 mins. Therefore, it is advisable to divide the batches based on the types of pieces.
Reheating fried chicken in a microwave
Heating in a microwave is a little trickier than heating in an oven as it requires a bit of precision. You need to wrap individual chicken pieces with a paper towel. The wrapping method helps in preserving the chicken’s breading during reheating.
Microwave these wrapped pieces in a paper towel for 30 seconds. If you feel like the chicken is not warm enough, turn the sides and heat it for another 30 seconds.
How to tell if the frozen fried chicken has gone bad?
Usually, fried chicken stored in the freezer at 0°F will last up to four months. And if stored at a temperature above 0°F, it may last for less than four months. However, you should always be on the lookout for any obvious signs that show the chicken has gone bad.
If the texture of the chicken has gone slimy, or if the chicken has developed an odd color, you should immediately throw it out. Additionally, if the chicken starts to smell sour, it has gone bad and should be disposed of.
Clean and disinfect any area that has encountered the bad chicken to prevent cross-contamination.
Here’s a video on how you can freeze fried chicken!
Bottom line on can you freeze fried chicken!
You can freeze fried chick in a freezer but make sure to follow the correct steps. I hope this guide helped detail the process of prepping chicken for storage in the freezer to reheating it for use. It is a simple process that can help save you time.
Also, learn how to freeze boiled peanuts at home!