Chicken is extremely versatile and a great way to get some protein in your body. If you have recently cooked up a dish with chicken, you might be wondering if you can store it in the freezer so that you can use it whenever the need arises.
Quite simply, yes, you can freeze cooked chicken. There are, however, different methods that you might have to use depending on how you’ve cooked your chicken. Let’s learn more below.
Freezing Raw Chicken
Before we understand how to freeze cooked chicken, it might help to know about freezing raw chicken first.
If you have recently bought this from the store or market, you can either simply place it as it is or remove the store packaging and wrap the raw chicken with some freezer-safe wrap or paper. As an extra precaution, you can also use aluminum foil in addition to the plastic wrap.
You can then simply defrost it in the fridge for up to two days whenever you want to consume it. Raw chicken can last in the freezer for as long as a year.
How to Freeze Cooked Chicken
When it comes to cooked chicken, there are some conditions that you might need to follow. You can go through these below.
- First, you can simply pack the cooked chicken in tightly sealed containers and place them in the fridge if you think you might still use them within two days.
Make sure you absolutely do not keep the cooked chicken at room temperature since this can put it in the danger zone, leading to the growth of bacteria that can contaminate your food and harm your health later.
- After these two days or even soon after cooking, you can either leave it whole, cut it into pieces or shred it up into strips. You can then place it into a freezer-safe wrap and, if required, cover the wrap up with aluminum foil or an airtight container.
- Whenever you want to use the chicken for cooking again, you can remove it and thaw the quantity that you require.
Shelf Life in the Freezer
Cooked chicken can last in the freezer for 4-6 months, depending on how you cook it and what form it is in. For instance, plain pieces can last for 4 months, while pieces with broth or gravy can last for 6 months. Patties and nuggets can last for up to three months.
Beyond these few months, you should throw the cooked chicken out since its flavor will not be the same and it might also degrade in terms of safety.
Chicken Dishes and Their Freezing Suitability
- Soup: Suitable for freezing
- Fried Chicken: Suitable in separate freezer-safe wraps and bags or containers
- Salad: Unsuitable, especially if there is mayonnaise
- Dumplings: Suitable in separate freezer-safe wraps and bags or containers
- Patties: Suitable in separate freezer-safe wraps and bags or containers
Some Recipes to Try Out
- Chicken pie
- Fried chicken
- Butter chicken
- Poached chicken
- Honey mustard chicken
- Stuffed chicken
- Chicken fried rice
- Chicken noodle soup