Chicken is quite easy to cook, which is why you probably buy it in bulk. In order for it not to go bad, though, it is essential that you store it in the freezer. But what if you suddenly decide to make a chicken dish the following day? So then you have to deal with frozen chicken breasts, legs, or wings, whichever part you want to cook.
While it is true that there are plenty of ways in which you can defrost chicken, it is crucial that you do it the right way. Got no clue? Here are excellent tips as to how you can do so:
Chill Out in the Fridge
Cooks and safety experts say that allowing the frozen chicken to chill out in the fridge is the safest way. You won’t have to worry about bacteria build-up or anything like that because the fridge section is still a safe zone. The only downside of this technique is that it takes time. Therefore, you have to do this a few hours before you start cooking. Better yet, let the frozen chicken thaw in the fridge overnight.
Defrost It in Cold Water
If you don’t have much time, defrosting in cold water would work great. However, you need to put the frozen chicken in a leakproof bag. Later on, I am going to tell you why this is important. All you have to do is to submerge the bag with the chicken in cold water and make sure that you change the water every half an hour.
Give It a Hot Water Bath
Giving the frozen chicken a hot water bath is as effective as defrosting it in cold water. But then, you have to be very careful because once the meat goes under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it could attract bacteria. What you can do is to leave the chicken in its original packaging before rapidly submerging it into hot water.
Cook It As-Is
Got no time to wait? You can actually skip the whole defrosting thing and cook the chicken as is. It will thaw as it gets cooked. However, you can expect that the cooking time will be much longer.
Use the Microwave
Another easy route to defrost chicken is by using the microwave. Simply pick the right setting and your chicken will be thawed in no time.
Utilize a Defrosting Tray
Have you ever heard about “defrosting trays”? These special trays, which are made with metal can conduct the room-temperature air onto the frozen chicken. One thing about this technique though is it also takes time. It slowly and surely does the job.
Can You Leave Frozen Chicken on the Counter to Thaw?
Leaving frozen chicken on your kitchen counter is never a good idea. Why? Because when you leave it like that, bacteria will accumulate and that will contaminate your food. This could then cause illnesses. In short, it should be a no-no!
Why Use a Leakproof Bag?
The main purpose of using a leakproof bag is to prevent bacteria from being introduced to the chicken. The bacteria could come from the air or your surroundings.
How Long Is Frozen Chicken Good For?
Freezing your stock of chicken is an excellent way of preserving it. Raw chicken pieces are good in the freezer for up to 9 months. A whole chicken, on the other hand, can last up to a year as long as it is frozen.
When defrosting chicken, you must do it safely. Out of all the techniques that we have mentioned, letting it chill out on the fridge overnight is the best way.