Nothing is more upsetting than coming home from a long day at the office and realizing you forgot to take your chicken out of the freezer. You may then find yourself frantically searching the internet for frozen chicken breast recipes.
To cook your partially frozen chicken breasts thoroughly, increase your cooking time 1.5 times the original cooking time.
The good news is, all is not lost. It may take a little longer, but you can still have the chicken meal you planned despite your meat still being partially frozen.
Cooking Partially Frozen Chicken
Maybe you got your chicken in the fridge on time, but it didn't thaw all the way. There's no need to order takeout. You can bake your partially frozen chicken as planned, but you may need to increase the cooking time. The USDA suggests when cooking frozen meats to increase cooking by 1.5 times the original cooking time.
Roasting a whole chicken in a 450-degree oven typically takes about 45 minutes, according to Epicurious. Cooking partially frozen chicken at the same temperature may take 75 minutes or more.
Begin by first removing the bag of innards from the cavity inside your whole chicken. Then, season the partially frozen chicken as you would if it were completely thawed. You could use oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and garlic cloves under the skin, and then place the chicken in your preheated oven.
While cookbooks offer recipe times for meats like chicken, the true test of doneness is a meat thermometer. FoodSafety.gov recommends you cook your chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When cooking partially frozen chicken, begin checking the temperature around the 60-minute mark. Be sure to take your chicken out of the oven before checking the temperature because otherwise you may get a falsely elevated temperature.
Once your roasted chicken is fully cooked, let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes before serving.
Cooking Frozen Chicken Thighs
Cooking frozen chicken thighs follows the same general guide as your frozen whole chicken. You need to increase cooking by 1.5 times. Bone-in chicken thighs with skin take about 50 minutes to cook in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven, notes Delish. Cooking frozen chicken thighs at the same temperature may require as long as 75 minutes until they're fully cooked.
Season your frozen chicken thighs with teriyaki glaze or a simple spice rub, place them in your baking dish and then put them in your preheated oven. Like with your whole chicken, you need to check the internal temperature to check for doneness.
When cooking frozen chicken drumsticks, you can follow the same guidelines as the thighs. Bake in a preheated 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 75 minutes, checking the internal temperature to test for doneness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating raw or partially cooked chicken increases your risk of developing a foodborne illness, which is why it's so important to use a meat thermometer, not the timer, to determine when your chicken is fully cooked.
Frozen Chicken Breast Recipes
When it comes to frozen chicken breast recipes, you may be able to simmer your chicken on the stove or bake it in the oven, according to the website The Spruce Eats. Sauteing or grilling frozen chicken breasts isn't recommended as it may leave you with an overdone outside and underdone inside. You also shouldn't cook your frozen chicken in your slow cooker due to risk of foodborne illness.
Place your frozen chicken breasts in a pan and cover with your favorite sauce or broth. Put the lid on your pan and bring to a boil. Simmer your chicken breasts for 30 minutes or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're baking your frozen chicken breasts in the oven, preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and season with oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Place the chicken in the oven and plan to cook for 40 to 60 minutes or until it has reached the recommended temperature.
According to the USDA, you should thaw frozen meats in the refrigerator overnight. However, you can thaw frozen chicken in a container in the sink filled with cool water that you change every 30 minutes. It may take up to 3 hours to defrost 3 to 4 pounds of chicken when defrosting in the sink.
You can also use the defrost button on your microwave to thaw your frozen chicken. Be sure to cook your chicken right away after it's been defrosted to reduce your risk of foodborne illness.
- USDA: "Freezing and Food Safety"
- FoodSafety.gov: "Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Charts"
- Delish: "Best Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Thigh Recipe"
- Epicurious: "How to Cook a Whole Chicken the Easy Way"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Chicken and Food Poisoning"
- The Spruce Eats: "How to Cook Frozen Chicken"
- USDA: "The Big Thaw — Safe Defrosting Methods for Consumers"