Can You Cook a Whole Chicken From Frozen? Have you ever experienced holding a family gathering event where you pledged to cook your most delicious honey garlic chicken and unfortunately forgot to thaw it a day before the party, which then made you ask the question?
Will your friends and loved ones feel disappointed knowing you won’t be able to serve them your best signature dish?
If your answer happens to be yes for both scenarios, then you definitely need to stick around because this article is for you!
We all know popping our meat into the freezer is a common thing to do when we don’t plan to use it soon.
Although it’s a good idea to practice, we often tend to forget to thaw it since we’re already filled with work and responsibilities to think about.
So, how do we get past this problem? What are the ways we can do this? This article will answer all your questions and concerns, so go forth and keep on reading!
The Possibility Unraveled: Can You Cook a Whole Chicken From Frozen?
For safety purposes, storing uncooked poultry in the freezer is naturally practiced by many individuals worldwide.
Freezing up the chicken stops or hinders the reproduction cycle of threatening bacteria such as salmonella (but take note: it doesn’t eliminate them) and helps ensure the meat you’re consuming is safe.
However, when the time comes for you to use your poultry, it is a must to defrost it properly.
Thawing is always practiced before cooking, frying, grilling or baking any type of meat since this will soften your food and help you avoid eating raw parts.
But sometimes, we don’t have time to wait (since thawing can take days) or perhaps we honestly forget to transfer the chicken to the freezer.
So what are we left to do when we are in dire need of the chicken? Cook it up, of course! It may come as a surprise to many, but you can actually cook frozen chicken.
It certainly is a relief to know that you don’t have to wait for long hours for your poultry to defrost since you can just take it out of the freezer and prepare your meal as you usually do. Plus, this is guaranteed safe to do.
But before you go ahead and feel all giddy, cooking a frozen chicken isn’t that simple. There are specific guidelines you need to follow in order to ensure what you’ll be eating is safe.
You certainly wouldn’t want to end up in the emergency room for food poisoning!
What Happens When You Cook Frozen Chicken?
Sometimes, life work’s in our favor: we’ve prepared our meal, chilled out the wine, and got dinner right on the table before anyone gets hungry.
Other times, it’s quite the opposite. It’s 7 pm, you’re tired from a long day at work, and just as you begin to cook, it hits you; you forgot to defrost the food for dinner.
But luckily, you don’t have to spend your remaining time resenting yourself since you now know that cooking your frozen poultry is safe and possible! But what exactly happens when you do so?
Among the most common misunderstandings about meat is that cooking it frozen doesn’t work well, leading to an unpleasant tasting result. But this assumption is wrong.
When you cook froze up chicken in the right method and follow the proper guidelines, the ice that’s coating your chicken will slowly melt off as the heat makes its way to the core.
From here, your chicken will slowly cook from the inside-out.
The trick here is lesser heat and longer cooking time. In order to avoid getting chicken that’s cooked on the outside and raw on the inside, we need to follow this trick if you want to serve a meal that’ll everyone in the family will enjoy.
How Long Does It Take For a Whole Frozen Chicken To Cook?
When preparing a dish, especially when it’s the main course of the meal, it’s common for us to be in a rush since there’s a lot of needed preparation going on.
Thus, the moment you remember that you forgot to thaw out your poultry, be sure to act right away.
Hurriedly speed off, take your chicken out of your freezer and get ready to do some fast cooking!
The cooking time for a whole frozen chicken will usually depend on the recipe you’re following.
As a general rule, you must remember that it will take about 50 percent longer than usual compared to when you’re starting with meat that is fully defrosted.
For instance, if 5-pound poultry would typically take 1 and a half hours to roast, a frozen one will take around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
However, make sure that your heat is set in the low range since you might end up with a chicken that’s over-cooked in the outer part and raw on the inside.
So if a recipe requires you to cook the meat in an oven at 500 F, cook it at 475 F instead. This way you’ll be sure to cook everything properly!
How Do I Cook a Fully Frozen Chicken?
As we’ve already mentioned, there are specific ways you can cook froze up poultry that you must strictly follow if you don’t want to end up with a big plate of a mess.
Fully raw frozen chicken can only be cooked in 3 ways, and that is roasting, simmering and baking.
It is not recommended to fry meat that’s straight from the freezer since this can lead to food that’s undercooked, or worst: burnt on the outside, freezing on the inside; which is why you must follow the specific steps shown below if you aim to prepare a dish that’s still enjoyable regardless of defrosting or not!
Method 1: Bake the Raw Freeze up Chicken
If you’ve got an oven on hand, then this might just save you from having a troublesome day. Baking raw frozen up poultry is among the easiest methods to do when you can’t quickly fry up your meat.
Not only will this cook the outsides of your poultry to golden perfection, but it’ll also leave its insides juicy and tender. This is perfect when you have chicken breasts in your freezer!
Start by taking your chicken from the freezer and placing it in a basin of hot water. Normally this is not advisable when handling poultry, but don’t worry!
You will only be doing this until the packaging will give way. If your chicken is not wrapped with packaging anymore, then skip this step.
Once you’ve taken out your poultry’s packaging, put it aside and begin preheating your oven to 350 F since this is the ideal temperature to bake any meat that’s frozen.
As you’re waiting for your oven to be ready, place your poultry in the baking pan (make sure there’s a baking sheet).
If you have cut it into smaller parts, position them far from each other to ensure everything gets adequately heated.
Take out some butter, yogurt, olive oil or any flavoring of your choice and brush it around the poultry. Make sure that you’re able to cover all sides.
Then grab kosher salt and sprinkle a fair amount over your chicken. If you want the outcome to be even more delicious, you can add in some Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs!
If everything is set, pop it into the oven. Bake the poultry for 40 to 50 minutes or until its interior temp reaches 165 F. You’ll undoubtedly end up with a dish that’s savory on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside!
Method 2: Simmer The Freeze Up Poultry
Just because you forgot to thaw your poultry doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. If you were planning to make some curry or any dish that calls for chicken with some flavorful and creamy sauce, then this method is what you should go with!
You can actually simmer your frozen to the core poultry, and doing so won’t be much of a hassle.
If you do follow the given steps correctly, you’re sure to have an outcome that will make you forget why you’re worrying about thawing in the first place. So check it out below:
Begin by turning on your stove to medium heat and place a big pan or pot. Make sure you use kitchenware that is large enough to fit your whole chicken.
Then take a chicken broth and fill the pot with about 2-3 cups. You may also opt to add water, but the broth will bring in much more flavor.
Once ready, take out your poultry and carefully place it in the pot. Make sure the broth covers all parts.
Next, take your seasonings such as salt and pepper and sprinkle a fair amount over the meat. Seasoning is vital since this will boost up the savor of your meat. Cover with the lid after.
Depending on the recipe you’re following, add in 50 minutes more to ensure that your poultry will be fully cooked from the inside-out.
You can use a fork to check if it inside’s tender, and no part looks pinkish or simply stick in a cooking thermometer; it must reach 165 F
Once you’re sure your chicken is cooked, you may now begin preparing your sauce. Serve them together and enjoy your meal!
Method 3: Roast The Raw Frozen Chicken
Roasted chicken is among the best ways to cook your frozen poultry. Not only is it full of enticing flavors that will surely satisfy anyone who eats it, but it’s also pretty easy to do.
Whether you’re performing this method with breast, wings, things or legs, it’s undoubtedly suited for everything!
However, just be sure to follow the given steps if you don’t want to eat a chicken that tastes unpleasant.
Start off by taking your poultry from the fridge and placing it on a roasting pan. Make sure the pan is big enough to hold the whole poultry.
Position your poultry with the breast-side up to give you a better view when performing the next task. As you do this, start preheating the oven at 350 F.
If you can, take out the bag of giblets and stuff the bird’s cavity with some freshly sliced lemons, thyme, rosemary, onion and other spices of your choice.
Once done, take a brush and cover the poultry’s outer part with olive oil and sprinkle a fair amount of kosher salt and pepper.
However, If you can’t easily access the inside of the chicken, wait ’til it has been heated for about 45 minutes to take out the giblets.
Use some tongs and a mitt to remove the giblets and place them in any stuffing of your choice.
Once you’re done stuffing your poultry, place it in the oven and let it cook for about 90 minutes.
After, slowly increase the temp to 450 F and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until you can see the chick’s skin is browned.
Check the poultry temperature, and if it shows at least 165 F on a thermometer, it’s finally done!
The Best Way on How To Cook Fully Frozen Cooked Chicken Easily
Many people usually store leftover dishes in the fridge or freezer to avoid them from going bad quickly.
However, just because it has been frozen doesn’t mean its taste is unpleasant already.
Cooked chicken, in particular, is commonly stored in the freezer to be heated up again if you ever decide to eat it, but what happens when it has been frozen rock hard? Can it still be reheated?
To address your question, the answer is YES! Cooked poultry that has been frozen up can still be heated and eaten.
However, you just need to follow some guidelines to ensure you’re eating safe meals.
Baking Frozen Cooked Chicken
The best way you can reheat or recook your frozen poultry is by baking it. When you bake your poultry, the ice will slowly melt as it heats the outer and inner parts of your chicken.
It won’t affect the poultry’s taste, unlike when you opt to simmer the meat. If you want your poultry to take well as new both inside and out, this is how to do so!
Start off by taking your froze up poultry out of the freezer. Place it in a clean and empty bowl and set aside.
Begin preheating your oven to 350 F and pop in your poultry after 10-15 mins. Unlike baking raw meat, preheating in the oven doesn’t usually take so long.
Heat your poultry until you can see the ice is fully melted and the outer part is tender (this will usually take 15 minutes).
Once you do, take your chicken out of the oven and cover it with some flavorings such as butter, olive oil or yogurt.
Sprinkle a fair amount of pepper and kosher salt too. Since your meat has been covered in a layer of ice, there’s a possibility that it has stripped off your poultry from its flavor.
After adding all the needed flavorings, place it back in the oven and heat it for another 15-20 minutes or until the inner parts are tender. Serve and enjoy!
Now that you know how can you cook a whole chicken from frozen, you don’t have to feel like there’s no hope when you forget to defrost your food for dinner.
Although thawing is indeed a necessary process you must do before cooking; it’s good to know that it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t do so.
The next time you’re having some issues with your frozen poultry, be sure to recheck this guide out. You’ll certainly need it!
Read Next: Is eating spoiled meat really bad?