A popular and much preferred meat that is used for cooking all over the world is chicken. Low cost and high nutrition value are added assets of this food, apart from the fact that it is extremely versatile. Using chicken, you can make a variety of dishes and this meat can be flavored in several different ways to suit your tastes.
How to Defrost Frozen Chicken
While cooking frozen chicken, it is essential to allot some time for the process of thawing. According to the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) of the United States Department of Agriculture, there are three safe options to defrost a frozen chicken.
You can defrost frozen chicken using the following:
- cold water
Boneless chicken breast will usually defrost overnight while bone-in parts and whole chicken will require a day or two or longer for the process. You can refrigerate the raw chicken after defrosting for an additional day or two, before cooking.
To defrost chicken using cold water, you could use a leak proof bag. Submerge the chicken in cold water and ensure that you change the water for every half hour. This is done to make sure that the water stays cold. It will usually require 2-3 days to defrost a package of parts or a whole pound broiler fryer, using cold water. If the chicken is a one pound package of boneless breasts, it will need only an hour or less to defrost.
If you choose to defrost your frozen chicken using a microwave, remember that you need to cook it immediately after defrosting because, some of the chicken may start cooking while in the microwave itself. It is inadvisable to hold partially cooked food because some of the bacteria present may not be destroyed completely. So, after defrosting you will have to cook the chicken before refreezing it again if you choose to do so.
Frozen chicken can be cooked directly on the stove or in an oven but the cooking time required might be 50% more than the usual time.
If you opt to cook frozen chicken directly by baking it, the following recipe will come in handy.
Baking Frozen Chicken
The following simple steps are involved in the process of baking frozen chicken.
- First, preheat the oven to 350 ° Fahrenheit.
- Next, take a baking dish. Add small slices of butter to the baking dish. Now, add freshly chopped garlic. Add some lemon juice to these ingredients and then, place the frozen chicken breasts in the baking dish. You can add a dash of lemon juice over the chicken breasts also.
- Season your chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven.
- Cook the chicken breast for about 45 minutes or until it has been cooked completely. Once done, place the chicken on a serving dish and serve hot.
Delectable chicken breasts are ready to be enjoyed!
Tips and Warnings
Keep the following tips in mind while cooking frozen chicken.
- Do not use warm water to thaw the frozen chicken. This can lead to the growth of bacteria and so, always use cold water.
- Do not thaw frozen chicken at room temperature because this is ideal for bacterial growth. Use the refrigerator, cold water or the microwave for defrosting the chicken.
- While using the microwave to defrost frozen chicken, make sure that you read the manual and check the defrost settings. Also, give adequate space for the chicken when placed within the microwave because if you place a very huge chunk of it, it may not thaw evenly. Give your chicken the air circulation required for the process.
- Ensure that the utensils, knives, plates, cutting boards and other surfaces are clean before you start cooking. Raw chicken can contaminate surfaces and so, clean all the surfaces and utensils with warm soapy water. After rinsing the chicken in cold water, pat it dry using paper towels.
- Always check the expiry date before purchasing frozen chicken. Also, remember that frozen chicken, when fresh, is practically odorless. If it has a distinct smell that permeates despite the package, do not buy it.
Cooking frozen chicken is quite simple. All it requires is time and planning. You can keep the above mentioned points in mind and irrespective of whether you cook frozen chicken directly (using a stove or oven) or if you choose to defrost and then cook it, make sure you do not compromise of hygiene and quality.