Rotisserie chicken is a popular choice for a quick and easy meal. It’s flavorful, moist, and convenient, but sometimes you may end up with more than you can eat in one sitting. That’s where freezing comes in. Freezing your rotisserie chicken can help you save money, reduce waste, and provide a quick and easy meal for busy days.
In this post, we’ll cover how to freeze rotisserie chicken, including how to prepare it, package it, freeze it, and thaw it. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions and offer tips for buying and using rotisserie chicken.
How to Prepare Rotisserie Chicken for Freezing
Before freezing your rotisserie chicken, you need to prepare it.
The first step is to remove the meat from the bones. You can do this by using a knife or your hands to pull the meat away from the bones. Be sure to remove all the bones and discard them. You can also remove the skin if you prefer. Next, you’ll want to portion the chicken for freezing.
This will depend on how you plan to use the chicken later. You can cut the chicken into small pieces for use in salads, tacos, or stir-fry dishes. Alternatively, you can leave the chicken in larger pieces if you plan to use it for sandwiches or as a main dish.
How to Package Rotisserie Chicken for Freezing
Once you’ve prepared your chicken, you need to package it for freezing. There are a few different types of packaging that work well for freezing rotisserie chicken.
One option is to use plastic freezer bags. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Label the bag with the date and contents, so you know what you have in your freezer. Another option is to use plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.
These are great for larger portions of chicken or for whole chickens. Again, be sure to label the container with the date and contents.
How to Freeze Rotisserie Chicken
Once your chicken is packaged, it’s time to freeze it. The optimal temperature for freezing rotisserie chicken is 0°F (-18°C) or below. Be sure to arrange the chicken in the freezer in a single layer, so it freezes evenly.
If you’re using plastic bags, you can lay them flat in the freezer to save space. It’s important to avoid freezer burn, which can happen when air comes into contact with the surface of the chicken.
To reduce the risk of freezer burn, be sure to remove as much air as possible from the packaging before freezing. You can also wrap the chicken in foil or plastic wrap before packaging it for extra protection.
How to Thaw Frozen Rotisserie Chicken
When you’re ready to use your frozen rotisserie chicken, you need to thaw it safely. The safest way to thaw frozen chicken is in the refrigerator. Place the packaged chicken on a plate or in a bowl to catch any drips, and let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, depending on the size of the chicken.
If you need to thaw the chicken more quickly, you can use the defrost function on your microwave. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a microwave-safe dish. If the chicken is still partially frozen when you’re ready to use it, you can cook it from frozen. Just be sure to allow extra cooking time to ensure it’s cooked through.
How to Use Frozen Rotisserie Chicken
There are many ways to use frozen rotisserie chicken. You can use it in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, casseroles, and more.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Shred the chicken and use it as a topping for pizza
- Make chicken salad by combining the chicken with mayo, celery, and onion
- Use the chicken in a quesadilla or burrito
- Add it to a pasta dish for extra protein
- Use it to make chicken pot pie
How long can you freeze rotisserie chicken?
You can freeze rotisserie chicken for up to four months. After that, the quality may start to decline.
Can you freeze a whole rotisserie chicken?
Yes, you can freeze a whole rotisserie chicken. Just be sure to remove the stuffing first, if there is any.
Can you refreeze rotisserie chicken?
It’s generally not recommended to refreeze chicken once it’s been thawed. If you have leftover thawed chicken that you don’t plan to use, it’s best to discard it.
Is it safe to eat frozen rotisserie chicken?
Yes, it’s safe to eat frozen rotisserie chicken as long as it’s been thawed properly and cooked to the appropriate temperature.
Freezing rotisserie chicken is a great way to save money, reduce waste, and have a quick and easy meal on hand.
By following these tips for preparing, packaging, freezing, thawing, and using your chicken, you can enjoy delicious meals with minimal effort. Just remember to label your packages with the date and contents, and be sure to follow safe food handling practices at all times.