I am a mother of twin toddlers. They both love fried chicken. I cook it once a week. Sometimes it can get too tiring to do it every week. I have been thinking of doing a big batch of fried chicken and just freezing it, but my fellow moms say it gets soggy. I wonder if there is a proper way of doing it.
Kids really love fried chicken. And so do adults! This is partly because of our evolutionary instinct to choose fatty food rich in calories, and simply because fried chicken is such a crispy, juicy, and delicious comfort food.
The good news for mommies is that you can freeze fried chicken. With proper freezing and thawing, the defrosted chicken can be just as good as when it just came out of the pan.
Can You Freeze Fried Chicken
There are many ways of frying chicken. You usually season it, cover in breading, and then deep-fry in boiling oil. This process of frying chicken releases moisture and kills bacteria, making it ideal for storing more than fresh or raw chicken.
When you freeze fried chicken, you lock in its flavor and preserve its nutrients. You can also retain the shape of fried chicken by making sure that pieces do not overlap when you freeze it.
However, texture can change when defrosted. If you want fried chicken to be as crispy as when it was newly-cooked, you must follow proper thawing and reheating method.
You can keep fried chicken in the freezer for 4 months. Fried chicken left in the refrigerator is good only for 3 to 4 days.
When you need to use fried chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or in cold water. It is not advisable to thaw fried chicken at room temperature. It takes long and bacteria might develop. If in a hurry, use the defrost setting in the microwave. Do not defrost it fully.
Put it in the oven to evenly heat the fried chicken, 400°F or 200°C for 15 to 20 minutes. Larger pieces take longer to reheat, so it’s better if you have similar cut sizes. Do not wrap it in foil as this will make it soggy. Microwave, oven toaster, and stove do not reheat evenly. They make fried chicken either soggy or dry.
How to Freeze Fried Chicken
To freeze fried chicken, just follow the steps and tips.
- Follow your usual recipe for fried chicken.
- Cool down each piece thoroughly.
- Pack in airtight containers, ensuring that pieces are separate and do not overlap. There are several ways to do this.
- The first way is to flash freeze it. Line the pieces in a baking pan, parchment paper, or plate. Put it in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to an airtight container.
- The second type is to wrap individually. Wrap each piece in cling wrap. You can wrap it again in aluminum foil. Put all wrapped pieces in airtight container.
- The third method is to freeze them altogether but not overlapping. Fill half a ziplock bag with fried chicken. Lay it flat and layout the chicken so that they do not overlap. Put inside the freezer flat. Do not stock bags on top of one another so that the pieces retain their shape. When frozen, you can already store vertically to save space.
- Label with the date when you freeze it.
Fried Chicken Recipes
Aside from the basic seasoning, breading, and frying, you can also come up with fried chicken dishes with a twist. You can marinate it in buttermilk and spices of your choice for 3 to 24 hours before coating in breading and frying. Fried chicken is a versatile dish so feel free to experiment.
You can also give frozen fried chicken a second life by mixing it with sauces and glazes. After defrosting and reheating the fried chicken, just toss it in your sauce of choice, such as buffalo sauce, then serve it with cheese dip.
You can also use frozen fried chicken as an excuse to try new Asian and oriental sauces. Just replace the newly-made fried chicken with reheated fried chicken. Why not try Korean honey butter sauce or Japanese teriyaki sauce.