There are several reasons why people go for rotisserie chicken. It is not only very easy to prepare but also full of nutrients, more than you will find in other options. An entire chicken will provide you with around two meals for a full family.
But let us think about it this way, you have bought more rotisserie chicken than you need to cook for a single night. What will you do with the rest of it? The first thing most people will do after purchasing rotisserie chicken is storing it using different methods.
So, can you freeze rotisserie chicken? Well, we have compiled all the necessary information to help you figure out if you can prolong the life of your meal without affecting its integrity. Let’s get started.
Freezing Rotisserie Chicken
Can I freeze rotisserie chicken? The short answer is yes. You can freeze the chicken and it will be very easy, to be honest. Here is how to freeze rotisserie chicken.
There are three basic steps that you will have to follow. First, you will need to shred the meat into smaller pieces such as the breast, skin, legs, and thighs. You also need to do this while the meat is still warm.
Secondly, you will need to store the cut pieces using plastic wrappers or air-tight containers and finally, freeze the pieces. There is an appropriate temperature to store the chicken so that it does not go bad.
Can you Freeze Store-Bought or Homemade Rotisserie Chicken?
Can you freeze cooked rotisserie chicken? You can freeze both store-bought and homemade rotisserie chicken. But there is a bit of difference in the steps, which include shredding the meat, storage, and freezing it. Here are the detailed steps.
Shred the Meat
Before you do anything, it is recommended that you wear some disposable food gloves to avoid the sticky texture on your hands. You should then place it on top of a wooden mat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
The time it will take might vary depending on when you bought or prepared it and the weather conditions. You can tell that it has cooled adequately by checking the bottom fat. If it has started solidifying, it is getting to an adequate temperature.
How long does rotisserie chicken last at room temperature?
At room temperature, bacteria tend to grow very fast. When you have cooked your chicken, do not leave it at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. You should have stored it by then.
Once it reaches room temperature, cut the meat from the middle. Remove the entire leg and cut off the wings and the skin. Shred continuously until you have adequate pieces of meat and do the same for the other leg.
Storing the Chicken
You can bag any amount of meat depending on your requirements and your preference. As mentioned above, you can choose to use either airtight containers or simply plastic wrapping bags. For the best results, it is advised that you use multiple plastic layers.
It is also possible to wrap the meat with butcher or parchment paper followed by two layers of plastic paper.
After all, that, place the wrapped pieces in a Ziploc bag so that the air and moisture exposure is reduced significantly. You should consider adding labels so that you have an easier time identifying the meat you want to store.
It might look very straightforward but there are different ways you can freeze your rotisserie chicken properly. That means that it will retain its flavor and texture as much as possible when thawed.
Supposing you are in a hurry, you can go for -10 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, it would be better to go with -0 degrees Fahrenheit because it allows for more even, slower cooling. When you drop the temperature rapidly, the chicken’s richness, flavor, and texture would deteriorate significantly.
Since the parts are already separated and in a Ziploc bag, you will have an easier time defrosting.
How long does rotisserie chicken last in the freezer? Well, if you store your rotisserie chicken properly, it should maintain its original quality for around 4 months in a freezer. However, that is not its limit. The quality will start deteriorating after that.
How long does it last in a refrigerator? If you want to store it in a refrigerator, you should be able to enjoy it within 4 days of refrigeration.
Defrosting Rotisserie Chicken
The general rule is to freeze that chicken fast and defrost it very gently. Therefore, you do not want to defrost it using a microwave because it will very easily mess up the quality and texture that you will get from gentle thawing methods.
One simple method is to move it from a freezer to a refrigerator. Another simple one involves exposure to cold water. These two methods, especially the fridge method will allow your rotisserie chicken to maintain its quality and texture. Unfortunately, these processes will take longer than a couple of hours.
Can you Freeze it on the Bone?
To be honest, it is very possible but it is not advised. The freezing process will take less time because you will not shred it. But you will face some disadvantages.
First, the freezing will be less proportionate and will be slower. Secondly, when you decide to thaw and reheat, you will have a harder time. The flavor and texture will not be conserved properly, and finally, as you can expect, it will take up more space than you might not have.
The process of freezing a rotisserie chicken is very easy and as long as you have a freezer at your disposal, you should be able to make it happen. You will save some money and you will be able to save more time. The taste and texture will not vary as long as you freeze it properly and you will have a quick meal you can prepare when you are in a hurry. Try it out!
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Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!
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