Cooking chicken is not difficult and does not take very long. Usually, if you have a thawed chicken, you can have your dinner ready without much hassle. But has it ever happened that you come home after a long day at work, and it is almost dinner time when you realize you never took the chicken out of the freezer? Or you have the sudden arrival of unannounced guests at dinner time? If you do not have time to defrost your chicken first, then you might ask yourself, can you fry frozen chicken? Is it safe to fry frozen chicken?
Is it alright to fry frozen chicken?
Yes, you can fry frozen chicken. It will take longer to cook, but if you make sure that it is thoroughly and evenly cooked, it is perfectly safe to do so.
Ideally, it is not advised to fry frozen chicken and thaw it in advance as cooking frozen chicken can sometimes leave it uncooked in some places if you do not check it from all sides and make sure that the thermometer, when inserted, reads 165°F to 175°F.
How can you safely fry frozen chicken?
You can safely fry frozen chicken in an electric deep fryer or on the stove. You can bake or cook frozen chicken in an oven as well. To safely fry frozen chicken, follow the guidelines below:
Working with Oil
Heat oil in a pan/ deep frying pan or electric oven. If you are cooking the frozen chicken in the oven, spray your pan with olive oil generously.
When you are frying chicken with a little oil, lay the chicken flat on a skillet or pan. Season each side of the frozen chicken. Flip after one side is done and season the other side as well. Seasoning is important as otherwise, your chicken will end up tasting bland.
Separate Frozen Chicken into Pieces
For frying the chicken, make sure that the individual chicken pieces are separate or sliced already, and it is not a huge chunk of chicken. This is to make sure that your chicken cooks evenly and thoroughly and no part is left uncooked. For your convenience, you can chop your chicken up into pieces before freezing them and lay them flat instead of making a huge frozen pile.
Marinate Chicken Before Freezing
Another thing you can do if you have to fry frozen chicken often due to your busy schedule is that you can marinate your chicken before freezing it. Just marinate your chicken and put it in a zip lock bag. You can make the marination batter, pour it into a zip lock bag and add the chicken. Lay it flat in the freezer. This will help if you are deep frying frozen chicken as you will not be able to season it once it is frozen.
Preheat the Frozen Chicken
Whether you are frying in a pan on the stove or an electric deep fryer or simply cooking or baking the chicken in the oven, preheat it. The frozen chicken will take longer to cook, so you might have to double the cooking time.
Avoid Slow Cookers
It is advised not to use a slow cooker as this will create an unsafe environment for your frozen chicken because with slow cooking, it will reach a damp and warm temperature for the bacteria to grow and not hot enough to kill it.
Working with an Air Fryer
You can also cook your frozen chicken in an air fryer—Preheat the air fryer at 360°F. Season the chicken, preferably chicken breasts, on both sides and place it in the air fryer.
How to tell when your frozen chicken is cooked
Your chicken is cooked if its internal temperature reaches 165°F to 175°F. Check the temperature by inserting the thermometer in multiple places to ensure it is thoroughly and evenly cooked.
Please take out the chicken from the pan, electric deep fryer, air fryer, or oven and place it on an absorbent sheet, so the extra oil is absorbed.
What happens when you fry frozen chicken?
Nothing different happens, directly frying frozen chicken is safe to consume, except it might not be as juicy. Thus it is advised to thaw your chicken first. Frying frozen chicken usually takes double the amount of time required to cook thawed chicken.
Another important point to remember while frying frozen chicken is that frozen chicken has a lot of water content attached to it as ice that melts while cooking. This makes your oil splash when the chicken starts defrosting in the oil. This is why you should be careful when you directly fry frozen chicken.
How long do you fry frozen chicken?
Frying frozen chicken takes twice as long as defrosted chicken would take. So, while it saves your time in terms of thawing, frying frozen chicken still takes more time to cook. Generally, it takes about fifteen minutes on each side in a preheated utensil for the chicken to cook thoroughly.
Does chicken need to be thawed before frying?
Ideally, yes, you should thaw your chicken before frying. This can help cook the chicken faster and avoid oil splashes during the frying process. However, you can safely fry frozen chicken as well (as explained above).
What is the fastest way to cook frozen chicken?
According to research and some articles, the fastest way to cook frozen chicken is by roasting it in the oven. Keeping the oven preheated at a high temperature cooks it quickly and thoroughly. Having thin, even slices of frozen chicken evenly spread out also aids in reducing the cooking time of your frozen chicken.
What’s the best way to cook frozen chicken?
The best way to cook frozen chicken is by deep frying it or cooking it in the oven, as mentioned above. These options are better than frying it in a pan on the stove because a deep fryer or an oven will get heat from all sides evenly, thus maintaining the temperature evenly for your chicken. This helps in cooking the chicken thoroughly and evenly. The pan does not allow such convenience and may leave your chicken cold and undercooked in some areas.
How to find out if your frozen chicken is cooked thoroughly?
There are multiple things to note to make sure your frozen chicken is cooked thoroughly. Firstly, check the temperature by inserting a thermometer. It should read between 165°F to 175°F as this temperature indicates that your chicken is cooked thoroughly. Check at multiple places for frozen chicken, particularly if it is a large piece. Notice if it is releasing pink or red liquids, which indicates that it has not been cooked.
Another thing to note is the color of your chicken. A cooked chicken is white. If your frozen chicken is still pinkish, it means it is still not cooked. Make sure that you time it properly.
Experience, trial, and error make it perfect. However, usually, it takes double the amount of time for the frozen chicken to cook. Remember that cooking time varies depending on your chicken’s size, the piece you are cooking, whether it is boneless, breast piece, leg, or wings.
Can you batter frozen chicken?
Yes, you can. However, it absorbs better in thawed chicken. If necessary, you can prepare a dry and wet batter for your frozen chicken. Dip your chicken in the wet better first and then in the dry batter and flakes. The wet batter allows the dry one to stick to your chicken more easily.
Wrapping it up!
In conclusion, you can cook, fry, or bake your frozen chicken. In our busy lives, sometimes we do not have time to thaw chicken. While it is advised to defrost your chicken first as it absorbs more flavor, can be marinated in batter, and is juicier, it may slip your mind at times. So, if you follow the guidelines mentioned in this article, you can safely cook your frozen chicken and have a meal ready quickly. Avoid those unhealthy take-out foods and cook that frozen chicken.