Here is the ultimate guide on how to freeze and store poached chicken.
These methods and tips have worked out splendidly for me.
So, here is how you can go about it.
- Poached Chicken
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Container or Ziploc Bag
- Prep and Cool: Once you make the poached chicken, let it cool down to room temperature. Then cut the chicken into slices or cubes as you prefer.
- Lay Out: Lay the pieces of poached chicken onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Try and keep the pieces even spaced and not touching each other.
- Flash Freeze: Leave the tray of poached chicken covered in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight and let the pieces freeze solid.
- Pack and Seal: Transfer the frozen pieces of poached chicken into a freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag and seal them in. If you are using a Ziploc bag, make sure to squeeze out all the excess air before sealing it.
- Label and Freeze: Add a label on the container or bag with the best before date and you are all set.
Freezing the Poached Chicken after Wrapping It
This is the most recommended way of freezing the slices or pieces of poached chicken. It also makes the defrosting process easy.
Prep and Cool
Once the poached chicken has been made, let it cool down to room temperature. Then slice them up or cut them into pieces that you like to use in your recipes.
Using some parchment paper, wrap the slices or portions of poached chicken. Wrap it thoroughly, leaving no part of the meat exposed to air.
Pack and Seal
Transfer the wrapped chicken into a Ziploc bag and seal them in after making sure to squeeze out all the excess air.
Label and Freeze
Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are good to go.
You can check out this video by “Jamie Oliver” on YouTube, to see how you can freeze poached chicken or any other cooked meat –
Freezing Portions of Poached Chicken in Ziploc Bags
If you are in a hurry and can’t deal with elaborate steps, here is a quick and hassle-free method you can opt for. You could also use this method if you are freezing poached chicken with some gravy or sauce.
Prep and Cool
Make the poached chicken and let it cool down to room temperature. It is best to keep it in the fridge to speed things up and avoid bacterial buildup.
Divide the cut poached chicken into portions that you can easily use in a recipe or eat in one meal time.
Pack and Seal
Transfer the portioned poached chicken into a Ziploc bag and seal them in. Make sure to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag before sealing it.
Label and Freeze
Finally, add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the poached chicken till you need it next.
How Long Can You Freeze Poached Chicken?
Poached chicken can last for three to four months in the freezer. It will last longer and fare better in the freezer if it is frozen with some liquid.
The liquid will help keep the chicken moist for longer. Although you can freeze it for longer, it is best to stick to the four-month mark.
If you plan to use the poached chicken within a couple of days, you can leave it covered in the fridge.
But if you don’t plan to use it soon, to avoid the risk of spoiling, it is best to freeze it as soon as you have made it.
How to Store Frozen Poached Chicken?
You can store frozen poached chicken in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag.
You could also leave it thoroughly wrapped in parchment paper or cling wrap, but it is best to pack them into a container or Ziploc bag for added protection from freezer burns.
If you are freezing poached chicken with some liquid, like gravy or sauce, take care to leave an inch or two of space at the top of the container before sealing.
The liquid can expand once it freezes so, it can crack the container and leak out unless there is some headspace.
If you are pressed for space, the Ziploc bags might the best option since it allows you to compactly store large portions, unlike bulky containers.
How to Defrost Poached Chicken?
The best way to defrost poached chicken is to leave the portion that you need in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight and let it thaw slowly. Once you thaw the chicken you can reheat it at least 80° Celsius or more.
If you forgot to take the chicken out the night before and are in a hurry, you can thaw it by leaving it in the packet or container and immersing the whole thing into a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours.
But do not leave the frozen poached chicken on the kitchen counter to thaw. This increases the risk of bacterial buildup, making it unsafe to eat.
Can You Refreeze Poached Chicken?
When it comes to meat dishes like poached chicken, refreezing is a bad idea.
Not only does repeated freezing and thawing ruin the texture and taste of the dish, but it also increases the chances of bacterial buildup.
So, it is best to avoid refreezing poached chicken. Instead, you can portion or wrap individual slices of the poached chicken to make it easier to separate and consume the meat in one go.
Does Poached Chicken Freeze Well?
Yes, poached chicken freezes well, especially if it is frozen with some gravy or sauce. The liquid element ensures that the meat stays moist and fresh for longer.
Although you can freeze big chunks of poached chicken, it is best advised to slice or shred the meat beforehand. This will help make the defrosting process faster and also makes portioning it easier.
Yes, you can freeze poached chicken breasts. You can follow any of the methods mentioned above and freeze them for 3 to 4 months. To make the portioning and thawing process easier, it is best to shred them before freezing.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store the poached chicken for later.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some kitchen tips and hacks of your own, it would be great to hear from you.
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