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Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken?

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By Ross Young

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Chicken breast can be a bit dull. But by marinating it, you can take its flavour profile to new heights. But is it possible to batch marinate chicken so you always have a stash of flavour-packed chicken? And can then put it in the freezer?

Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze marinated chicken for up to 9 months. Once you have mixed the chicken with a suitable marinade, place it into a freezer bag before placing it into the freezer. 

Does Marinated Chicken Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Marinated Chicken? No

How To Freeze Marinated Chicken

Marinades are amazing. They can turn the blandest and tasteless cuts of meat into a delicious meal. The main problem, of course, is that you really do have to plan ahead to give your meat plenty of time to marinate.

That’s where your freezer comes into play:

  1. Bag Up: Grab a thick freezer bag and place your chicken into the bag. You can use diced thigh, whole breasts, drumsticks, legs… Anything! Make sure you use thick bags to avoid unwanted leakages in the freezer.
  2. Add Marinade: Add your marinade to the chicken. You can keep it simple with some oil and garlic or you can experiment with Indian spices.
  3. Seal and Toss: Seal the bag up and then give the bag a good toss and a squish. You want to get the marinade into every crack, gap and crevasse on your meat so it really takes on the flavour. It’s no use having the marinade sitting in the corner of the bag.
  4. Freeze: Ensure the bag is tightly sealed and then place it into the freezer.

What to Marinate Chicken In?

When it comes to marinating your chicken, the possibilities really are endless. Ultimately, you’ll want a liquid item such as olive oil, yoghurt or lemon juice alongside some herbs, spices and seasonings.

If you’re struggling with chicken marinade ideas then check these out:

Lemon and Thyme Chicken – A classic combination that simply works. A drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a few pinches of dried thyme are all you need to give your chicken that authentic lemon and thyme flavour that works so well.

Indian-Inspired Yoghurt Chicken – To give your chicken an authentic Indian flavour, try adding a few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt alongside a teaspoon each of cumin, ground coriander seeds, chilli powder and turmeric.

Chilli and Garlic Chicken – We’re going to opt for some fresh flavours of the Mediterranean with this one. Add a drizzle of garlic oil, a pinch of salt and a freshly chopped red chilli to your bag and smother your chicken in it.

Pesto Chicken – There isn’t much to this one at all. Just add a few tablespoons of pesto to your chicken and a little glug of olive oil to loosen it a little and that’s all there is to it. You’ll instantly give your chicken that delicious Italian flavour with no effort at all.

Sweet and Sour Chicken – You don’t have to splash out on a Chinese takeaway to enjoy sweet and sour chicken. Just add equal quantities of pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar to your bag and marinade your chicken in this sticky, sweet and sour sauce.

3 Tips for Freezing Marinated Chicken

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing marinated chicken to have the best results:

Label Clearly
If you are freezing chicken with different marinades on it then make sure you label it clearly with chicken AND what it is soaked in.

Don’t Use Too Much Marinade
Using too much marinade can make it more difficult to defrost. You want the marinade to evenly but thinly coat the chicken. 

Use Thick Bags
The last thing you want is a marinade dripping all over your freezer. Ensure you use good-quality, thick freezer bags to avoid making a mess all over the freezer. 

How Long Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken?

Marinated chicken will keep in the freezer for a remarkably long time. In fact, generally speaking, you can freeze marinated chicken for around 9 months.

Beyond this point, the flavours are likely to degrade somewhat and all your hard work is going to go to waste.

How Long Does Marinated Chicken Last in the Fridge?

Once marinated, chicken will last for around 3 days in the fridge. If you have used a lot of acid, such as lemon juice, in the marinade then you’ll need to reduce this to around 24 hours as it can cook the chicken.

How Do You Defrost Marinated Chicken?

When it comes to defrosting marinated chicken, you’ll want to take the slow and steady approach by thawing it overnight in the fridge. Once thawed, you can then cook the meat how you normally would.

This will come down to the cut of meat you’re using and whether it is on or off the one.

Can You Refreeze Marinated Chicken?

This is not something we would advise. Refreezing your marinated chicken can be risky, especially if it was left out at room temperature for an extended period of time. Instead, try to only thaw the amount of chicken you plan on using.

The only exception to this rule is if you have frozen raw marinated chicken, cook it and then want to freeze the cooked chicken.

Does Marinated Chicken Freeze Well?

Marinated chicken freezes incredibly well. It’s easy to do. It provided you with a delicious meal. It tastes amazing. What more could you want? If you’re not already freezing marinated chicken then now is the perfect time to get started.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing marinated chicken or chicken in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken in Lemon?

Chicken can be marinated in a variety of mixes and then frozen and lemon is no exception. In fact, above we have shared our marinade for lemon and thyme chicken which is worth trying out.

Can You Freeze Buttermilk Marinated Chicken?

Again, yes you can! The method is identical to the one outlined on this page. Ultimately, mix your chicken with the marinade in a thick freezer bag and then store it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, just thaw it overnight.

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