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Can You Freeze Poached Chicken?

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By Ross Young

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If you are looking for a way to cook your chicken so it is lovely and moist then poaching might just be the answer. There are many delicious recipes for you to try and once you have tried it, it might become your new favourite way to cook chicken!

What do you do if you have leftovers, it would be a shame to waste any chicken. So, can you freeze poached chicken?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze poached chicken. Poached chicken can be frozen for about 4 months. If you have poached it in a stew or casserole sauce then you may be able to push this to six months. It’s easy to freeze and can still taste as delicious as it was when it was fresh.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How to Freeze Poached Chicken

You have plenty of options when it comes to freezing cooked chicken. You can freeze it in portions or even in chunks ready for popping into a delicious stew! We have a couple of options right here for you to try next time you need to freeze some poached chicken.

How to Freeze Poached Chicken On Its Own

  1. Drain and Cool
    Drain your poached chicken and allow it to cool before freezing.
  2. Prepare Chicken
    You can either freeze your chicken whole in portions or cut it into chunks or strips that will be easy to cook at a later date. Prepare your chicken however suits you best and then get ready to freeze.
  3. Wrap and Bag Up
    If you are freezing in larger portions such as whole chicken breasts then wrap these in a layer or two of cling film and pop them into a freezer bag.
  4. Lay Strips Onto a Tray
    If you have cut your chicken into smaller pieces you will need to do a little extra preparation work to make them easy to use when you need the chicken. Grab yourself a baking sheet and put some parchment paper onto it. Lay the strips or chunks of chicken onto it in a single layer.
  5. Freeze
    Pop this into the freezer and freeze for a couple of hours. Once they are frozen you can transfer them from the baking sheet into a freezer bag.
  6. Seal
    Seal the freezer bag and then label it with the date and contents.
  7. Return to the Freezer
    Put this back into the freezer and freeze.

How to Freeze Poached Chicken In Poaching Liquid

If you want to ensure your chicken retains most of its moistness you can freeze it in some of the liquid you poached it in.

  1. Cool
    Firstly, allow the chicken to cool down completely.
  2. Divide Into Portions
    Divide the chicken into portions and put each portion of chicken into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
  3. Add Liquid
    Pour a little liquid into the bags or containers.
  4. Seal
    Seal the bags and containers tightly. If you have chosen to use freezer bags be careful not to let the liquid spill out.
  5. Freeze
    Label with the date and contents and then pop them into the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Poached Chicken

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

  • Keep it Airtight – Keeping the chicken airtight while in the freezer is the key to keeping it moist and delicious. If you can, squeeze out as much air from the freezer bags before freezing.
  • Keep it Moist – Freezing your chicken in the poaching liquid it was cooked in can help to keep the chicken moist and delicious. It’s also useful to use as a stock for cooking if you intend to put the chicken into a soup, stew or casserole.
  • Shred Beforehand – If you plan on using your chicken shredded or cut up then make sure you do this before you freeze it. It will make it much easier to use it and you may not even need to thaw it out when it comes time to cook it.

How Long Can You Freeze Poached Chicken?

You can freeze poached chicken without its liquid for about four months. This should be plenty of time for you to use it up. If you have chosen to freeze it in liquid then you may be able to keep it in the freezer for a little longer – up to six months.

This is because when you freeze it in liquid it should retain some of its moistness.

You Can Freeze Poached Chicken for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Poached Chicken?

The safest way to thaw out your chicken before use is by taking it out of the freezer and putting it into a bowl and popping it into the fridge overnight. You will need to allow it plenty of time to thaw out before cooking.

If you have frozen it in chunks or strips for popping into a stew or casserole then you may be fine to pop it straight into the recipe completely frozen. It will thaw out as it cooks. Just make sure that it is fully thawed and piping hot throughout before eating.

You also need to ensure that it is boiling or cooking at a temperature above 70 degrees Celsius for more than two minutes to kill any harmful bacteria that might be present in the chicken.

Can You Refreeze Poached Chicken?

Unfortunately, we would not recommend that you refreeze any kind of meat or poultry such as chicken. These foods can harbour harmful bacteria and they grow best when the food is at room temperature.

This means whenever you freeze or thaw your chicken it has plenty of opportunities to sit at this temperature.

Does Poached Chicken Freeze Well?

Poached chicken does freeze well. Like most types of chicken, you will notice minimal changes to the texture and the taste should remain the same. If you leave it in the freezer for too long then it may start to dry out which is why you should try and use it within four months.

Related FAQs

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

Can You Freeze Already Cooked Chicken?

You can freeze cooked chicken. We would advise freezing it no later than 24hrs after cooking it. It is important that you do allow it to cool to room temperature before you freeze it. The other thing to consider is that you must freeze it in airtight containers. 

Best Way to Freeze Cooked Chicken

What is the Best Way to Freeze Chicken?

There are many ways to freeze chicken and no way is necessarily the best. Instead, you need to consider how you normally use chicken and freeze it accordingly. If you like having whole breasts then freeze them in this way. If you like to add a handful of shredded meat then freeze it ready-shredded and so on.

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