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Can You Freeze Roast Chicken?

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By Ross Young

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Roast chicken is the centrepiece of arguably the best meal of the week – The Sunday roast dinner! Delicious and good for you, you can’t beat a good roast chicken. But what do you do with the leftovers?

It happens regularly that the chicken is far too big and we end up with a lot of delicious meat leftover. So can you freeze roast chicken?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze roast chicken. Roast chicken can be frozen for around 4 months. Not only can you freeze it but it freezes very well and as long as you freeze it properly then should taste just as good once it has been frozen as it did when it was freshly cooked.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How To Freeze Roast Chicken

Freezing roast chicken is super easy to do. There is very little prep work involved and it shouldn’t take you too long at all. All you need to do is follow this method and your chicken should be successfully frozen and ready for you to use at a later date.

  1. Cool Your Chicken
    Allow your roast chicken to cool completely.
  2. Remove the Meat
    The best way to freeze it is off the bone so make sure you take the chicken off the bone before freezing. You can do this by simply shredding the meat from the carcass with a couple of forks. Don’t get rid of the carcass. It will make amazing chicken stock!
  3. Portion into Bags
    Pop the chicken into freezer bags. You want to freeze in portions and put one portion into each freezer bag. Freezing in portions makes it much easier to use the chicken as you can defrost the amount you need rather than thawing out all your chicken and risking it going to waste. Seal the bags tightly.
  4. Freeze It
    Label the bag with the date and the contents so you know when you need to use the chicken. Pop the chicken into the freezer and freeze.

How to Freeze Leftover Roast Chicken

It is common to have leftover chicken after a big roast dinner and the great news is that you can freeze it so that none of it has to go to waste. You don’t have to do anything special to your leftover chicken.

You can use the same method outlined above to freeze your leftover chicken successfully.

The other option is to turn it into dishes. You could make chicken fajita filling, chicken pie filling or chicken curry.

3 Tips for Freezing Roast Chicken

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

  • Shred the Leftovers – If you have a few bits of roast chicken leftover then make sure you shred the meat then bag it up into portions. This is the most efficient way to freeze it.
  • Use Leftovers in a Meal – Instead of freezing plain chicken, why not try putting it into a complete fish such as pie or curry. This will give you a delicious and convenient midweek meal.
  • Take it Off the Bone – There is simply no point in freezing cooked, roast chicken with the bones. You’re not going to eat the bones, it will take up room and you’ll have to wait even longer for it to defrost. Cut, slice or shred the meat from the bones instead.

How Long Can You Freeze Roast Chicken?

Roast chicken is a fantastic option to have in your freezer. It’s easy to thaw out and use, tastes great and is good for you. On top of this, it freezes for a fairly long time successfully!

You can keep your roast chicken frozen for about four months before it will start to degrade in taste and quality.

You Can Freeze Roast Chicken for Around 4 Months

How Do You Defrost Roast Chicken?

When it comes to thawing out meats, especially poultry like chicken, you do need to do so with care. These meats contain bacteria that if not handled with care can end up causing sickness. This is why you should only defrost roast chicken in the fridge.

Let’s explain a little further, bacteria growth is most likely when chicken is at room temperature so the less opportunity you allow for the chicken to be at room temperature the safer it is.

If you thaw it out in the fridge slowly then the chicken never reaches this warm room temperature before you are ready to reheat it. Defrosting using other methods allow the chicken to be at this optimum bacteria growth temperature for much longer.

So to defrost your roast chicken, take it out of the freezer and pop it into the fridge overnight or for several hours until it has fully thawed out. Then you can take it out of the fridge and eat it cold or heat it up.

Can You Refreeze Roast Chicken?

You shouldn’t refreeze roast chicken for the same reasons outlined above. The more time you thaw and freeze the chicken the more chances it has had to be at the perfect temperature for bacteria to grow.

On top of this, it can also change the texture and taste of the chicken and you might find it doesn’t taste good either.

Does Roast Chicken Freeze Well?

Roast chicken and many other types of meat, especially poultry and game, do freeze extremely well!

We can’t ever say that it would be quite as lovely as a freshly roasted chicken straight out of the oven but, in general, it freezes well and you can’t tell much difference between the fresh and frozen chicken.

If you do notice a slight change then it might be that the roast chicken has become a little freezer burnt. If you are worried that the look, taste or smell of the chicken has changed too much then throw it away as it may have spoiled. 

Luckily, in most cases, this won’t be a problem and you can freeze your roast chicken well and enjoy it at a later date.

Related FAQs

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

Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken?

As you may have gathered already, cooked chicken is perfectly safe to freeze using the method above. You need to use your common sense once it has defrosted. If it smells different to usual then err on the side of caution and throw it away.

Can You Freeze Rotisserie Chicken?

Rotisserie chicken is much the same as roasted chicken except it has been roasted on a spit. That does mean the same rules apply. Once you’ve got your cooked rotisserie chicken, let it cool before picking the meat off. You can then store this meat in freezer bags before storing it in the freezer.

Can You Freeze Rotisserie Chicken

Can You Freeze Cooked Breaded Chicken?

Breaded chicken can be frozen in much the same way. You can freeze breaded chicken whole, however. Presumably, you’ll have breaded breasts or strips which therefore don’t need to be shredded. Simply store them in a freezer bag.

To avoid them sticking together, you can either wrap them in greaseproof paper or initially flash freeze on a baking tray.

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