how to cook a whole chicken that's frozen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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i have a frozen whole chicken that i froze a few months ago.  i froze it before the expiration date, but now it is past the expiration date.  i believe there are giblets inside, but am not positive, so i would need to remove those first and in order to do that i would have to defrost it, at least partially.  how long to defrost in the fridge and how will leaving it in the fridge to defrost (assuming at least a day probably more) effect the expiration?  i would like to do it in the crock pot and just shred the meat and then make stock.  how exactly should i go about cooking this bird?





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#2 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 08:36 AM
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I may be verrrry wrong about this, but I've always figured that the freezing extended the "best before" date. If I froze the chicken or meat before the expiry date, I didn't worry about using it after that date. I thaw it in the fridge. As long as I cooked it within a day of thawing, I figure it's fine. That's leaving aside any problems with freezer burn etc. if the meat has been in frozen too long. Generally, I try to use meat within 6 to 8 months of freezing. 


If it were me, I'd thaw the chicken completely in the refrigerator. It will probably take at least a day, depending on the size, maybe more. The next day, I would cook it however I wanted - crock pot, roast or cut up and grilled, whatever. I've never run into a problem with this. 


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#3 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 AM
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I defrost in the fridge for a bit and then put in a brine in a large pot for a few hours. (1/2 cup salt , cover with water)


not sure about the expiration date- frozen chicken is good for a year or if you froze it before the fresh expiration date it should be fine 9 we get our chickens from a farmer and they dont have an expiration date, lol)

you will be able to pull the giblets etc out when it is almost thawed.


I then roast in the oven, whole, with melted butter put over all surfaces. I follow the roasting directions in the joy of cooking- cant remember off the top of my head!



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#4 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you!!!!!!!!  i was worried that if i froze it say 2 days before the expiration date that i would then have only 2 days to defrost and cook it before it expired.  has been frozen since october 2010 and not sure how close to the expiration date i froze it.  but looks like you ladies think it shouldn't take too long to thaw and there shouldn't be a problem.  gonna get it out tomorrow and try it in the crock pot.  


any crock pot suggestions?  i mainly just want shredded chicken to make other dishes with and then want to make stock. 

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#5 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 10:50 AM
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Personally have not done it so I can't really reccomend it but is a slow day at work and I am bored, LOL.  There are tons of recipes on line the say you can cook a whole frozen chicken in the crock pot.  I would run under cold water to thaw enough to remove giblets and then try it and report back! 


here are 2 that popped to the top of the search


and here is one of those "e-how" sites on the subject:

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#6 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 03:47 PM
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I wouldn't cook a frozen chicken. I got that from a food safety course I had to take, that whole fowl shouldn't be cooked frozen, because the interior stays at a "dangerous" temperature for too long a time, regardless of the cooking method.

A chicken will thaw nicely in a few hours, though, if you put it in a sealed waterproof bag (take out all the air before sealing it) and immerse it in a sink of cool water. Not warm, cool. You may need to change the water a few times, if it starts to get icy.

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#7 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 03:56 PM
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My chickens don't have a "best by" date.  They are farm raised and frozen.  We've never had an issue with them.  That date is arbitrary and meant for the companies to cover their behinds.  Once it's frozen, it's good for a year... or more, even.  Just thaw it in the fridge.  It will keep for a few days.  Then roast it or do whatever you want to do with it.


I agree with Lyra - you shouldn't cook a bird from frozen because by the time the inside is done, the outside is going to be dry as a bone.  It's not that you "can't", it's about the quality of the finished product.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 07:31 PM
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I buy bags of chicken that come 3 chickens to the bag.  I usually cook 1 that night and freeze the other two for later. 


The chickens usually take 24 hours to defrost in the fridge, and once they are defrosted, you just cook it as you would a fresh chicken.


IMHO, the "best before" date does not apply during the time the chicken is frozen.  I think there are some guidelines out there that say that a whole chicken will last up to a year in the freezer, with cut up chicken parts good from anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on how they were wrapped and how they were stored.


To cook a defrosted chicken in a crockpot, I would just put the chicken in there, add salt/pepper and/or any other seasonings and cook on low for 7-8 hours (less if your crock pot is on the hot side).  There should be lots of chicken broth just from the chicken without needing to add any liquids before or during cooking.

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