The Brilliant Way I Cook Frozen Chicken Breast When I Forget to Thaw It

Yes, you can cook juicy chicken breast from frozen.

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Juicy Chicken Breasts Baked from Frozen. Keywords: Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard, Parsley, Garlic, Panko, Chicken Breasts

Photo by: Matt


Having chicken breast in the freezer is convenient, except for when you forget to pull it out in time to thaw. Anyone else been there before? Then you have to quick thaw the chicken by putting it in a resealable plastic bag and submerging it in a water bath or running it under water. Somehow, the water then always makes its way inside the plastic bag (how?) and waterlogs the chicken. Not so good.

That’s why I started wondering if it was possible (and safe!) to cook frozen chicken breast without even thawing it first. I’ve cooked frozen salmon without thawing it first with great results. Great news, according to the USDA, it is totally safe — you just have to keep in mind that frozen chicken will take about one and a half times longer to cook than thawed chicken.

But does chicken breast from frozen even taste good? Another very important question. The fear is that it would be tough, rubbery or dried out. I decided to test it out, cooking frozen chicken every which way, and discovered that it’s totally possible (and tasty!) to bake, poach and pan-fry boneless, skinless chicken breast from frozen. The key is to add extra moisture so it doesn’t dry out. Below, I’ve outlined three easy techniques you can try cook frozen chicken breast without thawing it first.

Juicy Chicken Breasts Baked From Frozen (Pictured Above)

Baking chicken breast is arguably one of the simplest ways to prepare it. But baking is a dry cooking technique, which could lead to dry chicken breasts baked from frozen. That’s why the best way to bake frozen chicken breasts is to brush them with a moist sauce, like the flavorful mixture of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, parsley and garlic called for in this recipe. As the chicken bakes on a sheet tray in a 425 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, the sauce adds extra moisture. The sauce also helps panko breadcrumbs adhere to the outside of the chicken. The results? Juicy chicken coated in a crisp layer of golden-brown breadcrumbs. Perfect for slicing over salads or serving in your favorite sandwich.

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Caprese Chicken Breasts Pan-Fried from Frozen. Keywords: Chicken Breasts, Black Pepper, Salt, Beefsteak Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil

Photo by: Matt


Marinara Poached Chicken Breasts From Frozen

Poaching frozen chicken breasts — or slowly heating them up in a liquid — is a smart way to preserve moisture. You could absolutely poach frozen chicken breasts in chicken broth or even water with aromatics and achieve flavorful results for chicken salad, but the resulting full pieces of chicken breast won’t look the prettiest on a plate. That’s where this marinara poached chicken breast recipe comes in. Instead of a plain liquid, you’ll gently simmer chicken breasts in marinara sauce, which works double duty infusing it with flavor. Meanwhile, cook some pasta, toss it with the marina sauce you cooked the chicken in and serve the poached sliced chicken over everything. Dinner, done.

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Caprese Chicken Breasts Pan-Fried from Frozen. Keywords: Chicken Breasts, Black Pepper, Salt, Beefsteak Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil

Photo by: Matt


Caprese Chicken Breasts Pan Fried From Frozen

Pan frying frozen chicken breast is simple as can be. Simply start searing the frozen chicken breasts in olive oil until they’re golden brown, flip them and blanket them with fresh tomato slices and mozzarella cheese. The tomatoes will steam, producing extra moisture as the chicken finishes cooking.

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