Can You Freeze Cooked Shredded Chicken
Cooked shredded chicken can be frozen for a long time to increase its shelf life just like the other meals. It is best for you to freeze it as it defrosts much faster than whole pieces of chicken. Before freezing, pack it out in ziplock bags or airtight containers.
While you can make chicken tenders in an oven or crock-pot, the method that I am showing you step-by-step below (cooking chicken in a skillet) is definitely the fastest and easiest way to do this.
Or, if your shredded chicken is going to be going in something that is going to cook, such as soup or casserole, you should be able to throw it directly in your recipe. Once your shredded chicken is fully chilled, you can place it into zipper bags or in an airtight container in either 1 cup or 2 cup portions (depending on how much you think you are going to use at once) and store it in the freezer. When you are ready to use your shredded chicken in a recipe, you can pull the individual portions out of the freezer and allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Freezing your shredded chicken makes it much faster to defrost than the pieces of whole chicken, but you will still be able to freeze part or all of it.
By freezing the chicken shreds, you will have tasty leftovers, depending on how small your portions end up being (one to two-cup portions will keep for some time in the freezer). This way, you only need to thaw the amount of chicken that you actually need for a particular recipe or dinner. While starting with thawed chicken is preferred, you can also use this method for frozen chicken, although it will require more cooking time.
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If either method is equal, make sure you seal the chicken tightly after placing it into the zipper-lock freezer bags, so that there is no more air trapped inside. Generally, you want to hold the chicken inside of ziplock bags, pushing air out of them as much as you can, before closing them. Cool thoroughly if you are planning on freezing your chicken, and then split into zipper bags or sealed containers.
When you pull out leftover chicken, put it in the freezer in a sealed container for up to three months. To freeze the chicken raw, put it into a large ziploc freezer bag, season, and dump barbecue sauce in the bag. When freezing cooked chicken, it is good idea to label the bag with the date you cooked it and frozen it, so that you will remember to use it when it is still good.
|Cook Chicken||For 11 minutes||165|
|Cook Chicken After Mixing||For 20 minutes||425|
As long as you are careful about how to store cooked chicken, and you are not leaving it sitting around at room temperature, it is totally safe to freeze your cooked chicken, thaw it, and then cook it. However, if you let your cooked chicken in the freezer too long then you really run the risk of it having a slightly spoiled texture, so keep that in mind, it is not something that you will want to keep around too long.
Instead, if you are looking to freeze your entire cooked chicken, we actually would recommend shredding the meat from the bones after cooking. There is little value in freezing a whole chicken breast if you would never cooked it whole, and you prefer to chop it up, e.g. The good news about chicken breasts is that you can freeze them whole, and then reheat when needed. Using it is a big time-saver, as you can use the sliced chicken breasts instead of the raw chicken in the recipes.
Dump the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker, add one cup chicken stock, turn to Low, and let the chicken simmer for 6-8 hours. Place boneless chicken in a large mixing bowl, and use a low-speed mixer to chop chicken into shredded pieces. Cook chicken on low 11 minutes, or until no longer pink in the interior, broth is clear, and the internal temperature in the center is 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken using tongs, then use the paddle attachment of your stand mixer to combine hot chicken. The longer you allow chicken to be mixed, the more shreds will form on the chicken. Place chicken onto a rack and roast for 20 minutes on 425 degrees, to achieve 165 degrees internally, thoroughly warmed chicken.
I did not try it, but some readers reported they liked putting the cooked chicken into the stand mixer and mixing it using the paddle attachment to shred it quickly. While there are many different methods to prepare chicken to chop it or chop, poaching (gently cooking chicken in water) is one I find is the fastest and easiest, with the least amount of cleanup. Pretty much any method can be used for making chicken jerky (including baking it in the oven), but two methods that I have found yielded the tenderest, falling apart shredded chicken are the slow cooker and Instant Pot. Cooked shredded chicken is freezer-friendly, but it has noticeable effects on flavor and meat texture.
If using chicken thighs, the meat can cook faster depending on the size, so I suggest checking several minutes in advance to make sure that you get a moist, juicy piece of diced or shred chicken. If the draining is not a concern, I recommend stirring chicken back into the flavorful cooking liquid before serving. Once your chicken rinds and broth are chilled at a warmer temperature, remove any big veggies pieces and bay leaves from broth (leaving in tasty bits) and put both the chicken and broth into big, covered bowls and store in refrigerator until fully chilled.
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The shredded chicken needs to cool COMPLETELY before being stored, so you may want to pack it into zipper bags and sealed containers (depending on how much seasoning you plan on using each time of year) along with the freshly chopped chicken or canned chicken. We would suggest keeping your shredded and chopped chicken in portions, since it will be difficult to defrost only a small amount at a time, since it will often freeze in a lump. Make it in big batches, and then use it to make lots of our leftover chicken breast recipes, such as our Chicken Pot Pie Casserole, etc.
Does cooked shredded chicken freeze well?
Shredded chicken can freeze well. In order to store your shredded chicken, place it in ziplock bags or airtight containers in portions of one cup or two cups and freeze once cool. Approximately four months can be expected for the chicken to remain good quality if it’s stored properly.
How do you reheat frozen shredded chicken?
It is recommended to defrost or let the shredded chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight if it is frozen. Aluminum foil should be placed over the chicken when it is placed in an oven-safe dish. After about 20 minutes of baking at 425 degrees, the chicken has reached 165 degrees and has been thoroughly warmed.
Can you freeze shredded chicken in sauce?
The refrigerator is a secure place to keep cooked chicken for up to two days. It’s preferable to freeze it after that. Although full parts of the chicken can be frozen if you’d rather, shredded chicken defrosts significantly faster.