It’s nice to freeze food, leave it nice and ready for cooking later, or have another meal later in the week or month using leftovers. However, not all food freezes the same way, with some requiring more preparation for freezing than others. What about Rotisserie chicken—can you freeze it?
Rotisserie chicken freezes and thaws quite easily—it’s also less expensive than raw chicken. But there are some steps to follow to ensure you thaw rotisserie chicken properly. That way, your chicken is always ready whenever a recipe calls for chicken or you need an easy meal.
Here are some of the best ways to freeze your rotisserie chicken and some of the most ideal ways to use your saved chicken whenever you’re craving it. Keep reading to find out more.
How To Freeze Rotisserie Chicken
Once you bring your rotisserie chicken home, you need to debone, tear, and cut it. You can place dark meat and white meat together, cut it up into various portions, or divide it however you’d like. The chicken will fall off the bone because it’s warm, and in some cases, you might even be able to pull the bones right out of the chicken. You can then place the rotisserie chicken into different serving sizes.
While you can freeze your chicken with the bone inside of it, the addition of the bone makes everything take even longer. Compare a chicken drumstick with the bone to a chicken drumstick without the bone and see the difference! The meat will freeze and thaw slower, and the portions will be harder to store because the bone takes up a lot of space.
Plus, taking the meat off the bone while the chicken is warm is so much easier than having to peel the cold meat off whenever it’s cold and stuck to the bone!
Then place the chicken into airtight containers or freezer bags and store them in your freezer. It’s important to ensure that no air can get inside the chicken to resist freezer burn and moisture loss, so make sure the packaging is airtight!
While rotisserie chicken will last around 3–5 days in the fridge, it’ll last a long time in the freezer. You just need to pull out the chicken and reheat it whenever you want to have some.
Now, the length of time the rotisserie chicken will last in the freezer is about four months, although it’ll continue to be edible after that. If your freezer can go down to 0 degrees, your chicken will last forever—thaw it at your pleasure.
How Do You Best Shred the Chicken?
It’s best to shred the chicken into its parts. Doing so allows for easy access when cooking and ensures you can take out the chicken you need without thawing the whole bird.
Once the chicken is cool at room temperature, you can cut the string holding the chicken and then take it apart piece by piece. Once you get a good number of chicken pieces, you can start storing them.
You can store white meat and dark meat together, keep the two separately, or place any other combination together for your meals. You’ll probably know best what amount of chicken is a serving size for you or what you need for a certain meal. Once the chicken is thoroughly shredded, you can store it in your freezer.
Tips for Storing a Rotisserie Chicken Effectively
To maximize the shelf life of your frozen whole chicken, make sure that your chicken is wrapped up in several plastic wrappings. Using butcher paper to wrap around the more significant chicken pieces and then plastic wrap to hold it all secure is a good idea before placing it all in a freezer-safe bag.
If you can squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible, that’ll help them freeze more effectively. Just make sure to freeze all the chicken at once and take as much as you need out to be dethawed—constantly freezing and refreezing chicken (or any other food) will cause water loss and affect how it tastes.
If you plan on freezing your rotisserie chicken, make sure to freeze the chicken as quickly as possible. It’s best not to let it sit in the fridge for a few days and then decide to freeze it. That’s the way to lock in the freshness and ensure you’ll get to enjoy the best-tasting chicken later on.
How Do You Effectively Defrost and Reheat Rotisserie Chicken?
Thawing allows you to defrost and reheat rotisserie chicken effectively. This method is better than leaving the chicken out at room temperature or putting it in the microwave.
You can put the frozen chicken in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight) to get it to thaw or place it in cold water and allow it to thaw that way. However, the cold water bath does take some time.
You can reheat a rotisserie chicken in many ways once it has been thawed. One way is to turn your oven to 350°F (~176°C) and wrap the chicken in foil. You can also heat the rotisserie chicken on the stove in a pan with a bit of oil for about 4–5 minutes.
Finally, you can place the chicken in the microwave for about two minutes, and it’ll be adequately reheated. No matter how you reheat it, you’ll be able to have warm rotisserie chicken to add to your recipes or just as a snack on its own.
Freezing Rotisserie Chicken Won’t Significantly Alter Its Taste
You might wonder if freezing the rotisserie chicken can change the taste or texture of the food once you thaw it. Thankfully, once the chicken is fully thawed out, you can eat it, and it’ll taste as fresh as the day you bought it!
That’s why rotisserie chicken is such a popular food to freeze, and you don’t need to worry about unfreezing it and then cooking it like you would with the raw meat. Instead, just thaw, and then warm it up!
It’ll taste just the same, and you won’t have to worry about excess moisture ruining the food’s texture as well. Instead, you’ll get some fantastic thawed chicken and a ready-to-eat meal!
Can You Freeze Costco Rotisserie Chicken?
Without a doubt, the rotisserie chicken at Costco is one of the most popular items in the store. Not only is it inexpensive, but it’s also delicious and makes for a quick and easy meal. But can you freeze Costco rotisserie chicken?
Yes, Costco’s rotisserie chicken is easy to freeze. When you get it home, slice it up and remove the bones while it’s still warm. Place the rotisserie chicken meat into freezer-safe zip-lock bags and push out as much of the air as possible before putting it in the freezer.
That’s really all there is to it! If you debone the cooked chicken while it’s still warm, it makes this an easy process. Also, it may help to store the Costco rotisserie chicken in smaller serving sizes so you can just pull out a serving at a time making it easy to thaw, heat, and eat!
Freezing rotisserie chicken is something you can use to your advantage if you want to have easy access to chicken for months on end. Don’t be afraid to tear the chicken apart, properly freeze it, and then store it for your needs!
Additionally, getting a four to six-dollar rotisserie chicken is much cheaper than buying the raw chicken that you were going to freeze anyway.