Thawing Chicken Safely
Defrosting or thawing chicken can be done safely one of three ways; in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave. Cooking frozen chicken can take as much as fifty percent longer than cooking fresh or thawed chicken.
Chicken Thawing Tips
Thawing chicken in the fridge is the safest defrosting method.
Boneless chicken parts will usually thaw in a day or so. Bone in parts can take an extra day and whole chickens may take three days or more. Try not to put the chicken your trying to thaw in the back, or coldest parts of the fridge. Also, if you choose not to use the chicken it can be refrozen safely. However, if it’s been more than three days I recommend fully cooking it before refreezing.
Make sure the chicken is in an airtight container that will not leak. Place the bag in a sink or bowl of cold water and use a plate or bowl to weigh the chicken down. You want the chicken fully submerged for safe thawing. Every half hour you should change the water to keep it cold.
A whole three or four pound chicken should thaw in about 3 hours. A one pound package of boneless chicken meat should take around half hour to thaw. Chicken thawed in cold water must be cooked before being refrozen.
Use the defrost cycle on your microwave to keep the chicken from cooking. If it cooks it the microwave it will be dry and rubbery. Times will vary with each microwave.
Bacteria must be consumed on food to cause illness according to the USDA. If you doubt that your chicken is safe do not taste it. When in doubt throw it out.
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