Our all-time favourite meat, chicken, can be prepared in various delicious ways. Moreover, chicken can be frozen, but it does not change its taste and consistency like other meat. However, the problem is can you marinate frozen chicken? Because freezing and marinating are entirely opposite to each other. Indeed, it will be somewhat tricky since it is not as easy as marinating fresh chicken. But don’t worry; this article will surely guide you in clarifying how to marinate frozen chicken without losing its good taste.
Freezing vs Marinating
Freezing is a good practice to avoid spoiling the meat. Then what happens is ice crystals will be created within the structure of the chicken because any meat contains a high percentage of water. As a result, chicken becomes tough and dry until you defrost it.
In contrast, marinating is a way to tenderize chicken before cooking, and we use oils, seasoning or some acids such as lemon or vinegar for marinating. It is really important to have chicken in a tender and juicy condition to absorb the marinade better.
Can you Marinate Frozen Chicken?
Yes, of course you can! It is safe to marinate frozen chicken. However, it is better to defrost the chicken before marinating. If you try to directly marinate frozen chicken, it does not work as you wish. Therefore, it is advisable to defrost the chicken before marinating. But make sure to thaw chicken in the fridge; the reason why thawing the chicken at room temperature may expose the meat to harmful bacteria. Then, the ice crystal will be slowly melted and provide a good condition to soak the sauce of marinade. It is hard to soak in the flavour if the chicken is frozen.
And you may think, can I marinate chicken while defrosting? The problem is that the icy water that comes out while defrosting might melt away the marinade, so you will not have the expected taste of the chicken. Therefore, we do not recommend marinating chicken while defrosting.
How to Defrost Chicken?
The next immediate question will be what is the quickest way to defrost the chicken. You have four methods to follow for defrosting. The list is as follows:
- The Fridge – As we mentioned earlier, the safest way to thaw the chicken is to keep them in the fridge. If you can keep it in the fridge overnight, it is better. Make sure to use a deep bowl or container with a cap to avoid spreading the smell.
- The Microwave – If you are in a rush, the above method will not be suitable for you. Then, your microwave will save your day. Put the chicken in the microwave and set the timer for two minutes. You have to flip the chicken every two minutes to thaw them evenly. It is better to cut the chicken and keep them in the microwave rather than keep the whole chicken.
- Cold Water – Otherwise, you can try the cold-water bowl method. Pour cold water into a large bowl, then place the container of chicken in the cold water to melt its ice.
- Hot Water – What’s more, the double boiler method will defrost your chicken as well. It is the same as the cold-water bowl method. But in this case, you need a bowl of hot water. But it is not good to use boiling water so use lukewarm water. Place the airtight container on the bowl of hot water to melt the ice.
Guidance for Marinating Chicken
Anyways, if you have no choice rather than marinating frozen chicken, we are going to give you proper guidance to do that. Here we present some key points that you keep in mind as well. Before we discuss the process, we would like to remind you that this may take longer time and more ingredients than marinating fresh or defrosted chicken.
- First, prepare your marinade. You can use any kind of seasoning oil for that, such as olive oil or sesame oil. If not, you can season the chicken with spices and herbs or some acids such as lemon, lime, wine or vinegar. It is possible to make your marinade by mixing all these seasonings too.
- Secondly, you should apply the marinade on the chicken evenly. Then it would be best if you had a resealable bag or an airtight container to place the chicken in. And make sure to vacuum your resealable bag.
- Next, you can place the container in the fridge for marinating. You will be able to have the best results if you keep it overnight instead of for a few hours. It is not a secret the ice will melt, too, during this process. So always try to use a strong and thick marinade like spice and herbs rather than a liquid marinade for this case. Also, you may have to make an additional marinade to massage the chicken several times while it defrosts. Turn the chicken and apply the marinade evenly from time to time. Make sure to follow these tips if you wish to have flavorful chicken.
- The following day, you will see the chicken has fully thawed, but the marinade has been absorbed into the chicken well. Then you should pat dry the chicken to discard excessive marinade and water.
- Eventually, you have flavorful marinated chicken to cook as you desire.
Following the above steps will make your chicken as delicious as a fresh marinated chicken. And if you are not ready to have it within one night, you can keep it in the fridge for two to three days. And you might have noticed that already-marinated chicken is also available in supermarkets. You can freeze them too. It is better to cut the chicken and store them in a resealable bag or freezer-safe container. Label the bag or the container until you are ready to use them.
To sum up, you can marinate frozen chicken. But the quality and the flavour of the final dish depend on the way you make it. Therefore, always try to stick to the steps that are listed above.
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