So, you’ve got air-chilled chicken and now you’re wondering if it’s safe to pop it in the freezer, or should you use it right away? The good news is, yes, you can freeze air-chilled chicken and in this blog post, we’ll break down the basics of freezing air-chilled chicken in simple terms.
What Is Air-Chilled Chicken?
Air-chilled chicken is a type of poultry processing method that’s becoming increasingly popular among food enthusiasts. Unlike traditional water-chilled chicken, which is cooled in cold water, air-chilled chicken is cooled by circulating cold air around chickens. This process is believed to result in a more flavorful and tender chicken. Besides this, unlike the regular freezing method which requires huge amounts of water, it’s more environmentally friendly.
So, How Can You Freeze Air-Chilled Chicken?
You can freeze air-chilled chicken, just like any other type of chicken. Freezing helps to preserve the chicken’s freshness and extend its shelf life. Here’s how you can do it:
Prepare the Chicken
Before freezing, make sure the chicken is fresh and hasn’t been sitting in your refrigerator for too long. If you have leftover air-chilled chicken, freezing it promptly is a good idea.
Wrap It Up
To prevent freezer burn and maintain the chicken’s quality, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can use resealable freezer bags.
Label and Date
It’s a good practice to label and date the chicken package so you can keep track of how long it has been in the freezer. Use a permanent marker or freezer labels for this.
Store in the Freezer
Place the wrapped chicken in the coldest part of your freezer, which is usually towards the back. Make sure it’s stored away from other strong-smelling foods to prevent any flavor transfer.
How Long Can You Freeze Air-Chilled Chicken?
Properly frozen air-chilled chicken can stay good in the freezer for up to 9-12 months. However, for the best quality and flavor, it’s recommended to use it within 6 months.
Thawing and Cooking the Air-Chilled Chicken
When you’re ready to use your frozen air-chilled chicken, remember to thaw it safely in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. Thawing in the fridge helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Once thawed, cook your chicken as you normally would, and enjoy a delicious meal!
In a nutshell, you can absolutely freeze air-chilled chicken to extend its shelf life and enjoy it at a later date. Just follow the simple steps of preparing, wrapping, labeling, and storing it properly in the freezer.
Keep track of the freezing date and use it within the recommended timeframe for the best taste and quality. Freezing your air-chilled chicken can be a convenient way to enjoy this flavorful poultry whenever you want!