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How to Boil Frozen Chicken

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Learn how to boil chicken from frozen, perfect for shredding, slicing, for making salads or sandwiches. A fast and easy recipe.

Can you boil frozen chicken?

Definitely!!!

Boiling frozen chicken breast is fast, easy, and healthy. And there are so many things you can do with it. Rotisserie chicken is great when you want to make enchiladas, a salad, or a sandwich, but you will have to go out and buy it and there will be more money and calories involved.

sliced boiled chicken breast on a wooden board with cucumbers

But boil or poach some breast that you probably have in your freezer and you will have a much healthier yet just as delicious alternative.

By the way, boiling or poaching is pretty much the same thing, the terms can be used interchangeably.

And if you have an air fryer, why not use it for cooking frozen chicken breast as well?

wooden board with poached chicken breast, dark bread and vegetables

What do you need?

Chicken breast:

  • Boneless skinless or with bones and skin.
  • An average boneless skinless piece weighs between 170 g – 220 g/ 6 oz – 7.7 oz. You will have to slightly adjust the cooking accordingly.
  • You can cook it directly from the freezer if you forget to take it out on time.

Poaching liquid:

  • You can use just water, salt, and pepper, with emphasis on salt – very important!
  • If you wish you can also use chicken stock. A bouillon cube is fine.

Extras:

  • All these things are nice, but not mandatory.
  • However, adding a couple of vegetables and spices to the poaching liquid enhances the flavor of the meat and of the broth.
  • You can add one small onion, 1-2 garlic cloves, 1-2 bay leaves, some peppercorns, juniper or allspice berries, a carrot, 1-2 celery stalks, parsley stalks, and so on.
  • Or add dried herbs like thyme or oregano.
  • Another bonus from using some extras: a tastier broth that you can use for making soup or fricassee, for instance.
sliced chicken breast close up

How to boil chicken from frozen?

  • Place the meat into a saucepan large enough to hold it in a single layer.
  • Add the liquid, about 2 cups, or enough to submerge the meat.
  • Add a bouillon cube, dried herbs or spices, and any of the extras you wish.
  • Slowly bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer until the internal temperature measured with a meat thermometer is 75 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove from the stock and let rest for about 5 minutes before shredding or slicing.
two pieces of raw chicken breast in a small black pot
poaching chicken breast in a black pan

How long to boil frozen chicken breast?

  • Frozen boneless skinless breasts of about 170 g – 220 g/ 6 oz -7.7 oz will need about 20 minutes.
  • Fresh boneless, skinless pieces of the same size will need 12 to 15 minutes. If you cut the boneless fresh pieces in half or even quarters, the cooking time will reduce even more, check after 7-8 minutes already to see if they are cooked through.
  • Fresh bone-in, skin-on parts will need about 30 minutes or longer depending on size.

Checking for doneness

This is a very important step when cooking a bird in any way.

The best way of making sure it is thoroughly cooked, without cooking it for too long and having to chew on dry meat afterward is by using a meat thermometer (Amazon affiliate link).

The internal temperature measured in the thickest part should be 75 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

I feel it is especially important to use a thermometer when cooking bone-in or frozen meat. If you don’t have a thermometer, check by cutting a piece in the middle, the meat should be white and juicy, no pink is allowed.

poached chicken sandwich with tomatoes and cucumbers

What to do with the leftover broth?

First of all, you will notice some white stuff floating in the cooking water. Don’t worry about it, that is perfectly normal. It is the protein that is forced out of the meat as it meat cooks and the fibers shrink.

  • Strain the broth after removing the meat, and discard this white stuff and all the other ingredients. If using carrots, keep those, they are still tasty.
  • Use the broth to make soup, sauces, or to add to stews, goulash, or whatever.
  • The broth keeps well in the fridge for about 3 days. To keep it for longer, freeze it.

How to store the cooked meat?

  • Allow it to cool completely.
  • Leave it whole, cut it into pieces or slices, or shred it.
  • Place in airtight containers.
  • Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To keep it for longer, freeze it, it will be fine for at least 3 months.

How to use the boiled chicken?

slice of bread topped with boiled chicken and onions

More chicken breast recipes:

Cast-Iron Chicken Breast

Dutch Oven Chicken

Pancake Battered Chicken

Glazed Hazelnut Chicken

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

sliced boiled chicken breast on a wooden board with cucumbers.

How to Boil Frozen Chicken

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Learn how to boil chicken from frozen, perfect for shredding, slicing, for making salads or sandwiches. A fast and easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • water
  • chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken into a saucepan large enough to hold it in a single layer.
  2. Add the liquid, about 2 cups, or enough to submerge the meat.
  3. Add a bouillon cube, some salt and pepper, dried herbs or spices, and any of the extras you wish.
  4. Slowly bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 75 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 20 minutes.
  5. Check with a meat thermometer. Alternatively, cut a piece of chicken in the middle, the meat should be white, no pink is allowed.
  6. Remove the parts from the stock and let rest for about 5 minutes before shredding or slicing.



Cooking time:

  1. Frozen boneless skinless: about 20 minutes.
  2. Fresh boneless, skinless chicken: 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Fresh bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts: about 30 minutes or longer depending on size.

Notes

  1. They usually weigh between 170 g – 220 g/ 6 oz -7.7 oz.
  2. The cooking time will differ from one type of breast to another.
  3. Chicken stock made with a bouillon cube is fine.
  4. Add other ingredients for a tastier broth: 1 small onion, 1-2 garlic cloves, dried herbs, 1 small carrot, 2 small celery stalks, juniper, or allspice berries. See the blog post for suggestions on how to use the leftover broth.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 851mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 40g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

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