Want to eat cooked chicken that you have stored in the freezer for a long time? If so, don't forget to soften it first so that when heated, the temperature on the entire surface of the chicken can be more evenly distributed and of course makes the chicken taste more delicious when eaten. Although it really depends on the amount of chicken that needs to be tenderized, there are actually a number of ways you can safely tenderize the chicken without changing the taste, which is to leave it overnight in the refrigerator, soak it in cold water, or warm it up in the microwave. Although the microwave is the easiest and most convenient tool for tenderizing chicken, understand that the taste of the chicken will be preserved better if the thawing process is carried out for a longer time.
Method 1 of 3: Transferring the Chicken to the Fridge
Step 1. Remove the chicken from its packaging
Remove the chicken from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. It's best not to let the chicken sit too long on the kitchen table. If the chicken has been exposed to room temperature for more than an hour, throw it away immediately!
- Cut the chicken packaging or plastic wrap over the sink so that any water that might run or drip doesn't wet your kitchen floor.
- The warmer the temperature of the chicken, the faster bacteria build up in it. Therefore, if the temperature in your house is very hot, you should immediately put the chicken in the refrigerator after removing it from the package.
Step 2. Place the chicken on a baking sheet or other large enough container
As it softens, the melted ice and some of the chicken protein juice will flow out of the chicken. Therefore, always place the chicken on a baking sheet or other container large enough to hold the liquid.
- Clean pans properly before and after use.
- If the chicken is not too big, just use a bowl.
Step 3. Leave the chicken in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours
For every 2 kg of chicken to be tenderized, add an extra 24 hours. Don't worry, raw chicken is safe to refrigerate for 3-5 days before re-softening or cooking.
- Place the chicken on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to keep the melted frost from hitting other food.
- Observe the temperature of your refrigerator. Although the chicken will soften more quickly at high temperatures, keep the refrigerator temperature below 4 degrees Celsius.
- The chicken is perfectly tender when it is no longer covered in frost and is tender when pressed.
Method 2 of 3: Soaking Frozen Chicken in Cold Water
Step 1. Put the chicken in a plastic clip bag
If the chicken is packaged in an airtight plastic bag, there is no need to tamper with it. If not, put the chicken in a plastic clip bag so it doesn't come into contact with the soaking water.
- If necessary, wrap the chicken in an extra plastic bag, then tie the ends of the plastic tightly with rubber to make sure no water gets in.
- The slightest leak can make the chicken contaminated with bacteria or too soft textured because it is submerged in water.
Step 2. Soak the whole chicken in cold water
Fill a high-walled saucepan with cold tap water, then add the chicken to be tenderized. Also make sure no water gets into the bag with the chicken! If you find a leak, immediately close the bag tightly.
- Fill a sink with cold water and soak the chicken in it if you want a more practical way. Once the chicken is tender, simply remove the sink plug to drain the chicken marinade easily.
- Make sure the whole chicken is completely submerged. Be careful, parts that are not submerged can be easily contaminated by air and bacteria.
Step 3. Change the water from the chicken marinade every 30 minutes until the entire surface of the chicken is completely soft
Change the water every 30 minutes, then return to soak every 500 grams of chicken for 30 minutes.
- For example, a 500 gram chicken will be completely tender in less than an hour. Meanwhile, chicken weighing 2 kg generally needs to be soaked for 2-3 hours so that the texture is really soft.
- If there are still frosts on the surface of the chicken, it means that the chicken will need to be re-softened for a while.
Method 3 of 3: Tenderize Chicken in the Microwave
Step 1. Unwrap the chicken
Remove the plastic wrap of the chicken before placing the chicken in the microwave. After removing the plastic wrap, do not let the chicken sit too long at room temperature. Even though there are other foodstuffs that you need to prepare, still prioritize the process of tenderizing the chicken to prevent it from being contaminated with air and bacteria.
Because not all types of plastic are microwave safe, don't forget to remove the plastic wrap from the chicken to prevent it from melting when heated
Step 2. Place the chicken on a heatproof plate
To catch the ice that melts while the chicken is thawing, remember to place the chicken on a plate before placing it in the microwave. If you don't understand what types of dishes are safe to heat in the microwave, try checking the information that is generally listed on the back of the plate.
If you don't have too much frost on the chicken, try putting it in a heatproof bowl so that the melted ice doesn't drip directly to the bottom of the microwave
Step 3. Soften every 500 grams of chicken for 6-8 minutes on low temperature first
Once the chicken is tender, immediately heat it on high in the microwave, in the oven, or on the stove.
- To check the texture of the chicken, gently press the surface with your fingers every few minutes. However, make sure first that the temperature of the chicken is comfortable enough to touch, yes! When it's completely tender, the chicken should be soft and no longer covered in frost.
- Always freeze chicken that you don't want to cook in the near future to prevent the risk of contamination.