Boiling Frozen Chicken

Chicken Pot Pie

I know boiled meat isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but every now and then my dog has a bout of pancreatitis and boiled chicken breast is the easiest food for his little body to digest while he gets back to normal. Toward the end of this last episode, the only chicken I had was frozen and I didn’t want to wait to defrost it in the fridge. I could have defrosted it in the microwave, but I was curious–can you boil frozen chicken?

After a quick Google search, it seems the overarching belief is that if chicken is boiled from its frozen state, whomever shall partake of it, will surely die a slow, painful death. I don’t know about you, but whenever I am within earshot of such panicked certainty, I immediately doubt whatever has been said. That’s when I gave up on finding the answer from the masses and turned to the experts at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Is it safe to boil frozen chicken?

Turns out, we can all rest a little easier now. Chicken can be cooked from its frozen state, but there are some important rules to follow.

First and foremost, get out that handy-dandy thermometer and check the chicken as it cooks for an internal temperature of 165°F. The FSIS says it will take about twice as long to cook a frozen chicken than a raw one and I found this to be true when I boiled a single chicken breast for my dog. Instead of taking five minutes to boil, it took just a little longer than ten minutes.

Second, only cook chicken on the stovetop (as in boiling) or in the oven (as in roasting). Do not try to cook frozen chicken in the microwave or in a slow cooker. In those instances, always defrost it first.

Let’s all take a deep, calming breath now, knowing that there is one less thing in life to be worried about. As long as you abide by those two rules, no one is going to die a slow, painful death because you boiled frozen chicken.

For more information about safely handling chicken in the kitchen, go to the Food Safety and Inspection Service website.

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14 Comments

Filed under Chicken, Chicken FAQs, Food Safety

14 responses to “Boiling Frozen Chicken

  1. Kati

    Thank you! I was scared I would die if I tried to boil frozen chicken for my enchiladas today.

  2. Thanks for this! I occasionally cook a chicken stew for my two Labs – it’s on the menu tonight but forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer last night, so am glad to hear that I can just stick it in the pot in its frozen state… But can conclude that I should be boiling it twice as long.. Normally I’ll boil a whole raw chicken for an hour – looks like it’s going to have to be 2 haha….

  3. Pingback: Chicken FAQ: Boiled chicken does not have to mean tough chicken | Kitchen Dilettante

  4. Pingback: Chicken FAQ: Is it safe to thaw frozen chicken by boiling it? | Kitchen Dilettante

  5. What a relief! I want to make some chicken soup today, and all I have is frozen boneless chicken thighs. Thanks!

  6. Jen

    I have always used frozen chicken in my crockpot recipes and have never had any issues. I use the low setting for 8 hours usually…sometimes more. Shreds like a dream!

  7. Liz

    Thank you! I can now confidently make some healing chicken soup for my flu-ridden three year old, without the worry that I was going to poison us. You eased my anxiety level down a notch, thank you very much!

    • Oh, Liz, I’m so glad the article helped ease your anxiety. Healing hugs to your 3-year-old. What a great mom you must be to worry so much. Here’s hoping he or she feels better soon.

  8. erik lawetzki

    Thank you!! I am cooking chicken noodle soup for my sick girlfriend and son wanted to know if I could boil frozen chicken and it be safe to eat thanks so much

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