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.