I have chickens in the freezing box. How long can I keep my fatty chicken legs there until they become dangerous to eat? How should I defreeze the chicken? Can I just put it to the hot water or should I slowly warm it up to boiling water? How does freezing chicken cooking differ with non-freezing chicken?

  • Please do not use the [health] tag. That subject has never been on topic here.
    – Aaronut
    Jul 30, 2011 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


I make stock from my leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps. I just dump them in the pot still frozen, cover with cold water, and heat until it's a bare simmer. Simmer the stock for 2-3 hours or so, or until it tastes like soup instead of water. (But be careful not to boil, since the stock can get cloudy if you let it get up to a full 100C.) I have made this with both cooked meat and uncooked.

Uncooked chicken (whether frozen or not) will give you a mildly-flavored white chicken stock. If you brown the meat first, you'll get a stronger flavor and a brown chicken stock. (See here for a discussion.) If your chicken isn't cooked, you'll want to roast it to get all the nice brown bits from the Maillard reaction, which will defrost the chicken in the process.

  • I do the vegetable scraps as well. I keep all onion peels and ends, Celery leaves, carrot peels, etc. in a freezer bag. When it's full, I make a quick vege or chicken stock. I would recommend dumping it out of the bag and rinsing it off. The frost on the vegies/chicken can have some 'interesting' flavors, assuming you didn't vaccum seal it. Doesn't have to be defrosted, just rinse and go.
    – JSM
    Jun 2, 2014 at 17:00

I can't say anything about the first question, but a few months in the freezer won't make it a dangerous eat, IMO.

You should defreeze the chicken, preferably, overnight in the fridge in the plastic wrap you used in the freezer.

If you don't have time, just dump it in cold water and bring to a boil. Some say over a high heat, others over a low heat. I say, high heat goes faster so it should be watched more closely. You have to prevent the rolling boil and go for the simmer. And scope the foam of the water (around 70ºC).

Do not put the chicken in hot water.

I have no idea how a frozen defrozen chicken differs from an unfrozen chicken.

  • why not put it in hot water?
    – Midhat
    Oct 22, 2012 at 18:59
  • @Midhat, I was describing the way to make a chicken broth or soup. You can actually defrost in warm water in a plastic bag. The method is described here by Harold McGee. Really hot water might be a bad idea because of the plastic. Oct 22, 2012 at 19:50
  • As for normal defreezing: I simply put the frozen chicken (inside the bag or on a plate if it is e.g. only parts) in the fridge to let it defrost overnight. So just like BaffledCook stated above. After defrosting i rinse it under cold water and pat it dry using kitchen towel.
    – Sono
    Feb 27, 2013 at 10:00

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