Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken?

Marinated chicken opens up a whole new world of dishes. You can create Chinese, Indian, Italian, and Mexican chicken as well as simpler dishes with lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs. You can marinate whichever part of the chicken you like be it breast, thigh, wing, drumsticks, or leg.

However, it does take some time to marinate chicken so can you prepare chicken in bulk and freeze some?  The answer is yes, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze marinated chicken and how to defrost and cook it.

How To Freeze Marinated Chicken

1. Prepare your marinade.

2. Marinate your chicken.

Marinate for up to four hours. After this time, the fibers in the chicken will start to break down and the chicken will go mushy or even sometimes, tough.

3. Put the marinated chicken in thick freezer bags. 

Ensure that the bag is thick so that there is less chance of it splitting and making a mess in your freezer. Make sure that you squeeze out all the air from the bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of your food. You can, alternatively, use an airtight container. It is a good idea to split the chicken into meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much chicken as you need for one meal (see also Should You Freeze Breaded Chicken?). This helps to avoid wastage. Shake the bag or container to ensure that the marinade covers the chicken. Put a label on the bag or container with the date frozen and the contents.

4. Freeze.

Marinades for Chicken

In case you are struggling to find marinades for chicken, we have listed some here which will hopefully help you to choose the ones you like the best.

1. Simple marinade. 

Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Herbs that go well with chicken include rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and oregano.

2. Chili garlic marinade

Mix together scallions, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, and lime juice. This gives a nice spicy kick to your chicken.

3. Teriyaki marinade.

This marinade contains honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper. and sesame oil. This will suit those who love Asian cuisine.

4. Italian marinades.

We have two marinades to tell you about. The first contains garlic, basil, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon. The other is a simple pesto sauce. Just buy a jar of pesto and add a bit of olive oil.

5. Fajita marinade.

If you like Mexican food, you will love this marinade. Mix together olive oil, cumin, garlic, paprika, chili, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice.

6. Jerk marinade.

If you like spice, you will love this marinade. It contains the hot hot hot scotch bonnet, lime, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, and soy sauce.

7. Indian chicken.

Mix together yogurt, cumin, ground cilantro seeds, chili, and turmeric.

8. Chinese chicken.

If you enjoy a Chinese takeaway, you will enjoy this marinade. It has pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar.

9. Jamaican Marinade.

For a real spice kick, mix together scotch bonnet, ginger beer, and curry powder.

10. Barbecue marinade.

Barbecue marinade is probably one of the most popular. It smacks of summer and barbecues in the backyard. Mix together olive oil, barbecue sauce, chili powder, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

11. Honey mustard marinade.

This is a mixture of honey, dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Tips For Freezing Marinated Chicken

  1. Use thick freezer bags to avoid the bags splitting.
  2. Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags to avoid freezer burn.
  3. Put labels on the bags or containers. You may freeze chicken with different marinades and it will be difficult to tell which one is which without a label. 
  4. Don’t use too much marinade as it will make it difficult to defrost the chicken. 

For How Long Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken?

Marinated chicken lasts for up to nine months in the freezer which is remarkable. You can have it on hand for whenever you need a tasty meal or even for entertainment purposes. After nine months, the chicken will start to deteriorate in taste and texture and eventually, it will spoil. 

How Do You Defrost Marinated Chicken

To avoid the chicken spoiling, it is best to defrost it slowly in the fridge. Take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight.  When you have defrosted the chicken, cook it in the way you would normally cook that cut of meat. Marinated chicken tastes great if you cook it on the barbecue.  Invite some friends over and have some fun.

Can You Refreeze Marinated Chicken?

We don’t recommend refreezing chicken. Like most meats, there is a chance that bacteria will form when it is frozen, defrosted, and refrozen. If you have left it out for too long at room temperature, it increases the chances of the meat spoiling. You should never leave meat out at room temperature for longer than two hours as you could become very sick if you eat the meat. However, if you have cooked the marinated chicken, you can put it in the freezer. Make sure that you do this as quickly as possible, remembering that you have to cool down the chicken before you put it in the freezer. If you put it in while it is still warm, it will raise the temperature and other foodstuffs may start to defrost. When it refreezes, it may spoil and you could become sick. 

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Marinated Chicken

Marinated chicken takes a while to prepare but it does freeze well and all you have to do is defrost it and cook it. All the work will have been done beforehand. You can make all different sorts of marinades and have completely different meals. The possibilities are endless.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing marinated chicken but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.

Which part of the chicken is the best for marinating?

You can marinate any part of a chicken, even the whole chicken. However, chicken thighs are a little fattier than other parts of the chicken, in particular the breast, and stay moister even if they are kept on the grill for a bit longer.  They work well with assertive marinades. 

Can you put citrus in a chicken marinade?

Yes, any citrus fruit can be used, be it lemon, lime, or even orange. 

Can you freeze chicken marinated in buttermilk?

Yes, you can but it will only keep in the freezer for three months.  A tasty marinade includes buttermilk, garlic, mixed dried herbs, onion powder, chili, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and melted butter. 

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