How Long To Fry Frozen Chicken Breast?

Coming home from a long day at work and realizing that you forgot to take the frozen chicken out for dinner is one of life’s most frustrating experiences.

What to do now that you don’t have a backup plan, can’t wait for it to thaw, and don’t want to microwave it? Well, you could try frying it like the store-bought versions, but is that even feasible?

Even though it is not advised, it is possible to fry frozen chicken. To fully defrost and evenly cook your chicken, you must increase the cooking time by at least 50%. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure your chicken is fully cooked by checking its internal temperature several times.

We can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to check the internal temperature and color of the chicken in multiple spots on each piece to see if it has been fully cooked.

We’ll delve deeply into the world of frozen chicken and cooking it today. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to cook frozen meat properly, what happens when you cook frozen meat, and the ideal cooking times and techniques for frozen chicken.

  1. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Oil or Non-stick pan spray can be used to prevent sticking.
  2. Place frozen chicken in skillet, cover pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Flip chicken, cover pan and cook for additional 10 minutes, or until minimum internal temperature measured using instant read thermometer reaches 170°F.

Frozen Chicken

We won’t lie; we rely on our freezer more than anything else. The freezer is one of the best inventions since the wheel.

When you buy in bulk, freezing food is especially practical. It enables you to make room in the refrigerator for items like cucumber or already defrosted leftovers that can’t be frozen.

It facilitates the storage of prepared food for weekly meal planning and always has a last-minute dinner suggestion in it.

The most frustrating aspect of freezers, however, is forgetting to defrost or thaw ingredients before having to cook them. Usually, you discover this right before you begin to prepare the food.

We experience a wide range of emotions in a matter of seconds when that realization sinks in, including shock, anger, frustration, sadness, and panic. What other dinner options do you have, and what if you’re expecting guests?

Well, contrary to popular belief, you can cook frozen chicken. The challenging part is selecting the best technique for the particular piece of chicken and adhering to very strict safety guidelines.

Experimenting is the best way to determine the best cooking technique for your particular piece of frozen chicken. Size and shape both have a significant impact on how the frozen piece cooks.

You should also think about your options and the amount of time you have left. Every time you cook chicken from frozen, be sure to take notes so you can refine your technique the next time because every kitchen is different.

What Happens If You Fry Frozen Meat?

Let’s first examine why so many people advise against cooking frozen chicken before discussing why and how to do so.

It does take a couple of hours for meat to thaw or defrost.

The water you see in the plate or bowl after something has defrosted is the result of the ice crystals (water molecules inside the meat) slowly melting during this time.

Some of those water molecules evaporate during the defrosting process, which again lasts for a number of hours, leaving much less moisture.

The chicken will cook less evenly the more moisture there is because it affects the temperature. When trying to marinate frozen chicken, which is also possible but not advised, excessive moisture is a problem.

Whether you’re pan-frying or deep-frying frozen meat, all those ice crystals instantly melt at once, releasing excess water. This immediately creates an uneven surface temperature.

This increases the risk of bacteria in uncooked parts growing and resulting in salmonella, campylobacteriosis, and severe food poisoning. For this reason, it was always advised to defrost meat before cooking it.

Additionally, the extremely hot oil reacts with the water released, creating potentially dangerous oil splatter.

Even worse, using too much water when baking chicken with other ingredients like spices runs the risk of greatly reducing the flavor.

If you don’t know how to fry frozen chicken safely, you risk getting oil burns and salmonella while only getting a dish of awfully bland and chewy chicken as a reward.

The technique you select will vary depending on a variety of factors, all of which we will cover. Nevertheless, true to form, we have discovered a way to rig the system and safely cook frozen chicken.

As a general rule, you should cook frozen chicken for at least 50% longer than you would normally cook thawed chicken. This method is approved by the USDA.

We, however, recommend cooking it roughly twice as long. For instance, frozen chicken wings should cook for about 10 to 16 minutes if you’re cooking raw (unfrozen) chicken wings for 5-8 minutes.

Always remember that it is better to be safe than sorry as we discuss the remaining factors in this article.

Choosing a Cooking Method

As we’ve already stated, it is possible to cook frozen chicken; you simply need to select the best technique and cook it for a lengthy period of time.

The trick is picking a cooking technique that will cook your food thoroughly while also giving it a golden, crispy exterior without overcooking your chicken.

There are a variety of shapes, sizes, and forms for frozen chicken, all of which will affect how you prepare it.

Chicken Cuts

There are many different chicken cuts that can be prepared, including thighs, breasts, drumsticks, and whole chickens.

The size of the piece you are frying should be taken into account when choosing a method.

Unless the chicken is very small, you won’t be able to fit a whole chicken in a deep fryer, but you can fit a whole chicken into a roasting pan with ease.

Also, consider how the chicken was prepared in the beginning. The best way to prepare its frozen counterpart would also be to use that method.

Whole chickens are almost always cooked in an oven. Chicken nuggets are almost always deep-fried. Pan-frying chicken fillets is common, and so on and so forth.

Chicken Size

Naturally, different chicken cuts will have different sizes, but sometimes even those cuts vary in size.

No matter the cut, a larger piece of chicken will require more time to cook. The same applies to frozen pieces.

If you can clearly see that the piece is larger, use your intuition in addition to the general cooking times guide.

Can You Deep Fry Frozen Chicken?

Yes, you can deep fry frozen chicken as long as you use the proper technique to keep yourself safe.

Choose pieces and cuts that you would normally deep fry. These include chicken nuggets, chicken wings, crumbed chicken pieces, etc.

The only distinction between the pieces if deep-frying is your cooking method will be the cooking times.

Compared to a whole chicken breast, the smaller pieces, like chicken wings and drumsticks, will require much less time to cook.

Similar to how partially cooked chicken pieces like nuggets and patties will cook more quickly than their raw counterparts (even when frozen).

A whole chicken should not be fried because it will take too long and produce overcooked chicken. Additionally, unless you have a very small chicken, your deep fryer likely won’t be large enough.

Instead, choose to bake a whole chicken just as you would if it were raw. The method is easy. Simply place the chicken in the fryer and let it cook until done, extending the cooking time as necessary.

As previously mentioned, you must check your chicken’s internal temperature several times to ensure that it is thoroughly cooked.

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken in a Frying Pan?

You can definitely cook frozen chicken in a frying pan. However, the options are more limited. Choose chicken fillets, breasts, and occasionally thighs, which are typically prepared in a frying pan.

Since the heat only comes from one side of the pan when cooking frozen chicken, only one side of the chicken will cook at a time.

If you don’t keep an eye on it, the chicken might end up being unevenly cooked and cause food poisoning.

A great tip is to continuously drain the excess water that is released while cooking frozen chicken in a frying pan.

You can either do this by pouring the water out of the pan or absorbing it with a paper towel (kitchen towel).

By separating the oil from the water, this will even out the temperature of the pan and the meat and create a safer cooking environment.

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken in an Oven?

After deep frying, we advise cooking chicken in the oven rather than a pan. While a fryer and an oven have heat from all sides, the pan only has one-sided heat.

The oven also has an even cooking temperature and aids in evaporating excess moisture more quickly. Any chicken piece can be placed in the oven, regardless of its coating, shape, or size.

The frozen chicken pieces should be put on a wire rack so that the moisture can fall to the bottom without coming in contact with the chicken. Any coating is thus partially preserved because it won’t become soggy from sitting in water.

Additionally, any spices and seasonings will have less of a diluted flavor.

You can reheat frozen fried chicken using a combination of the oven and, surprisingly, a microwave in addition to cooking frozen chicken in the oven.

How to Know If the Frozen Chicken Has Been Fully Cooked

The same techniques used to determine whether fresh chicken has been fully cooked can also be used to determine whether chicken that has been frozen has been fully cooked.

  • Use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of fully cooked chicken should be around 165°F (74°C). With frozen chicken specifically, take the temperature in the thickest part, but also in another part of the chicken (to ensure it is evenly cooked everywhere).
  • Check the color of the meat. Chicken should be white (a fleshy cream color) if it has been fully cooked. Any pink, gelatinous, or see-through parts mean that it isn’t cooked. This sign goes hand in hand with the color of the juices.
  • Poke the chicken to see the color of the juices. Red or pink juices mean that the meat hasn’t been fully cooked. Cooked chicken has clear juices.
  • Follow cooking times. Do not cheat the times by increasing temperatures and decreasing cooking times. A higher temperature won’t cook the item quicker, only cook the outside more. With chicken specifically, there are a lot of risks involved when it comes to preserving the texture of the outside while cooking the middle thoroughly.
  • How Long Does It Take to Deep Fry Frozen Chicken?

    To sum up, any frozen chicken should be cooked for at least 50% longer than recommended, preferably twice as long, regardless of the method.

    Your chicken piece could take longer because the times listed below are only average estimates.

    Cooking Times for Deep Frying Frozen Chicken at 350°F (180°C)

    Chicken Cut Raw Chicken Frozen Chicken
    Wings 10 minutes 15-20 minutes
    Nuggets 5 minutes 8-10 minutes
    Strips 5 minutes 8-10 minutes
    Breasts 14 minutes 21-28 minutes
    Drumsticks 14 minutes 21-28 minutes
    Thighs 14 minutes 21-28 minutes

    How to Deep-Fry Frozen Chicken

  • Heat the oil to 350°F (180°C).
  • Remove the frozen chicken from the freezer and place it in the oil.
  • Fry the chicken for the appropriate amount of time, or until it is fully cooked.
  • Remove the chicken from the fryer and place it on a wire rack to drain the excess oil.
  • Tips & Tricks

  • Do not overfill your fryer. Especially because you are working with frozen chicken, the ice-cold temperatures will lower the temperature of the oil considerably, which directly affects the cooking time. Do not add too much-frozen chicken and rather work in smaller batches to prevent undercooking anything.
  • The lower the temperature, the longer the cooking time. Keep this in mind when following a specific recipe that requires a lower temperature.
  • Take a look at our guide on how to store fried chicken after you’ve prepared and enjoyed your meal to make sure the leftovers stay as fresh as possible.

    How Long Does It Take to Bake Frozen Chicken?

    Similar to deep-frying, baking frozen chicken requires a longer cooking time to ensure even cooking.

    The best way to cook chicken is to bake it because it cooks evenly and allows you to bake it with little moisture contact to the chicken itself.

    Cooking Times for Baking Frozen Chicken at 350°F (180°C)

    Chicken Piece Raw Chicken Frozen Chicken
    Wings 20-30 minutes 30-40 minutes
    Nuggets 15-20 minutes 22-40 minutes
    Strips 15-20 minutes 22-40 minutes
    Breasts 30-40 minutes 45 min–1h 20 minutes
    Drumsticks 30-40 minutes 45 min–1h 20 minutes
    Thighs 40-50 minutes 1 h–1h 40 minutes
    Whole chicken 40-60 minutes 1h 20 minutes–2 hours

    How to Bake Frozen Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper or parchment paper.
  • Place a wire rack inside the roasting tray, and place the chicken on top.
  • Bake for the appropriate amount of time before removing the chicken from the oven.
  • Tips & Tricks

  • Use the thermo-fan setting. If you have this setting (helps distribute heat and air evenly), use it. It will help cook the chicken from all sides, ensuring it cooked evenly.
  • Check internal temperatures. When using this method, you should definitely check the chicken to ensure it is fully cooked. Ovens sometimes have hot or cold spots which then creates uneven cooking.
  • FAQ

    Can you fry chicken breasts from frozen?

    Pan frying frozen chicken breast is simple as can be. Frozen chicken breasts should only be seared in olive oil until they are golden brown, then flipped and covered with fresh tomato slices and mozzarella cheese.

    How long does it take to cook frozen chicken breast?

    These approximate cooking times are based on an oven temperature of 350 degrees F, and a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
    1. 30 to 45 minutes for frozen boneless chicken breasts weighing 4 to 6 ounces.
    2. 45 to 60 minutes for frozen chicken breasts (bone-in) weighing 6 to 8 ounces.

    Can you fry chicken straight from frozen?

    Though it is not recommended, you can fry frozen chicken. To fully defrost and evenly cook your chicken, you must increase the cooking time by at least 50%. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure your chicken is fully cooked by checking its internal temperature several times.

    How long should I cook frozen fried chicken?

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the frozen pieces in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a wire rack that has been sprayed with pan release. Heat for 25-30 minutes.