If you ask me, chicken is always a great option when you don’t know what to have for dinner. Whether it is fried chicken marinated in buttermilk, chicken broth, chicken salad, raw chicken, or in this particular case, rotisserie chicken, you can not go wrong with it.
It is delicious, it has a great texture when prepared the right way, and it is healthy as well if consumed in moderation. One of the popular ways in which a chicken dish is prepared is by using a rotisserie, i.e. when the chicken is cooked by using direct heat on a rotisserie.
You can make your own homemade cooked rotisserie chicken or you can buy a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Either way, it will be very very crispy and juicy, in one word very delicious. But, if you often buy or make rotisserie chicken, some questions about storing rotisserie chicken arise.
“How long does rotisserie chicken stay good for?”, “How to store it properly?”, and, finally, “Can you freeze rotisserie chicken?”.
Here, I will just say that you definitely can freeze rotisserie chicken, but I will also answer some other questions related to freezing rotisserie chicken and storing it in general.
So, I recommend you stay tuned and find the answers to all of these questions.
Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Rotisserie Chicken?
Yes, you can freeze rotisserie chicken. You can freeze whole rotisserie chicken, rotisserie chicken off the bone, as well as leftover rotisserie chicken. You just need to follow the simple guidelines for each of these three variants and your chicken will be good for up to 3-4 months in the freezer.
Actually, your rotisserie chicken is safe indefinitely in the freezer but you shouldn’t keep it frozen for too long due to quality loss, as stated by the USDA.
It is recommended to store your rotisserie chicken deep in the freezer, and the internal temperature of the freezer should be 0 degrees F.
Can Rotisserie Chicken Be Frozen?
One of the most frequently asked questions related to rotisserie chicken and its storage is “Can I freeze rotisserie chicken?”. Yes, a rotisserie chicken can definitely be frozen.
It doesn’t even matter in which state your rotisserie chicken is in. You can freeze whole rotisserie chicken, as well as rotisserie chicken off the bone and leftover rotisserie chicken. It’s just a question of which state your rotisserie chicken is in.
So, in this article, I will show you how to freeze rotisserie chicken in all of these states, as well as how to defrost and reheat it.
How To Freeze Rotisserie Chicken?
As I already said, you can find yourself in a need to freeze the entire rotisserie chicken on the bone, rotisserie chicken off the bone. You might also want to freeze rotisserie chicken leftovers. Below, you will find out what to do in all three cases.
1. Freezing Whole Rotisserie Chicken
If you already know the exact date when you want to serve a whole rotisserie chicken, but you don’t have time to cook it that day, it is best to freeze it. Also, it is essential to have some extra space in the freezer. Here are the simple steps that you need to follow.
1. First, it is essential to cool down your rotisserie chicken. It is best to put it into the container and transfer that container to the fridge. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
2. Once it has cooled down, you must take the chicken out of the container to avoid condensation.
3. Transfer your whole rotisserie chicken from that container to a large freezer bag.
4. Once you place the chicken in the bag, pull out all the excess air like that of a vacuum pack in order to prevent potential freezer burn.
5. Seal the bag and label it with the exact date of storage.
6. Finally, you can place that freezer bag with rotisserie chicken into the freezer.
2. Freezing Rotisserie Chicken Off The Bone
If you plan to use shredded chicken after the freezing process, it is best to take the bone off it and freeze it. That way, you can use it in your favorite chicken salads, sandwiches, stir-fries, or soups in the exact portion that you need. Here are the steps.
1. First, you need to let the meat stay at room temperature for a while in order for it to cool a little bit.
2. Once it is cool enough so that you can pull the meat off the bones without burning yourself, you can do that. After deboning you can shred the meat into smaller pieces according to your needs.
3. Then, you can divide the meat into your desired serving sizes.
4. Once you’ve done that, you must wrap those servings of chicken meat using plastic wrap.
5. After wrapping the chicken meat properly, you are free to store those wraps in small freezer bags (freezer-friendly plastic bags) or airtight containers.
If you are using freezer bags, it is essential to pull out all the excess air to prevent potential freezer burn.
On the other hand, if you are using airtight containers, I would suggest you press some plastic wrap on top of the chicken, once again because of freezer burn.
6. You can now seal the bag or the container. Make sure that you do this properly.
7. Label the bag or the container with the exact date and store it in the deep freezer.
3. Freezing Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
If you went a little overboard with the amount of chicken and couldn’t eat it all, don’t worry, you can definitely freeze those leftovers. You just have to follow these steps in order to do that properly.
1. First, you need to remove all the bones that don’t have any meat on them.
2. Then, it is best to transfer those leftovers into the fridge and let them cool down overnight. That way, you will prevent condensation inside the freezer bag during the freezing process.
3. After those leftovers are cool, you can transfer them into one large freezer bag.
4. Press all the excess air from the bag to avoid freezer burn. You don’t want to spoil the texture of your favorite chicken meat.
5. Finally, you can label the bag with the exact date of storage and you can place it inside the fridge.
How Long Can You Keep Rotisserie Chicken In The Freezer?
One of the most important things to know when storing food in the freezer, is how long it can stay there. The same rule applies to chicken, including rotisserie chicken.
If you store it properly in the freezer, i.e. according to the guideline explained above, your rotisserie chicken’s shelf life can be extended for up to 3-4 months. In that time frame, rotisserie chicken will maintain its freshness.
However, keeping it in the freezer at 0 degrees F or lower for a long time won’t make it go bad, but it may not be that good anymore when it comes to flavor profile and texture.
It can become dried-out and chewy once defrosted. So, take that into consideration as well.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Rotisserie Chicken?
Once you decide to use it for your chicken recipe, you can not just use your rotisserie chicken frozen. You first need to thaw it properly. Here, I will show you the most effective ways of defrosting your frozen rotisserie chicken properly.
• Fridge: Thaw your frozen rotisserie chicken in the fridge. Just transfer the container or freezer bag from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
• On the countertop: You can just put your chicken on the countertop and let it thaw for not more than 2 hours. It can not be said how long that time frame is exactly because that depends on the size of the chicken. However, you will be able to clearly see once it is done.
Just don’t let it stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours because, according to the USDA, that can result in harmful bacterial growth.
• In cold water: Transfer the airtight container with rotisserie chicken to the sink filled with cold water. Let it thaw for about 3-4 hours until it’s done.
NOTE: Thawing chicken in the microwave is not recommended due to the potential drying out of the chicken meat.
How Do You Reheat Rotisserie Chicken That Has Been Frozen?
Heating your frozen and thawed rotisserie chicken is the last step in the overall process. You have to make it right and there are several ways to do that.
In The Oven
If you want to enjoy the crispy skin and juicy meat of your rotisserie chicken then it is best to reheat the whole rotisserie chicken in the oven. Here are the steps.
1. First, you need to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Then, place your thawed chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with tinfoil to trap the heat.
3. This step is a little specific because it requires chicken broth. You need to pour a cup of chicken broth into the dish. Alternatively, you can use water instead.
4. Now, you can let the chicken heat for about 20 minutes.
5. After those 20 minutes, you can remove the tin foil and drizzle your rotisserie chicken with some olive oil.
6. You can roast it for an extra 10 minutes in order to make it more crispy.
7. Finally, let it cool for about 5 minutes on the countertop, and then you can serve it.
In The Frying Pan
To keep it simple, you can always use your frying pan to reheat your favorite meat. The process is simple, as well as relatively quick. You just need to follow these steps and your chicken will be done in no time. Keep in mind that this is the process ideal for shredded meat.
1. Before putting the meat in the frying pan, you need to lubricate the surface of the pan with a little vegetable oil, so that the meat does not stick to the pan.
2. After that, you can freely place those pieces of meat in the frying pan.
3. It will take about 5 minutes on medium heat for the meat to reheat. Make sure to control the process in order to prevent the meat from burning. You can turn the chicken pieces from time to time.
4. Finally, after those 5 minutes of reheating, you can serve the chicken meat.
In An Instant Pot
The final instrument for the reheating process that I will present to you is an instant pot. It is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances that you can also use to reheat your meat. So, take a look at these steps for reheating rotisserie chicken in an instant pot.
1. You first need to prepare your chicken by wrapping it in aluminum foil.
2. After wrapping your chicken, you can pour a cup of water into the instant pot.
3. Now, you must put the trivet inside the pot and place the wrapped chicken on top of it.
4. Seal the pot and seal the vent of the pot as well.
5. Set your instant pot to “steam” and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. After that time, you can serve the meat and enjoy its crispiness.
How Long Is Cooked Rotisserie Chicken Good For?
How long is rotisserie chicken good for really depends on the way you store it.
Whether it is store-bought or homemade, it is not recommended to keep cooked chicken for more than 2 hours at room temperature because harmful bacteria can rapidly start to grow.
How Long Can Rotisserie Chicken Last In The Fridge?
Rotisserie chicken fridge life is estimated at 3-4 days if it is stored properly, i.e. if it is stored in a ziplock bag or properly sealed container.
This is the case for both store-bought rotisserie chicken and homemade ones, as well as rotisserie chicken leftovers.
In one of my recent posts, you can find out how long turkey bacon is good in the fridge.
Can You Freeze 4-Day Old Rotisserie Chicken?
The answer to this question depends on the way you’ve stored your rotisserie chicken before freezing. If you keep it at room temperature for that amount of time, it is not recommended to freeze it because of the harmful bacteria.
However, if it was in the fridge, properly stored, for that amount of time, you can freeze it following the steps explained in this article.
Freezing Rotisserie Chicken
As you could have seen in this article, the answer to the question of whether you can freeze rotisserie chicken is definitely positive.
Whether you buy a rotisserie Costco rotisserie chicken or you’re a home cook that makes your own, you just need to follow these simple steps in order to freeze it properly.I would also recommend you follow the guidelines of the thawing process as well as reheating process and your rotisserie chicken will be good to go.