Why You May Want To Avoid Buying Frozen Chicken

Chicken is an extremely popular animal protein, and one that's comparatively cheap compared to meats like beef, bison, duck, or turkey. This means that it's an extremely common food to find gracing dinner tables all over the world. As farmers began farming chickens indoors with less space (though the ethics of this practice are constantly under scrutiny), the cost to house them went down, and chicken became one of the more affordable meat options.

It is also easy to keep chicken on hand because it is such a simple food to freeze. According to the USDA, raw chicken may be safely stored in the freezer for up to 12 months and individual chicken parts for up to nine months, which means you can buy in bulk and pull out what you need as you need it, but purchasing frozen chicken isn't ideal if you prize juicy, succulent bites. 

Chicken left out to dry

Frozen chicken might be convenient, but when it comes to quality, you might be in a bit of trouble. Food & Wine tells us that when chicken goes through the freezing process, it can lose some of its moisture. So, if you are dying for some juiciest Champagne chicken or the moistest Mediterranean braised chicken thighs you can make, buy your chicken fresh and make sure the label says "fresh, never frozen" or ask your local butcher for help.

If you already have or ended up buying frozen chicken, don't worry, as we have a few suggestions on how to keep your frozen poultry juicy. According to Food Network, if you are planning to bake your chicken, it's helpful to brush the chicken with some kind of sauce, whether it be with mayonnaise, honey mustard, or melted spring herb compound butter. The oven conducts dry heat, which will dry out an already dry chicken, so this extra layer helps lock in the moisture the cut does have. You can also poach frozen chicken to keep it from becoming overly dry, by cooking in water, or a flavorful sauce, like a white wine cream or marinara sauce.