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Jul 13, 2012 04:28 AM

Freezer burned chicken

I recently made the mistake of entrusting my non-cooking boyfriend to put away the groceries. I didn't realize until too late that the huge package of boneles skinless chicken breast was tossed into the freezer without being broken into smaller packages or wrapped for the freezer. I now have an expensive package of badly freezer-burned chicken breast.

Should I call it a loss/lesson learned? Or is there anything I can do with them?


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  1. Thaw them and cut away the burned areas +. If it still smells like freezer burn then toss. There will be some degradation in texture due to the loss of moisture but could depend

    2 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      I agree with thawing and trimming. Then poach the chicken. If the result tastes okay, you've got the makings of soup, and you can freeze the cooked meat you don't use immediately for future meals of chicken salad, fajitas, etc. Worst case scenario if the cooked meat and broth taste freezer-burned: Here, Rover! Here, Kitty!

      1. re: greygarious

        Good call on these! I never think to poach chicken but it's definitely worth a shot. Although this is another one of those times when I wish I had a pet!

    2. i'd call it a lesson learned myself.

        1. re: hawkeyeui93

          It's been 3-4 weeks. I left it at his place after a grocery shopping trip but kept forgetting to grab it from the freezer (much less look in his freezer) when I am over there. So, it hasn't been too horribly long- but long enough that it looks kinda scary!

          1. re: wandajune6

            Duration really doesn't matter, other than the depth of the freezer burn. Once there's FB, if you eat it and can taste it, the dish is ruined. If it's not edible, surely you know someone with a pet who'd be ecstatic to have it. Just don't regift it to pets if you've used a lot of onion, which can cause anemia in cats and dogs. Garlic likewise, but not as easily.

        2. Any BS (boneless skinless) or bone-in chicken parts that wind up with freezer burn in my household ends up briefly brined, poached and then put in a batch of white chicken chili.

          If used as a naked protein, you will notice the burn.

          If mixed in with a batch of spicy cheesey, chile, bean love, it goes unnoticed.

          Pollo pibil is a second solution I use.

          I cook and shred and do chicken enchiladas with it too in a pinch.

          No need to toss in the bin. Just reperpouse.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jjjrfoodie

            Cut off the freezer burn, you don't need to get over agreesive and hack huge chunks off.
            Make a stir fry or a curry with the chicken and you'll never notice.

            1. re: evansp60

              Chicken curry could be good. I was thinking that it would be too rough for a stirfry but it's worth a shot. Thanks!

            2. re: jjjrfoodie

              Good call! It never occured to me to use it in chili! I never make a white chili but it could be perfect- and something I can do in the crockpot without heating up the house too much.


              1. re: wandajune6

                I just took a package of rather freezer burned chicken thighs out the other night, browned them in a bit of oil, stirred in some curry powder & let it toast a little, added a bunch of sliced onions, and when they began to soften, added a bit of chicken stock and a can of coconut milk. I covered it and let it simmer really slowly for a couple of hours. turned out fine. Freezer burn is really just the (drastic) loss of moisture, if you heavily moisten and spice it up, it should taste just fine. Curry or chili seems like a good bet, and you can use the crockpot for either one.

              2. re: jjjrfoodie

                Is the taste pretty well covered with the chicken chili? I've got a large bag of freezer burnt chicken that I will have to re-purpose, and I don't really want to ruin other ingredients if it only turns out to be slightly more edible than the naked version.

              3. Or you could dump him, I am single and very aware of freezing foods.