Cooking with frozen chickens is always one of the easiest and quickest ways to prepare for our dinner. And the secret to this is a crockpot, a helpful appliance that you should have in your kitchen. In this post, we will show you some useful tips on using this device to cook a frozen chicken.
What is a crockpot?
A crockpot is basically a kind of slow cooker that use moist heat to cook foods over a long period. This kitchen appliance is often made with three main components, including a heating element, a glass lid, and a ceramic (or porcelain) pot.
People usually use a crockpot to simmer the foods at a lower temperature than other methods of cooking, such as frying, boiling, and baking. This will help make a tough piece of meat become tenderer, and could even be used to make a piece of bread. Therefore, you can rely on this unit for your stews, soups, or an easy dinner in the night.
These days, most of us find a slow cooker convenient to use as you are able to simply put all of the ingredients into a crockpot and then turn it on. Modern digital crockpots are often programmed with various temperatures and time settings. This means that meals could go directly to the pot from the freezer in the morning so that you can always ready to eat whenever you come home from the office.
How to cook a frozen chicken in a crockpot
In most cases, you can use the crockpot to cook a frozen chicken straight from a freezer. In other words, there is no need to thaw or pre-cook the chicken before putting it in the crockpot, which could save you a lot amount of time in cooking. The followings are a couple of simple steps to make a delicious recipe with your crockpot:
- Step 1
Adjust the heat setting of the crockpot to the high level, often from 300 to 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 2
Use cold running water to rinse all the outer and inner surfaces of the whole frozen chicken. After that, lower it into the preheated crockpot.
- Step 3
For each pound of chicken, add a cup of mixed chopped vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, and carrots. But you should remember that 3.5 cups of vegetables is quite plenty for a 3.5-pound chicken.
- Step 4
Add 1 to 2 cups of wine, beer, or water to increase the level of moisture and allow heat to pass the meat faster. If you are using moist vegetables, then use less liquid; if they are fibrous, dry vegetables, use more liquid. Keep in your mind that too much water would boil your chicken and result in a too soft piece of meat.
- Step 5
Generously season the vegetables and the top of your chicken with pepper, salt, and other spices or herbs.
- Step 6
Lower the heat of the crockpot to a low temperature or about 200ºF. When the liquid begins to bubble, cover it with the lid. This might take approximately one hour if you use a larger frozen chicken or a smaller crockpot.
- Step 7
After 6 to 8 hours of simmering, lift the lid and use a slotted spoon to get the vegetables out of the crockpot.
- Step 8
Turn back the heat up to high, then add the oil or butter and allow the meat to cook for another half to one hour without the lid. The high level of heat will help to crisp the skin of the chicken and concentrate the remaining liquids.
- Step 9
Remove the chicken for carving on a cutting board or serve it right out of the crockpot. You should use the slotted spoon to back the cooked chicken’s weight from underneath when you lift and move it to the cutting board.
How long to cook frozen chicken in a crockpot
In general, a partially frozen or frozen chicken often requires a longer time of cooking in a crockpot compared to the recipes for an oven or stovetop. As mentioned in the earlier section, you can cook the whole frozen chicken in the crockpot in about 6 to 8 hours.
The exact amount of time, of course, will depend on the size of the chicken and the heat level of the crockpot. You can make sure that the meat is cooked tender and through by using a thermometer to measure the recommended temperature.
Is it safe to use frozen chicken in your crockpot?
As more and more people are using the crockpot as a time-saver, this question is becoming a surprisingly hot topic on many online forums. And there are also tremendous debate or confusion around this problem.
Of course, you can use a crockpot to cook the whole frozen chicken. But most of reputable cookbooks, food safety resources, and cooking sites agree that it is not a good idea. This is mainly because a crockpot does not reliably make a piece of meat up to the safe level of temperature (above 140°F) quickly and evenly enough.
Your chicken would likely spend too much amount of time in the risky zone (from 40°F to 140°F), which is an ideal condition for the development of bacteria. Therefore, you should consider using a crockpot just in necessary cases to avoid serious issues to the health of your family members.
We hope that you find all of the information this article helpful. If you have any delicious and tasty recipes with frozen chickens, feel free to share with us in the comment section below. Thank you for reading.