You can freeze rotisserie chicken and it can be frozen up to 4 months while maintaining it’s quality as long as it’s stored at or below 0°F.
Whether homemade or purchased from a local grocery store, rotisserie chickens are both delicious and versatile. They can be enjoyed whole or used in sandwiches and salads, with the bones repurposed for a flavorful soup broth.
But what if you live alone or can’t consume the rotisserie chicken before it spoils in the refrigerator after five days? How can you preserve its freshness?
Read on for the best ways to store and defrost your rotisserie chicken, its shelf life, and answers to other questions you may have about freezing and storing it for the best quality rotisserie chicken.
Can You Freeze Cooked Rotisserie Chicken?
Freezing meat is an effective preservation method, as it typically lasts only 5-7 days in the refrigerator before spoiling.
You might wonder if a cooked rotisserie chicken can be frozen. The answer is yes, you certainly can.
Freezing a cooked rotisserie chicken is an excellent way to store it for later use in sandwiches, soups, wraps, salads, or reheating and eating whole. You can freeze the entire chicken or store it in portions, either on or off the bone.
Freezing A Whole Rotisserie Chicken
Imagine finding a great deal on rotisserie chickens but knowing you won’t be able to consume them all before they spoil in five days.
Can you freeze a whole rotisserie chicken? You certainly can freeze a whole chicken by following specific steps to maintain its freshness.
Keep in mind that if you freeze the whole rotisserie chicken, you’ll need to defrost and use the entire thing within a few days, as refreezing isn’t recommended.
This method is ideal for those who plan to eat a complete rotisserie chicken and don’t need smaller portions.
Storing a Whole Rotisserie Chicken:
- Let the chicken cool completely. Refrigerating it overnight helps prevent condensation buildup in the freezer bag, which could affect the taste after freezing and thawing.
- Remove the chicken from its original container.
- Find the largest freezer bag available and label it with the date and contents.
- Place the chicken inside the bag, gently pressing out all the air to prevent freezer burn. Seal the bag.
- Put the rotisserie chicken in the freezer.
- For optimal freshness, defrost and consume the frozen rotisserie chicken within four months. While it can be stored longer, the taste may be compromised.
Freezing Rotisserie Chicken Off The Bone
If you’ve enjoyed your rotisserie chicken and want to store the remaining meat in the freezer, you can easily remove it from the bone.
This method is great for those who plan to use the chicken in soups, salads, wraps, or sandwiches, as it can be shredded and portioned.
In this case, use small freezer bags or airtight containers. Follow the instructions below to safely freeze your boneless rotisserie chicken.
Freezing Shredded Rotisserie Chicken:
- Let the chicken cool completely to avoid burning your fingers while cutting it up. Refrigerating overnight prevents condensation buildup in the containers, which can affect the chicken’s taste and texture once thawed.
- After cooling, remove the meat from the bone. Shred or store it in larger pieces, depending on your preference.
- Portion the meat, considering how much you’ll consume within a few days of defrosting to prevent spoilage.
- Place the portioned rotisserie chicken into freezer bags or airtight containers. If using bags, press out all the air before sealing. If using containers, consider placing plastic wrap over the chicken to minimize freezer burn risks.
- Label the bags or containers with the date and contents.
- Place the portioned rotisserie chicken in the freezer, using it within four months for the best taste. Storing it longer may affect the flavor and texture.
Freezing Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
Another option for freezing rotisserie chicken is storing partially consumed chicken still on the bone.
Yes, you can freeze a partially eaten, bone-in rotisserie chicken and enjoy it later.
To ensure the freshness of your partially consumed bone-in rotisserie chicken, follow these steps:
- After eating as much rotisserie chicken as desired, remove and discard any bones without meat (or save them for making broth).
- Once all unwanted bones are removed, let the chicken cool in the refrigerator overnight to avoid condensation buildup in the freezer bag.
- This can affect the taste and aroma of your chicken once thawed.
- Find the largest freezer bag available, and label it with the date and contents using a permanent marker.
- Once your chicken is chilled, place it in the freezer bag.
- Gently press all the air from the bag and seal it. Ensuring no air remains inside helps prevent freezer burn or dry, chewy chicken after thawing.
- Place the chicken in the freezer and use it within four months for optimal freshness and taste. It can be stored longer, but the taste may not be as good once thawed.
How Long Can a Rotisserie Chicken Be Frozen?
If you’ve stored a rotisserie chicken in freezer bags or airtight containers with content and date labels, you’ll want to know how long it will last.
When properly stored, your rotisserie chicken can stay fresh in the freezer for up to four months.
As long as the temperature remains below 0°F, your rotisserie chicken can be stored in the freezer indefinitely.
However, the longer it stays in the freezer, the more likely it is to develop freezer burn, which can negatively impact its taste and texture.
How To Properly Thaw a Rotisserie Chicken?
When it’s time to defrost and use your frozen rotisserie chicken in meals, you’ll need to know how to thaw it properly to maintain its taste and texture.
It’s easy to remove the chicken from the freezer and let it sit on the countertop for a few hours until softened. If you have a whole frozen rotisserie chicken, you may want to place it in the refrigerator for a few hours before letting it sit on the countertop for a couple of days.
The more portions of chicken you need to thaw, the longer it will take. If you’re in a hurry, you can submerge the freezer bags in warm (not hot) water to speed up the process.
Boneless, portioned chicken in bags thaws more quickly than whole or partially eaten chickens.
After thawing, use your rotisserie chicken in any dish requiring cooked chicken. It’s delicious cold in salads, sandwiches, wraps, or eggs. It’s also great warmed up and crisped in a baking pan!
Ways to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken:
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F, place the chicken in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and add 1/2-1 cup of chicken broth to the dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil, drizzle with olive oil, and roast for 5-10 more minutes to crisp the skin. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Air Fryer: For the crispiest skin and juiciest meat, reheat your chicken in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F, cut the chicken into smaller pieces if necessary, and place it in the basket or on racks. Cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired crispness.
Other Ways to Use Thawed Rotisserie Chicken
One delicious way to use cold leftover rotisserie chicken is to chop it up and make chicken salad. This versatile ingredient can be used to create traditional chicken salads or Mexican-inspired versions.
Here are some of the many ways you can use thawed rotisserie chicken:
- Chicken Quesadillas: Combine shredded rotisserie chicken with cheese, sautéed onions, and bell peppers, then cook in a tortilla until crispy and golden brown. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for a tasty, quick meal.
- Chicken Fried Rice: Stir-fry cooked rice with vegetables, diced rotisserie chicken, and scrambled eggs. Season with soy sauce, garlic, and green onions for a delicious and easy weeknight dinner.
- BBQ Chicken Pizza: Spread your favorite barbecue sauce on a pizza crust, top with shredded rotisserie chicken, red onions, and mozzarella cheese. Bake until the crust is crispy and the cheese is bubbly, then garnish with fresh cilantro.
- Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry: Sauté your choice of vegetables with diced rotisserie chicken and your favorite stir-fry sauce. Serve over rice or noodles for a satisfying and healthy meal.
- Chicken Pot Pie: Combine shredded rotisserie chicken with mixed vegetables in a creamy sauce, then top with a pre-made pie crust or puff pastry. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly for a comforting, hearty dish.
By using thawed rotisserie chicken into these recipes and more, you’ll be able to make the most of your frozen chicken and create a wide variety of satisfying and delicious meals.
As you can see, you can easily store a whole rotisserie chicken in an airtight freezer bag for up to four months while maintaining its freshness.
You can also remove the chicken from the bone and store it in smaller portions for convenient use in wraps, sandwiches, salads, soups, and more.
If you’re freezing an entire rotisserie-cooked chicken, you can reheat it in the oven or an air fryer for crispy skin and juicy, moist meat, making for a delicious and easy meal.
For a creative and tasty meal option, use the remaining meat to make various types of chicken salads, such as a classic chicken salad with mayonnaise, celery, and grapes, or a zesty southwestern chicken salad with black beans, corn, and avocado.
Experiment with different recipes and combinations to enjoy your rotisserie chicken in new and exciting ways. By properly storing, thawing, and reheating your frozen rotisserie chicken, you can extend its shelf life and savor its delicious flavors for months to come.