Chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A are one of my favorite meals from their fast food menu. There are days when I settle for the 8-piece combo, which is sold for just $5.95, and hungrier days when I order the 30-piece nuggets for a fair price of $14.69.
Chick-fil-A nuggets are quite delicious and can be enjoyed together with friends and family. It is possible that you’ve made a large order of these tasty chicken nuggets – because of how hungry you were feeling – but now you’re having trouble finishing it all. So, what do you do? Would you choose to be wasteful or choose to preserve the leftovers somehow?
At this point you may be wondering: can you freeze Chick-fil-A nuggets? Yes, you can freeze Chick-fil-A nuggets. Freezing is popularly used to safely prolong the shelf life of so many food items and lucky for us, Chick-fil-A nuggets are among those food items. Freezing can prolong the shelf life of Chick-fil-A nuggets for up to 3 months; although the nuggets will remain indefinitely edible if kept in the freezer at a temperature of 0⁰F.
Considering how chicken nuggets are already boneless, you won’t have to do the shredding that is usually related to other chicken meals with bones. However, you should know that even though your Chick-fil-A nuggets will keep indefinitely in the freezer, it is best to consume them during the first 3 months of freezing.
There are a couple of important things to know when you want to freeze your Chick-fil-A nuggets. For instance, you shouldn’t leave Chick-fil-A nuggets out on the counter at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Once the chicken nuggets have been exposed to room temperature beyond 2 hours, you’ll need to dispose of them. Always make sure you freeze the chicken nuggets within the first 2 hours of purchasing them.
Freezing Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
A short-term alternative to freezing Chick-fil-A nuggets is to keep them in the fridge. Refrigeration preserves Chick-fil-A nuggets for about a day or two – but the chicken nuggets must have been correctly packaged before being placed in the fridge. Anyone who wishes to preserve their Chick-fil-A nuggets beyond 2 days will need to make use of the freezer.
Leaving the Chick-fil-A nuggets to sit out at room temperature will never work as a means of preservation. At temperatures ranging from 40⁰F to 140⁰F, bacteria multiply rapidly and cause foods to spoil.
How to Freeze Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
Failure to freeze Chick-fil-A nuggets correctly will result in the nuggets losing their original texture and most of their original taste. Some correct steps to follow when freezing Chick-fil-A nuggets include:
Step 1: Let the Chick-Fil-A Nuggets Cool
You must never freeze your Chick-fil-A nuggets, or any other foods, while they’re still hot. The presence of hot food in the freezer will cause the freezer’s temperature to rise. When that happens, the other food items in the freezer will repeatedly thaw and refreeze, which can cause them to lose their quality.
Allow the Chick-fil-A nuggets to cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes before you start packing them for the freezer. However, you must be careful not to leave the chicken nuggets exposed to room temperature for a prolonged period of time.
Step 2: Vacuum Pack the Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
Vacuum packing is a key procedure in freezing that helps to extend the shelf life of frozen food items. Grab one or more resealable freezer-safe bags that can contain all the Chick-fil-A nuggets you want to preserve. After that, you can go ahead to remove as much air as possible from the bags with an automatic vacuum sealing machine.
If you do not have one of those at home, you can make use of manual alternatives to remove air from the resealable freezer-safe bags. Push a straw through the freezer bag’s opening and suck out as much air as possible. After that, quickly seal the bag so that air doesn’t escape back in.
The removal of air will protect the frozen Chick-fil-A nuggets from freezer burn caused by direct exposure to cold freezer air.
Step 3: Locate a Secure Freezer Compartment to Keep the Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
Chicken nuggets have a sort of tender texture. It is important to protect that original texture all through the process of freezing. However, the texture’s integrity will be compromised if you place heavy items on top of the freezer-safe bag containing the Chick-fil-A nuggets.
Try locating a clear area/compartment in the freezer that doesn’t receive too much traffic. You should also label the freezer-safe bag with the current date so that you can always know how long the Chick-fil-A nuggets have been frozen for.
How to Reheat Frozen Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
The time will come when you want to eat the Chick-fil-A nuggets that you kept frozen in the freezer. You should make sure that the Chick-fil-A nuggets are consumed within the first 3 months of freezing – that’s the best way to guarantee you’ll enjoy the original taste and texture of the nuggets.
Take the Chick-fil-A nuggets out of the freezer and preheat your oven to 350⁰F. Transfer the frozen Chick-fil-A nuggets from the freezer-safe bag into an oven dish or tray. Place the chicken nuggets in the oven and leave them there till they’re heated well enough.
How to know if Chick-Fil-A Nuggets are Bad?
It is never a good idea to eat bad food. Although the side effects may not be extreme, it can still give you a mild case of food poisoning. Chick-fil-A nuggets that have been exposed to room temperature for over 2 hours will have started going bad. The chicken nuggets will have an off smell and an appearance that isn’t so visually appealing. The chicken might also feel slimy to touch.
Once any of these features is observed, you need to toss the Chick-fil-A nuggets in the trash.
How Long do Chick-Fil-A Nuggets Last in the Fridge?
If they’ve been packed correctly, Chick-fil-A nuggets can be safely preserved through refrigeration for up to 2 days. The long-term alternative to refrigeration is freezing; which preserves the chicken nuggets for up to 3 months.