Chicken Cutlets are boneless pieces of meat gotten from a chicken’s breast. The name cutlets originate from a subset of Japanese cuisine based on western influences. Chicken cutlets are used in various recipes, and they accompany a lot of side dishes.
Chicken Cutlets can be a fast answer to a quick but acceptable family dinner. So, can this delicacy be preserved so you have some on hand or prepare it beforehand?
Can you freeze chicken cutlets? Yes, you can. Chicken Cutlets freeze very well, extending their shelf life to 9 months in the freezer. If frozen at 0°F, it would keep indefinitely. However, you cannot ascertain that your freezer maintained that temperature. For best quality, don’t freeze chicken cutlets for more than 9 months.
Freezing chicken cutlets for too long makes them prone to freezer burn. While freezer burnt food items are still safe to eat, you can’t miss the loss in taste and flavor that the freezer burn has caused. When freezing chicken cutlets, your main focus should be how to prevent freezer burn.
How to Freeze Chicken Cutlets
Chicken cutlets are used in various ways. Since it’s so easy to freeze chicken cutlets, all you need to worry about is how to prevent the chicken cutlets from freezer burn.
- Freezing Chicken Cutlets
- Freezing Breaded Chicken Cutlets
Freezing Chicken Cutlets
The preparation of any kind of meat before cooking could take a while, so it would be a lot of help if you could do all of that in one stretch and have it on hand and ready to go.
Step 1: Preparation
Get your chicken breasts ready, trim the fat, and remove the rib meat. Slide the breast in half diagonally and cut the breast into smaller pieces. Cutting your meat into smaller pieces helps them freeze well.
Step 2: Pound the Meat then, Flash Freeze
Lay the cut pieces of meat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover them with plastic wrap and pound the meat, working from the center of each one to the edges. Then, place the entire tray into the freezer till it freezes solid.
Step 3: Storage and Freezing
We have come to the most essential part of freezing chicken cutlets. The best way to prevent your chicken cutlets from getting freezer burn or at least reducing the risk is by vacuum sealing the chicken cutlets. This is the best way to cut out air and reduce freezer burn. But not everyone has access to a vacuum sealer so there are other means that can serve as a replacement.
If you would be using a Ziploc bag to hold the chicken cutlets that have now been wrapped in plastic, you can try to expel as much air as you can by pressing it flat or using a straw to suck the air out.
However, there is a trick you can exploit using the water displacement, but you need steady hands for this. After putting the half-frozen chicken cutlets that are now individually wrapped in the bag, immerse the Ziploc bag slowly in water up unto right under the seal, the water surrounding the bag should have displaced the air then, you seal it shut.
Before you put the packed meat into the freezer to freeze, label the bag with the content and date of freezing just in case you forget how long you have stored the chicken cutlets.
Freezing Breaded Chicken Cutlets
Breaded Chicken Cutlets have a shelf life of just 3 months in the freezer. When you pre-bread your chicken cutlets, you can bake them straight away without thawing.
Step 1: Breading The Cutlets
Follow the preparation process as described above. Then make your bread mixture. This is a combination of flour, panko bread crumbs, and eggs. Dip your cutlets into the mixture so that it can be coated in it then wait for it to set.
Step 2: Flash Freezing
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, and place the breaded cutlets individually on the sheet. Cover the sheet lightly with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer till it freezes solid.
Step 3: Storage and Freezing
When the breaded cutlets have frozen solid, bring them out of the freezer and pack them into Ziploc bags or airtight freezer bags. Before you seal the bags, try to expel as much air as possible.
Don’t forget to label the bags before you place them into the freezer to freeze and for best quality, eat them within 3 months.
How to Thaw Frozen Chicken Cutlets
Frozen chicken cutlets are best used as they are frozen. If you decide to thaw them, they can dry out and lose water, and might not cook or fry as well as you need them to.
For Breaded cutlets, wrap them in aluminum foil while still frozen. Place them in a preheated oven at 350°F and cook till the thickest part of the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. You can measure that using a food thermometer.
For frozen unbreaded chicken cutlets, drop them while still frozen into hot oil under warm heat. Fry each batch for five minutes while turning them over to ensure that each side fries evenly.
How to Recognize Spoiled Chicken Cutlets
When chicken is still fresh, it will display a light pink color. The first sign or indication of a spoiled chicken is the color, it begins to change from pink to gray.
If you see any discoloration, it is okay to assume that the chicken has gone bad, you can throw it out. Spoiled foods are unhealthy and can be harmful to one’s health, so do not eat them.