If you’re a regular buyer of Costco’s rotisserie chicken, you’ll know just how delicious they are. Apart from being so tasty, Costco sells these rotisserie chicken packs at such an affordable price. With only $5, you can get one for yourself to go devour at home.
There will be days when you can’t finish the entire rotisserie chicken at once and you don’t want all that savory goodness going to waste. What do you do? It is at this point that you start wondering if it’s possible to freeze a Costco rotisserie chicken.
So, can you actually freeze Costco Rotisserie Chicken? Yes you can! Instead of trying to fit the entire chicken with all its bones in the freezer, shred the chicken off the bones and vacuum pack it. Vacuum packing eliminates air from inside the plastic bag before it’s sealed.
You can always take out the shredded rotisserie chicken on later dates and use it in preparing some other dishes.
Freezing Costco Rotisserie Chicken
Freezing Costco’s rotisserie chicken offers numerous benefits. It’s a fantastic way to save money and time, especially when you buy in bulk. You can easily freeze multiple rotisserie chickens at once, ensuring a ready source of protein for your meals. Here’s how you can do it:
- Whole Chicken: For freezing a whole chicken, use a large airtight container or a vacuum sealer for long-term storage. This method helps prevent freezer burn and retains the chicken’s quality for up to 3 months.
- Shredded Chicken: If you prefer shredded chicken, Ziploc bags work perfectly. Divide the chicken into smaller amounts and store them in the freezer. Remember to remove as much air as possible before sealing to avoid freezer burn.
A full Costco rotisserie chicken is quite much; especially if you’ll be eating it alone. Freezing is the next best option when you have plenty leftovers. However, just like several other foods, there’s a recommended time limit for which you can keep rotisserie chicken frozen. Overfreezing the chicken will result in loss of taste and quality.
Cooked rotisserie chicken retains its quality for up to 4 months in a freezer. Keeping the chicken beyond that time doesn’t make it inedible; it just won’t taste so good anymore. Make sure your freezer is always set to 0⁰F if you plan to keep the chicken beyond 4 months.
Thawing, Reheating, and Utilizing Frozen Rotisserie Chicken
Having frozen rotisserie chicken on hand is always great. But it’s essential to know how to properly thaw and reheat it to retain its delicious taste. Here’s how:
- Thawing: For a whole chicken, place it in the refrigerator overnight or in a sink filled with cold water for faster defrosting. For shredded chicken, place the Ziploc bag in the refrigerator overnight or submerge it in cold water for 2-3 hours.
- Reheating: Once defrosted, reheat the chicken in an oven-safe dish with a little chicken stock or brine at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes. This will make it taste as if you just made it.
Once defrosted, you can use the rotisserie chicken in various recipes, from pasta dishes to salads, making it a versatile addition to your meals.
How to Freeze Costco Rotisserie Chicken
Properly freezing your Costco rotisserie chicken will help preserve all the original spices and flavors. Here are some easy steps to follow:
Step 1: Cool and Shred the Rotisserie Chicken
First off, you need to avoid placing the rotisserie chicken in the freezer while it’s still hot. Freezing chicken that’s above room temperature will badly affect both texture and taste.
Allow the Costco rotisserie chicken to cool down for some time and then shred the chicken from its bones. Rotisserie chicken is better frozen when shredded than when it’s whole with bones. Shredded rotisserie chicken is an excellent addition to soups, stir fry, pizza, and quesadillas.
Step 2: Vacuum Pack the Shredded Chicken
You can divide the shredded chicken into multiple plastic bags – depending on how many whole rotisseries you’re trying to preserve. Once the chicken is in the bags, you can use a machine to do the vacuuming and sealing.
If you don’t have an automatic vacuum and sealing machine at home, you can use a manual pump instead.
The point of vacuum sealing is to increase how long the frozen chicken can last. Vacuum packing eliminates all the air within the plastic bag and helps slow bacteria action. The process also prevents freezer burn by cutting the rotisserie chicken’s contact with cold freezer air.
Step 3: Place in a Secure Freezer Compartment
Part of maintaining the shredded rotisserie’s integrity is placing it in a safe freezer compartment. Considering that the chicken has been shredded to smaller bits, it won’t be okay to place it in a compartment with heavier items.
Look for a clear space where you don’t usually place much items and secure your rotisserie shreds there.
How to Reheat Frozen Costco Rotisserie Chicken
When you’re finally ready to eat the frozen rotisserie chicken, you’ll need to reheat correctly. Properly reheating the rotisserie chicken ensures that you get back the wonderful taste and texture that it originally had. Make sure you do the heating in an oven.
First you’ll have to preheat your oven to 350⁰F. Get the chicken out of the sealed plastic bags and spread it on the oven dish. Before you put the dish in the oven, add some chicken broth to the chicken for texture preservation.
Heat in the oven for about half an hour and then take it out. At this point, the room should be filled with the smell of tasty Costco rotisserie chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some of the common questions people ask about frozen Costco rotisserie chicken:
How Long Can You Keep Frozen Rotisserie Chicken?
The flavor and texture of Costco rotisserie chicken can be safely preserved in a freezer for up to 4 months. However, it is paramount that you seal the chicken correctly in a vacuumed plastic bag before storing in a freezer.
If the freezer is consistently kept at 0°F, you can still eat frozen rotisserie chicken after 4 months; although the quality of taste and texture would have been compromised by then.
Can You Freeze a Costco Rotisserie Chicken on the Bone?
Personally, I’d prefer to shred the chicken off its bones before putting it in a sealed plastic bag. Shredding the chicken off the bone helps it to freeze better.
How Long is Rotisserie Chicken Good for Out of the Fridge?
Cooked rotisserie chicken can last for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. However, if the chicken is left at room temperature beyond 2 hours, bacteria action sets in and the chicken will no longer be suitable for eating.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cooked chicken that’s kept at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F should be disposed of after 2 hours because bacteria would have grown quickly within that period.
How Do I Know If Costco Rotisserie Chicken is Bad?
When you’ve kept rotisserie chicken in poor conditions for some time, it starts to smell bad. The chicken also feels slimy when touched. If you observe any of these signs, make sure to toss the chicken.
Consuming spoilt rotisserie chicken can potentially make you sick.
With that in mind, make sure you follow the previously discussed steps on how to properly freeze leftover Costco rotisserie chicken. If you get it right, that delicious avian delicacy can be used to make other dishes on a later date.