Freezer Fried Chicken

One of my husband’s guilty pleasures is that red box of Banquet fried chicken you can find in the freezer section of many grocery stores. Occasionally we’ll grab a box when we can get it on sale but, since I started making our own version of easy Freezer Fried Chicken, we haven’t felt the need. For less than $6 a meal (less if you can find whole chickens cheaper than I can which is usually 2 birds for $10) you can stock your freezer with a quick and easy meal.

This is the best freezer cooking method for homemade easy freezer fried chicken. Try this easy chicken recipe - you won't be disappointed!

Easy freezer fried chicken

I like “lazy” freezer cooking – things that don’t take much time. Well, this freezer fried chicken recipe has lots of work up front, but it is so worth the time saved later on. Once you have bags of freezer fried chicken packed away the only tough job is turning on the oven (well, you might want to make a side dish or two)!

So let’s get started! You’ll need:

  • whole chickens 3-4 pounds each – at least 3 but 6 is better (more work but you’ll have 6 meals in the freezer!)
  • all-purpose flour
  • cornmeal
  • cornstarch
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • dried oregano
  • dried sage
  • eggs
  • oil for frying

Ingredient amounts will depend on how many batches of freezer fried chicken you decide to make – the printable recipe at the bottom will have enough dry mix to coat 3 chickens so double if you’re planning to prepare 6 chickens. I usually try to do 6 chickens at once – more work but more easy meals ready to go when I don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen.

The first step is to get the chickens cut up and ready to cook.

At first, it takes a bit of time to butcher the birds for this freezer fried chicken, but once you’re used to doing this step it goes fairly quickly. Here’s a quick tutorial on cutting up a whole chicken. I like to use whole chickens because we all have our favorite cuts so everyone gets what they want this way.

If you’re using whole chickens, you’ll have 8 pieces from each chicken when you’re finished (2 breast pieces each cut in half and the 2 legs cut in half). You could add the wings as well but I like to collect all the wings and save them for another meal (even more savings!). And don’t toss the backbones and wingtips. Throw those in a pot covered with water and some salt & pepper and any leftover vegetable bits that are getting limp in your crisper. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and put in jars in the freezer – homemade stock (more savings! Cha-ching!).

Okay, chickens are cut up and ready to go. Let’s move on to the breading.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, and seasonings. Whisk it up and set it aside. Now we’re ready for get those birds ready to fry!

While you’re getting the chicken breaded get a 12-inch nonstick skillet on the stove and add about an inch of oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the oil come up to temp – about 375.

While the oil is heating, get the chicken ready to fry.

You’ll need 3 shallow containers. In one crack a few eggs and add some water and give it a whisk with a fork. In the second container add a heaping cup of the breading mixture (don’t dump it all in! You’ll have leftover flour mixture. Save the extra breading for pork chops or fish). Take a piece of chicken and dip in the egg before rolling in the flour mixture. Set it aside in the third container while you coat more pieces.

When the oil is hot and you have 7 or 8 pieces of chicken breaded and ready to go, gently add them to the pan, being careful not to crowd them. Fry about 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is golden and crispy. Flip and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes before removing the pieces to a cookie rack set over a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all the chicken is fried and cooled, divide up between labeled freezer bags. Let cool completely before sealing the bags and putting them in the freezer, laying the bags flat so the pieces don’t freeze in one big lump. Now the hard work is done – you have a stash of freezer fried chicken ready for quick weeknight dinners!

When you’re ready to eat – grab a bag of freezer fried chicken from the freezer and preheat your oven to 350. Put the frozen pieces of chicken on a pan (you could also thaw the chicken, I just never think that far ahead!) and bake for 1 hour (30 minutes if the chicken is thawed). Make a side-dish or two and you’re set!

Right from the freezer!

Freezer Fried Chicken
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried or ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 chickens, 3-4 pounds each
  • oil for frying
  1. Cut the chicken into pieces. After setting aside the wings you should have 8 pieces for frying. (2 legs cut in half and 2 breasts cut in half.)
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, salt, and remaining seasonings in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  3. In a shallow dish, whisk the two eggs and water. Put 1 heaping cup of breading mixture in another shallow dish.
  4. While working on chicken bring oil up to temperature - in a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees.
  5. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture before rolling the breading. Set aside and continue coating the remaining pieces.
  6. When oil is hot, add 6-8 pieces of chicken, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook 3-5 minutes, until chicken is golden brown. Turn and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes.
  7. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack set over a paper towel lined cookie sheet.
  8. Cook remaining chicken the same way.
  9. Once all the chicken has cooled, place 8 pieces in labeled freezer bags. Cool completely before sealing the bags and placing them flat in the freezer.
  10. To cook from frozen: Preheat oven to 350. While oven is heating place chicken pieces on a baking pan. Bake for 1 hour or until juices run clear.
  11. To cook thawed: Preheat oven to 350. While oven is heating place thawed chicken pieces on a baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.
This recipe is easily doubled - prepare 6 chickens for the freezer instead of 3!

Like my easy freezer fried chicken recipe? Check out my Cooking at The Sunny Patch board on Pinterest!

Follow Tonia @ The Sunny Patch’s board Cooking at The Sunny Patch on Pinterest.


    • says

      That is on my list to try. I’m (slowly!) trying to go wheat free. My husband does NOT want me to mess with this recipe but I am tempted to try. Oat flour sounds like a good substitute.

  1. says

    Great recipe and tips. Homemade food is so much better than boxed food from the grocery stores. And yes, to make your own stock is so easy and delicious, and you can use it in risotto and as a base of so many sauces. This is something we always have in our freezer. We make often vegetable, chicken or fish stock.

    Glad to find your blog through SITS comment marathon.

  2. says

    What a great idea! I would have never thought to fry it first and then freeze it, but you’re right – that’s how the Banquet chicken is… I’ll have to give it a try! #SITSBlogging #CommentLove

  3. says

    I love this idea. I’ve been trying really hard to cut back on the preservatives our family eats. What a great way to get healthy chicken in the freezer when we need a quick meal! Stopping by from #SITSBlogging comment love! I pinned this and going to follow your social media too.

  4. says

    lol, all these food posts are making me hungry! I’m typically not a fried chicken kinda girl, but this is making me rethink some things. This is such an awesome idea. I usually wash and bag my chicken, but I’ve never thought about preparing it first and then bagging it to cut down on time when I’m in a rush. Ingenious! Thank you for sharing.

  5. says

    This is great. I am a big fan of keeping things simple. I love to spend one day cooking and then freezing. It is so nice to go from freezer to oven. And it saves money. I am going to try this recipe.

  6. says

    I am loving the idea of being able to just pull the chicken out of the freezer and tossing it in to cook. We have stopped buying all prepackaged foods, so this would be a great way to indulge our “fast food” cravings in a much better way!

  7. says

    Wow, I didn’t actually realize that there was a way to freeze homemade fried chicken and cook it again and have it be crispy, that’s pretty cool! Fried chicken is one of my favorite dishes that I make…but I usually only make enough for one dinner!

  8. says

    I love fried chicken as much as the next Southern gal, but I never thought about freezing it to save time and money. This recipe will definitely be in heavy rotation at our house!

  9. says

    This looks so good. I think it’s a wonderful idea to cook up a big batch and then freeze it for future meals. I personally don’t like cooking in big batches, but it’s definitely a smart way of doing things!

  10. says

    Looks yummy. I love freezer cooking – it does make life so much easier (and you definitely save money). I also use whole chickens in my cooking – love that free stock! Glad you’ve found a good substitute for a freezer food – when you make your own version, not only do you save money, you also know exactly what ingredients are in the meal – so you can be sure it’s much healthier for you!

  11. says

    Ooh this looks delicious and convenient! My mother, sister and I are planning a freezer cooking day and I’m adding this to the list. I’m just dipping my toes into the freezer cooking waters, but I’m already loving it!

  12. says

    I love fried chicken. This is a really clever idea. I like to buy lots of meat and put it in the freezer for later. Your recipe is a great way to have a tasty meal without all the time it takes to fry it up.

  13. says

    Great idea! I never knew you could freeze the chicken with all the breading already on it. Thanks for sharing! I will be having a baby in a few months, and I will definitely use this!

  14. says

    I saw that someone asked about making the recipe gluten-free. I have been g-free for many years, and this is an easy fix. Just use a gluten-free flour blend, one that is a basic blend. They are available all over now. I think this is a great recipe to try and would be nice to have fried chicken again. It’s been so long!

  15. says

    I love this idea and will definitely be trying it out! Getting meals prepared ahead of time & freezing them is something that I really need to start doing. Would make my life much easier down the road. Thanks so much for sharing this! 😀

  16. says

    Am so going to try this out. My husband loves fried chicken but since it is only the two of us now, I rarely make it. This would allow me to get some made and put away so he could have it more often.

  17. says

    Your instructions look very easy to follow, and all the pictures are great! This is a great, more wholesome alternative to buying store-bought. Another wonderful thing about homemade is you can control the sodium content, too! Every time I buy store-bought anything, I always note SOMETHING or other I’d change about it. I’ll buy cookies that are too sweet, a lasagna that is overkill on the cheese, or even crackers that are too salty. Homemade allows way more control in all aspects (using gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, organic, etc. ingredients), and is such a wonderful way to tailor a food to ones tastes. This looks like a great option for many. It’s nice to have foods ready in the freezer for the days when you’re short on time!

  18. says

    Yumm! I bookmarked this to come back to. I have 30 pounds of chicken in my freezer. It’s actually boneless, skinless but I could still do a version of this. Right on time!

  19. says

    Every time I go food shopping, I’m tempted to buy fried chicken at the deli counter. {it smells so good!} But I hate their prices. Now I have a recipe that I can make at home – for half the price and I can freeze it! Thanks for sharing!


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