Freezer Fried Chicken

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Freezer Cooking on a Budget: Freezer Fried Chicken - a fabulous recipe that will fill your freezer!

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 ‘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.

Freezer Fried ChickenI like “lazy” freezer cooking – things that don’t take much time. Well, this one 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 chickens 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.

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

At first, it takes a bit of time, 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 (I just love the thigh!) 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!

When you’re ready to eat – grab a bag 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

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 chickens, 3-4 pounds each
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  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.

Notes

This recipe is easily doubled - prepare 6 chickens for the freezer instead of 3!

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Comments

  1. This looks so good! Have you ever tried anything other than flour? We are trying to be gluten free for a while. I think oat flour may work.
    Becky Marie recently posted…Project 52 – Week 5My Profile

    • 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.

  2. This looks yummy!! I keep thinking that I need to try some freezer meals.
    Thauna recently posted…A Spoonful of SugarMy Profile

  3. I love lazy freezer cooking too…LOL. If it’s not easy, chances I won’t do it. There are enough easy recipes out there, and ones I can do on my own to take up my time for eternity! Thanks for the recipe!
    Val @ Love My DIY Home recently posted…Survival in a Crisis: DIY Pantry Preparedness – Using Food DehydratorsMy Profile

  4. I never would have though to turn fried chicken into a freezer meal. Thanks for the tip!
    Trish recently posted…3 Reasons I Will Never Watch The Biggest Loser AgainMy Profile

  5. 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.
    frankaboutcroatia recently posted…Valentine’s Day Rant – #SundayTravelerMy Profile

  6. Wow! This is a good idea. Never thought about trying it that way. I’m pinning this!

  7. 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
    Teri recently posted…Why NOT Give YOGA a Try? How to Start Practicing Yoga At HomeMy Profile

  8. Oh, yum! I love freezer cooking, and I love fried chicken! Win! Win Win! I’m going to pin this! I’m stopping by from #SITSBlogging.
    Tammy @ creativekkids.com recently posted…Printable Valentine Cards with Crayon Hearts #valentinesMy Profile

  9. 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.
    Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories recently posted…Free Weekly Planner Printable with Menu Plan and Daily GoalsMy Profile

  10. 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.
    Theresa recently posted…Two Years LaterMy Profile

  11. What a yummy-sounding mixture! I love the fact that you point to using the oven to reheat as the microwave would completely ruin the ‘fried’ texture!
    TerriAnn @ Driving Mama recently posted…How to Adjust Your Side-View Mirrors to Avoid Blind Spots w/ TutorialMy Profile

  12. 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.

  13. That’s great! I’ll have to try this. Thanks for sharing!
    Thriftanista in the City recently posted…Getting Dressed When You Want to Wear A MuumuuMy Profile

  14. Looks yummy! :-) Thanks so much for sharing!

    Stopping by from #SITSBlogging!
    Tenns @ New Mama Diaries recently posted…Ultimate Chewy Gooey Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  15. Awesome idea, love the spice combination. This is definitely a recipe I will try. This will save me lots of time and money. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from SITS!
    Tickles & Tots recently posted…Valentine’s Day Date Night Ideas!My Profile

  16. 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!
    Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas recently posted…5 Tips for Organizing a Small Home (featuring Ingenuity™ ChairMate™)My Profile

  17. This looks so yummy! I will have to Pin for future reference!
    Stopping by way of The SITS Girls
    Tamara recently posted…Money lessons, worth a dollarMy Profile

  18. 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!

  19. This is a neat idea – i want to try it soon! Cheaper than the Colonel and probably tastier!

  20. This is genius! I am really excited to try this. My Husband loves fried chicken.
    Tammilee recently posted…Hearty Beef Stew and Beef Stew with Barley from CBS Recipe RehabMy Profile

  21. I know my husband would LOVE this! thanks for linking up with “Try a New Recipe Tuesday.” I hope you will be able to join us again this week. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2014/02/try-new-recipe-tuesday-february-18.html
    Lisa recently posted…Try a New Recipe Tuesday- February 18My Profile

  22. 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!
    Natalie recently posted…Buying a Fixer-Upper: 5 Things To ConsiderMy Profile

  23. 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!
    Crystal Green recently posted…#NaturesSleep Slippers Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  24. 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!
    Pam recently posted…Go Bananas for THESE Chocolate Treats!My Profile

  25. Awesome! Looks yummy and easy, which is always a plus!
    Rebecca @ Love at First Book recently posted…Facebook Tabs Tutorial & Free Digital DownloadsMy Profile

  26. 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!
    Becky L. recently posted…Hair Care My #TryandTell StoryMy Profile

  27. I love fried chicken and whether I freeze it or not, I’ll have to give this a try. Sounds yummy!
    vwbug recently posted…New Photo to Old with Plug-insMy Profile

  28. I never thought of pre-breading my chicken and freezing it! That would save so much time! I love this idea!!
    Ashley @ Simply Designing recently posted…DIY Floating ShelvesMy Profile

  29. This is a great idea! We like to keep frozen food on hand for busy Saturdays and lazy Sundays. I don’t fry chicken more than once a year at the most but the next time I do, I am going to fry some extra and freeze it. Pinned to my Good Eats board!
    Shirley@Intelligent Domestications recently posted…Repurpose Milk Jugs & 2 Liter Bottles for Winter Seed SowingMy Profile

  30. Wow this looks really good. I’m adding it to my Pinterest board. And thank you so much for including a printable recipe card. I really appreciate that.

  31. 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.
    Tamara recently posted…Something I Never Want to Find on my DogMy Profile

  32. YES! I desperately need to make more freezer meals, because I’m always on the go. But who isn’t?! Also…I think almond flour could work for people doing gluten free… I also really like that you did a printable. It makes the recipe soooo much easier to follow! http://lookbylizlewis.blogspot.com/

  33. 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!
    Meeghan recently posted…What is a word ladder? How can it help your beginning reader?My Profile

  34. 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!

  35. 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! :D
    Marcia @ Blogitudes recently posted…Feature Friday – Feb. 14, 2014My Profile

  36. To be honest, I never thought that the crispness would hold up, so I’m super excited to know that I can do a large batch and get use out of it over time! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Sarah’s Fare recently posted → Eggs in a Nest

  37. 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.
    Tink recently posted…New Photo to Old with Plug-insMy Profile

  38. 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!
    Lalia @ Found Frolicking recently posted…New Mom, New Year Event BLOGGER OPPMy Profile

  39. I have just really gotten into making freezer meals. This chicken recipe would be a nice one to take on a picnic if winter ever ends!

  40. 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!

  41. This looks SO good! I’ll definitely have to put it on my list of recipes to try! I’ve bookmarked your blog. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Johnnalynn Lynch recently posted…The Midi Skirt: How and When to Wear ThemMy Profile

  42. 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!
    -Stacey
    GluedToMyCraftsBlog.com

  43. YUM. I wouldn’t have thought you can freeze something like this, but it looks great! Stopping by from Blogelina Commentathon.
    Lisa {Amateur Nester} recently posted…10 Tips for Surviving InfertilityMy Profile

  44. Awesome recipe, post and blog. Not much more to say – ha ha – I love it all!!

  45. This sounds delicious! I have always wanted to try freezer cooking. Thanks for sharing!

  46. This looks terrific! I can’t wait to try this. I love quick easy delicious meals. You have a new fan!

  47. What a great idea. I love having food in the freezer for a meal that has already been prepared. That said, I don’t do much of it. this one sounds really good so maybe I will try it soon with a GF option.

  48. Thank you so very much for this! I’ve been needing to find a better way to make ‘freezer fried chicken’. Pinning for later!
    Jessi Fearon (@TheBudgetMama) recently posted…No Spend Challenge: March 2014My Profile

  49. I’ve never heard of Freezer Chicken. What a cool idea to make ahead and have it ready to go!
    Megin recently posted…6 Quick Tips to Home Organization | VMG206My Profile

  50. I am sure a lot of people, err parents, will be using this recipe quite a bit!
    Marisa Slusarcyk recently posted…Tea with GrandmaMy Profile

  51. I love it! Great idea. I am going to have to bookmark this and try it.
    Faith Still recently posted…Chicken and DumplingsMy Profile

  52. I liked the tutorial about how to cut up a whole chicken. I was buying them for our family, but could never get them cut quite right. Thanks!

  53. I love fried chicken! This is a great idea :)
    Nikki recently posted…You are beautifulMy Profile

  54. I really like how simple this looks.
    Definitely want to try this out. Thanks!
    Always Reiding recently posted…Entagled Edge :: Announcing New Reads, GiveawaysMy Profile

  55. I bet my husband would love this! Thanks for the recipe!
    Taralyn recently posted…Dr. Seuss Graduation GiftMy Profile

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