Chicken salad is a popular and well-known food that can be used as an appetizer, a side dish, or even a main course depending on how it is served. It is flavorful, easy to prepare, and a healthy option to serve at a party or social gathering. Whether you’re eating it with your family or a group of close friends, chicken salad is a good option to consider when you’re thinking about what type of food to prepare and cook. If you’re cooking a lot of chicken salad for a group of people and you end up having a considerable amount of leftovers, what should you do? Can you freeze chicken salad?
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
The answer to this question is yes, you can freeze the extra chicken salad but you need to follow some steps and exercise some caution when it comes to long-term storage so that the product will be safe to eat. Chicken salad which contains ingredients like mayonnaise or a yogurt dressing will not be safe to eat after freezing.
Also, if the chicken salad has been sitting out in the sun or in the kitchen for more than a few hours, then it would not be safe for the product to be frozen or refrigerated. The developing of bacteria on the surface of the chicken salad would be enough reason to not freeze the product because it would not be safe to eat. Chicken salad, which has been adequately refrigerated, will be good to freeze for an extended period of time.
The Freezing Process
When freezing your chicken salad, remember to be careful when you’re putting mayonnaise or a yogurt dressing in the recipe. This is because having mayonnaise or yogurt in the chicken salad during the freezing process will cause it to separate and become watery. To minimize the possibility of separation, you should stir the chicken salad in order to keep the ingredients together. To be successful with the freezing process, please adhere to the following steps:
- Place the chicken salad in a freezer bag or small container. Remove any excess air from the bag before tightly sealing it. You can remove the air by squeezing the bag or by using a vacuum sealer device.
- Next, label and date the bag(s) of chicken salad with a permanent marker. This is done to remember the date of first freezing and how long the product has been frozen for later on.
- These freezer bags should be flattened as much as possible and stored that way to allow for stacking evenly. To ensure the chicken salad’s quality after freezing, you should place the bags or containers in the coldest part of the freezer. Chicken salad that has been frozen correctly should stay good for about a period of two to three months total.
The Thawing Process
To thaw out your chicken salad, take the product out of the freezer and place it directly afterwards in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. It must be thawed completely before it can be removed from the refrigerator. Remember to not thaw the chicken salad on the kitchen salad at room temperature. By doing this, you will cause bacteria to form quickly making your chicken salad quite unhealthy to consume.
After thawing out completely, you can take your chicken salad out of the freezer bag and place the contents in a dry container and drain out of any excess water or liquid. Stir and combine again all of the ingredients together and add some cornstarch to the mixture in order to improve the texture and consistency of the chicken salad. Chicken salad, which has been previously frozen, may not be the best to eat on its own. Instead, you will want to add it as a supplement to sandwiches, or as an ingredient in pasta salad or other types of salads.
Adding some chopped or sliced vegetables, fruits to the chicken salad mixture will help reinvigorate its flavor and make it more appealing to your taste buds. The chicken salad will have lost some of its’ appeal after freezing and thawing, but adding some salt or pepper to the mixture will help increase its overall appeal. Chicken salad that has been thawed out after freezing should be eaten within two or three days of the thawing for the best tasting results. It’s important to remember to not refreeze the previously frozen chicken salad. If there is chicken salad that has gone unrefrigerated for more than two hours and has been left out in a room with warm temperatures then the product needs to be thrown out immediately.
Chicken salad is a great dish to serve to both your friends and family. Now that you know that chicken salad can last for a couple of months due to proper freezing and thawing, you and your guests will be able to enjoy this timeless dish without any worries. Enjoy!