Read This Before Putting Frozen Chicken In The Oven

Who hasn't been there? It's 4 p.m. on a weekday and you realize you not only forgot to pick-up your dry cleaning, but you completely spaced and forgot to defrost the chicken for your famous Chicken Alfredo recipe. What do you do? You could order out and get Chick-fil-A instead, but that doesn't fit your budget and you are trying to limit your fast food. You could also change your dinner plans completely and opt for plan B, which is your kids' favorite Kraft macaroni and cheese. Or, do you cook the frozen chicken and hope for the best? 

Is it safe to cook chicken before it has thawed? Cooking chicken right — ensuring it isn't too tough or too dry — is a challenge in and of itself even when you do remember to defrost your chicken. What to do? First, don't stress, and second, the short answer is yes, per the USDA, you can safely cook your chicken in the oven or on the stove if it is frozen, right out of the freezer. Of course, there are a few rules to follow to keep everyone healthy and safe that you need to know before you put your frozen chicken in the oven.

Frozen chicken will need to be cooked 50 percent longer

Per Cooking Light, you can still make your Chicken Alfredo even if you are cooking the chicken straight out of your icy cold freezer; however, they say you need to be prepared to be in your kitchen a little longer than normal. You will need to cook your chicken the normal amount of time, but then add on to that time by 50 percent. For example, if you would normally cook your chicken for 30 minutes, you will need to cook your frozen chicken for 45 minutes. 

But if you are using a slow cooker, this won't work. You should not cook frozen chicken using this method. Sorry. You will have to go with the mac and cheese option if the slow cooker was in your cooking plans. Why? Cooking Light theorizes that it is because of that pesky "danger zone" that the USDA warns about where food is at 90 degrees for too long allowing for bacteria to grow (via USDA). Because the slow cooker does just that, i.e. cooks slowly, frozen chicken may fall victim to this danger. So be safe and use your oven or stovetop.