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Old 05-21-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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An Important Chicken Question

Okay I thought I was doing a good thing and now I am not so sure. I found out today that a local store had boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.79, and today was the last day of the sale. I went out and purchased 25 lbs of chicken for the chicken nuggets that I will be making for reception.....that's a LOT of nuggets.

Well anyway, they came unwrapped and in a bulk package. Very good looking checken breasts, with very little cleaning to do. I washed them, then put them in the freezer to freeze partially where I would have an easier time of cutting them into cubes. I had planned on coating the chicken cubes this next weekend because it is a little time consuming when you need to dip in butter and then bread them. All of a sudden while I was cutting the chicken into cubes, I realized that I would be defrosting the chicken and then refreezing it before the cubes are cooked the day of the wedding.

What are your thoughts about freezing chicken, defrosting it, then refreezing it before cooking? Will it mess up the chicken? Cause contaimination? Has anyone ever frozen chicken, defrosted it and then refroze it before cooking?

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Old 05-21-2006, 02:15 PM   #2
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Yes, we have with no ill effects.

Much of the chicken we find has already been frozen.

And we then re-freeze it.

Anytime a piece of meat is frozen its flavor is degraded a bit.

But can you get away with it? Yep.

Just remember that if there are bugs, like Salmonella, on the chicken it will be on the surface and cutting it only brings it into the meat.

So move fast and freeze rapidly.

Just our opinion, am sure many others here will have their own opinion.

Great folks here, and thanks to you all.
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Old 05-21-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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If the chicken is handled properly, defrosting and refreezing it will not promote contamination. Prolonged exposure to temperatures in the 40F to F will.

Defrosting and refreezing can have a negative effect on the texture of the meat.

You have two options as I see it. Do all the work in the next couple of days and just freeze it once or freeze it twice as you described.

You probably will be OK with two freezings. I would recommend freezing them in small batches spread out on a cookie sheet (IQF - individual quick freezing) as that will speed up the freezing process and minimize cell damage.
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Old 05-21-2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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Take out of the fridge ONLY what you are working on at the moment; do not leave the thawed out chicken on the counter while you cut it all.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:48 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I was very careful. I did take only the chicken I was working without of frig. I also put on trays and put back in freezer after being cut in cubs to quick freeze before bagging them. I was being as careful as I possibly could be. :) Washed all working areas down before and after I finished chicken, quick freeze, put in gallon bags so would be easier to defrost and have smaller amount to handle at one time. Also will be very careful next weekend when I am breading and refreezing the chicken. This appetizer better be a big hit with everybody (I honestly think they will love it) because even though a regular recipe is extremely easy and goes quickly, but when you are working with 40 lbs of chicken......ARGGGGGG
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:03 AM   #6
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Different opinion.
Here there is the convintion that it's no more possible to refrigerate again something, if you have already defrost it. The reason seems to be that, in this condition, something dangerous may be generated on the surface of food. Otherwiese, it's possible to refrigerate it after cooking.
So, if so, you shoud have to cut in cubes and cook, and then refrigerate, or cut in cubes while yet frozen.
I don't know if this is correct or not: I report the indications that have been given us since a long time ago.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:27 AM   #7
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I would "maybe" do it for my family but I would never do it for serving the number of people you are describing. And it would NEVER be allowed by a licensed caterer. You are flirting with a real disaster. Are you licensed? In addition to the freezing, thawing, refreezing--and thawing again, you are handling them a lot.
Even if you say you will cook them from frozen finally, I am sorry to say I think you are flirting with a real disaster. Only a couple of breasts need to be contaminated to make someone sick.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #8
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I was always taught not to refreeze meat that is completely thawed.
That is a lot of chicken, and it's going to be standing for a while after it's cooked.
If I were you, I'd go ahead and fry the chicken up while you are coating it, then freeze on trays. It will be safe to re-freeze the cooked meat. After they're frozen, you can put them in plastic bags until the day of the wedding.
All you'll have to do then is reheat them, uncovered, in the oven.

I really think this will be the safest method. My daughter had food poisoning one time, and it's awful.
You could be letting yourself in for a whopping lawsuit if you make people sick.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:57 PM   #9
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I second Constance & Gretchen. This sounds like pretty risky business.
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