Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken? (How to Guide)

Marinate Frozen Chicken

Chicken is by far in-demand meat of all time in our dining tables, isn’t it? Be it grilled, roasted, fried, or stewed, it just never gets old. But one common chicken question most cooks ponder is, “Is it possible to marinate frozen chicken?”

Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken? NO. It’s not possible to marinate frozen chicken as it will not hold all the flavors that the marinade has. And, you might have a hard time massaging that chicken because it’s too cold.

What Happens When You Marinate Frozen Chicken?

Since frozen chicken retains water from freezing, it will extract more water upon thawing. Those water will mix in your marinade and it will be too watery making your mixture bland in taste.

Instead of wasting a good batch of chicken marinade, it’s best to let the meat thaw completely before marinating it. That way, the meat will be able to absorb all the flavor goodness from your marinade.

Is It Safe to Marinate Frozen Chicken If You Have No Time?

Yes, it is. As long as you completely thaw the meat before cooking. Take note that cooking your frozen chicken directly especially when raw could lead to health issues.

Your chicken might not cook well. Other than that, the meat will be less tender and juicy. Also, like what I’ve said earlier, I still recommend that you thaw the meat first before marinating.

How To Perfectly Thaw Your Frozen Chicken in No Time

Run Hot Water

If you’re really in a hurry, you can do this trick. You may also get a bucket, put some hot water in it, and submerge your chicken. Check and change the water from time to time. It should be thawed in no less than 30 minutes.

Thaw in The Fridge

This has to be done strategically. The night before I usually move my frozen meats to the chiller if I need to use them the next day.

It defrosts overnight without affecting its temperature and most of all it’s away from contaminants.

Cut the Chicken Into Small Pieces

Handle with care especially when chopping chicken with bones. Chopping the meat into small cuts will help it thaw faster.

Make sure you store the chicken in a zip-lock bag while thawing to avoid contaminants and other bacteria.

Drain the water regularly so it could thaw faster. Cook immediately once the meat is tender and soft.


Use The Microwave

This is not ideal for a whole chicken. Set your microwave to “defrost” option. Make sure you do not put too much meat so it would all defrost evenly. Defrost for about 2 minutes, check if tender and if not, repeat the process.

Take note that the edges will look a bit cooked because of the heat from the microwave. But don’t worry, it’s still safe.

How Long Does It Take To Thaw Chicken?

Ideally, meats have to be defrosted in the chiller for 24-48 hours. It’s still in the safe zone and will not harm the quality of the meat.

But when using other techniques to thaw like what we mentioned above, it’s roughly about 30 minutes.

What Is the Fastest Way to Thaw Chicken?

If you’re in dire need to cook your chicken, then your best bet is the microwave. Out of all the thawing techniques mentioned above, this is the fastest and most convenient to use. It takes less than 5 minutes to do so.

Just make sure to pay attention most of the time to avoid it from getting cooked all the way. This method is highly recommended for defrosting chicken breasts as they defrost well in the microwave.

More Chicken Thawing Tips!

  • If you can, avoid opening the bag and have your chicken be exposed to possible contaminants. Let it thaw safely and drain the liquids from defrosting.
  • Do not defrost and freeze your chicken again. The sudden temperature change can affect and destroy the quality of your chicken.
  • Once thawed, cook immediately. You can still freeze leftover cooked chicken when you need to, just not the thawed chicken.
  • Never thaw your chicken at room temperature and forget about it. Do not leave raw meat at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Again, the temperature helps the bacteria to breed in the chicken when exposed for a long time.
  • Always prepare a meal plan to avoid thawing your chicken or any meats in a quick manner.
  • Use thick zip lock bags when doing the run hot water technique. That way it won’t rip and the chicken will thaw safely.
  • When thawing chicken in the microwave, check the meat if you start seeing white parts. I recommended to stop it right away so the chicken will not go dry.

What Is The Best Thawing Technique For Me?

Whether it’s a whole chicken, boneless, or just plain chicken breasts, I’d still prefer the safest way: Thawing them in the Fridge chiller.

I do this technique every night since I always have a meal plan that I follow. To help remind myself, I have a small bulletin board on my fridge door to keep track of tomorrow’s meal plan.

When I buy meat from the grocery store, I wash them at home and divide them into small parts. I separate them into ziplock bags according to their use. That way, I don’t need to defrost too much chicken and cook for more than what we need for the meal.

But when I don’t have time and no defrosted meats ready, I usually resort to the “microwave technique”. I only do this for chicken breasts though because it works well with it. I tried doing this with chicken legs however, it takes more time.

The results when cooking is not the best since it dries the meat too quickly. Chicken breasts are easy to defrost especially when chopped into small pieces.

I know we all have our own little defrosting techniques, as long as it’s safe and doesn’t cause any harm, you should be good.


“Oven Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Chicken”

Oven Roasted Lemon-Rosemary Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 pc of lemon
  • 2 twigs of rosemary
  • 1 stalk celery
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the marinade:

For the Meat Gravy:

  • Chicken juice drippings
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper



  1. Make sure the chicken has been defrosted, washed and towel-dried.
  2. Start prepping your marinade rub.
  3. In a clean bowl, mix melted butter, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Make sure it’s mixed evenly.
  4. With your clean hands, spread a generous amount of the marinade to the chicken. Spread it throughout the skins up to the insides.
  5. Once done, start putting all the stuffings inside: lemon, rosemary, and celery.
  6. Tie the chicken neatly to avoid the stuffing from spilling.
  7. Marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Prep 1 roasting grill and 1 deep baking pan.
  3. Place the chicken onto the roasting grill and place the baking pan underneath the chicken to save all the juice drippings.
  4. Cook for about an hour or more. To check if it’s cooked, use a thermometer to check the desired internal temperature (83 degrees C) or poke a barbeque stick in the breast part, pull it out and if there is no sign of blood, it’s cooked.
  5. Rest the chicken for about 10 minutes before serving.


  1. While the chicken is resting, start prepping the gravy.
  2. Collect all the juice drippings from the chicken and transfer it to a clean bowl.
  3. In a medium-sized pan, heat some butter and cornstarch. Keep stirring until smooth inconsistency.
  4. Add the juice drippings, lower the heat, and keep stirring until thick.
  5. Season with soy sauce and salt/pepper if needed. Stir well.
  6. Do a taste test, if it’s ready to serve it with your roasted chicken.


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