Can You Boil Frozen Chicken?

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By: Tom Valenti


Have you ever tried to make a meal in a hurry but didn’t feel like waiting for the chicken to thaw? You may have thought about throwing frozen chicken into a boiling pot of water, and wondered: “Can you boil frozen chicken?” Thankfully, the answer is yes: You can boil frozen chicken! Boiling frozen chicken requires a few extra precautions compared to thawing and cooking regular chicken – but is definitely possible.

So whether you’re looking for instructions to boil frozen chicken or just need an answer to the question “Can You Boil Frozen Chicken?” – read on for more information about all the steps necessary for successfully boiling frozen chicken safely at home.


Can You Boil Frozen Chicken?

The short answer is yes – you can boil frozen chicken. However, boiling frozen chicken requires extra caution and attention to ensure that it’s cooked safely and evenly throughout. If the chicken isn’t handled correctly during the boiling process, it could end up undercooked in the middle or overcooked on the outside.

To prevent this from happening, you should not cook a frozen chicken over direct heat or in a microwave. These methods can cause the chicken to cook unevenly, leaving it undercooked in some areas and overcooked in others.

For best results, the USDA recommends that you should cook frozen chicken gradually in liquid. This means that you should slowly heat the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). Once this temperature is reached, the chicken is safe to consume.

How to Boil Frozen Chicken?

How to Boil Frozen Chicken


  • Lipped pot large enough to hold the chicken with lid
  • Tongs or a spoon
  • Measuring thermometer (optional)


  • Frozen chicken:  Any cut of chicken, such as breasts, thighs or wings can be used
  • Water: Enough to cover the chicken in the potInstructions
  • Salt (optional)
  • Seasonings such as black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, or chicken bouillon cube (optional)
  • Aromatics such as onion, garlic, or ginger (optional)

Instructions to Boil Frozen Chicken

Step 1: Place the frozen chicken in the pot, and cover it with cold water. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the chicken completely.

Step 2: Add seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs or a chicken bouillon cube if desired. 

Step 3: Add aromatics such as onion, garlic or ginger to the pot if desired.

Step 4: Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 5: Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for about one hour until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). You can use a measuring thermometer to check the temperature.

Step 6: Use tongs or a spoon to remove the chicken from the pot, and let it rest for five minutes before serving.

How Long to Boil Frozen Chicken?

How Long to Boil Frozen Chicken

The time to boil frozen chicken will depend on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. Thicker pieces of chicken, such as breasts or thighs, will take about 30-35 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Thinner pieces, such as wings or tenders, will take about 20-25 minutes while the whole chicken takes about 1 hour. When in doubt, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken – it should be at least 165°F (74°C) before consuming.

It’s important to note that boiling frozen chicken can take longer than cooking regular chicken. This is because the frozen chicken needs to thaw during the boiling process before it can reach a safe temperature for consumption.


How To Shred Chicken?

Once the chicken is cooked, it can easily be shredded with two forks or your fingers. Pull apart the pieces until it’s in small shreds that are ready to be used in recipes.

Is it OK to Boil Chicken From Frozen?

Yes, it is safe to boil frozen chicken, provided you follow the steps outlined above. It’s important to make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165°F (74°C) before consumption.

Can You Boil Frozen Chicken Without Defrosting?

Yes, you can boil frozen chicken without defrosting it first. However, be aware that it will take longer to reach a safe temperature since the chicken needs to thaw during the boiling process.

How Long do You Boil Frozen Chicken Drumsticks?

Frozen chicken drumsticks usually take about 30-35 minutes to boil, depending on the size and thickness. To be sure that they are cooked through, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature which should be at least 165°F (74°C).

Is it OK to Defrost Chicken in Boiling Water?

No, it is not safe to defrost chicken in boiling water as it can cause the chicken to cook unevenly and there’s a risk of bacteria growth. It’s best to defrost the chicken in the refrigerator or use cold water.

How to Store Boiled Chicken?

Once boiled, the chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. It can also be frozen and stored for up to 3 months.

Is it Better to Boil Frozen or Thawed Chicken?

It’s better to boil thawed chicken as it will cook more evenly and reach a safe temperature faster. However, it is possible to boil frozen chicken too, just make sure you allow enough time for the chicken to defrost while boiling.


All in all, the answer to the question “Can you boil frozen chicken?” is a resounding “Yes”. Just keep in mind that this will likely take longer and require more liquid than cooking thawed chicken or fresh chicken. Additionally, make sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a food thermometer before serving it up, as discussed earlier in this blog post. 

Ultimately, boiling frozen chicken is an easy and fast way to prepare a meal without having to worry about defrosting beforehand. And if you’re looking for a simple yet delicious weeknight dinner option – try adding some spices, herbs, or even some vegetables while boiling your frozen chicken! Whether you decide to add additional ingredients or not during boiling, with a few pointers in this guide, tasty meals with perfect boiled chicken are just moments away. 

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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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