How Long to Boil Frozen Chicken Breasts?

How Long To Boil Frozen Chicken BreastsOne of the most common questions people tend to ask about this fabulous meat is: can chicken be cooked directly from frozen? I’m happy to say the answer is a resounding yes!

One of the easiest ways to cook frozen chicken is to boil it straight from the freezer. With no waiting around for chicken to defrost and no concerns about whether or not the food is ready to cook, boiling from frozen is certainly one of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare cooked chicken.

How Long To Boil Frozen Chicken Breasts?

Frozen boneless chicken breasts can be boiled in as little as 30 minutes or up to 45 minutes if your chicken still includes bones.

How To Boil Frozen Chicken Breasts?

Boiling frozen chicken breasts could not be easier and requires very few ingredients. All you need is a large stock pot and some tongs, and you are ready to cook. Chicken cooked this way is also delightfully tender and tasty. Once you have tried it, you will soon be back for more.

  1. Firstly, add the frozen chicken breasts to the stock pot and cover with cold water. Ensure the water level is about an inch higher than the chicken, as you don’t want it to boil dry.
  2. Next, season your chicken and water with some salt and any flavorings you choose. For example, you might like to add some herbs or a little onion.
  3. Allow the pan to come to the boil slowly. The key to tender chicken is not to let it boil too fast, or you may end up with rubbery meat.
  4. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot to allow the chicken to simmer gently until cooking is complete.

How Do I Know If My Chicken Is Ready?

If you have a meat thermometer, the easy way to check if your chicken is ready is to test the internal temperature of the meat. Once it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, then your meat is ready. If you do not have a thermometer, another easy way to check is to slice or pierce the side of the chicken. If the juices run clear, then you know your chicken is cooked; if the meat or juice looks a little pink in color, return to the pan and cook for five minutes more before checking again.

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Different Ways To Boil Chicken

While boiling chicken from frozen is one of the simplest ways to cook a tasty meal, there are a number of different techniques that can help you spruce up the recipe to give different results. For example, boiling in water may be the most obvious choice, but did you know you could also use chicken or vegetable broth for a tasty alternative? The chicken will absorb some of the delicate flavors of the broth to give you richer-tasting meat.

In addition, your choice of seasoning can alter the flavor of the meat quite dramatically. While many chefs prefer to stick with salt and pepper, you might like to experiment with different herbs and even spices. Parsley, oregano, or thyme each add a unique flavor to your chicken breasts. Alternatively, you could add some vegetables to the stock. Onions or carrots can be a tasty choice, while garlic or celery can also make your chicken taste great. Even better, you can add the boiled vegetables from the stock to your served meal for an even heartier and super nutritious dish.

Using Different Cuts of Chicken

While chicken breasts are used in many recipes, you can boil almost any cut of chicken directly from frozen simply by adjusting the timing. As described above, each type is best boiled slowly and allowed to simmer gently to maintain the delicate texture of the meat. Any chicken that includes bones should be cooked for slightly longer than boneless pieces.

Use the following as a guide (all timings below are based on cooking directly from frozen):

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts: 30 minutes
  • Bone-In Chicken Breasts: 45 minutes
  • Boneless Chicken Thighs: 30-35 minutes
  • Bone-In Chicken Thighs: 40-50 minutes
  • Chicken Legs: 30 minutes
  • Whole Chicken: one hour – one hour 45 minutes

Benefits of Boiling Chicken From Frozen

While chicken may be one of the most common ingredients cooked in any kitchen, many people can feel a little nervous about storing and freezing this popular meat. As you may be aware, eating uncooked chicken can make someone seriously ill as it might contain campylobacter or salmonella, among other dangerous bacteria. It is estimated that around one million people in the US become ill every year from eating contaminated chicken.

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The main risk of food poisoning comes from eating chicken that is undercooked or any other food that has come into contact with raw chicken or its juices. For this reason, it is important to keep cutting boards and utensils that have been used with raw chicken well away from any other food ingredients. Cooking chicken directly from frozen helps to reduce the risks of food poisoning by limiting the possibility of raw chicken coming into contact with anything else in your kitchen. Since the chicken is not defrosted, raw meat only comes into contact with the inside of the pan while it is cooking.

Delicious Boiled Chicken Meals

Cooked chicken is one of the most versatile, delicious, and nutritious ingredients used in almost any dish across the world. From firm family favorites to complex cordon-bleu, chicken can be as simple or as fancy as you decide.

Boiled chicken can be served on the bone as part of a healthy dinner. You could try adding a barbecue sauce or delicious gravy to make the meal even more heart-warming. Alternatively, chicken can be served off the bone and added to a healthy salad or as a nutritious sandwich filling.

Shredding boiled chicken is another popular alternative way to serve this flexible meat. Shredded chicken can form the basis of a range of meals from fajitas to fried rice. One of my favorites is to shred the chicken quickly using a food processor and then add some barbecue sauce. It makes a delicious wrap for children’s lunch boxes and can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.


Last but not least, there is no better recipe on a cold autumnal day than a hot bowl of delicious chicken broth made from boiled chicken with some extra onion, carrot, and celery. Even better, all the wonderful nutrients of the healthy chicken remain in the broth to make a meal as nutritious as it is tasty.

With so many different recipes to try, boiled chicken certainly deserves its place as a firm favorite in every family meal planner. Which one will you try?