Can You Freeze Chicken Salad? Everything You Need To Know
Upon reading this article, the question "can you freeze chicken salad" will be answered along with some other essential information you need to be familiar with.
From among numbers of appetizers, chicken salad is indeed popular and well-known food along with being a side dish and even a main course based on how you served it. There are numbers of reasons why like the fact that it is flavorful, healthy and easy to prepare. And this kind of salad is perfect for a party or a social gathering.
But, if you have made more than enough of the said salad, what are you going to do with the leftover? Can you freeze chicken salad? Well, you will be glad to know the truth so continue reading.
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
Definitely, yes! You can indeed freeze extra chicken salad, however, there are certain steps that should be considered and also some cautions in terms of storage in order for the salad to be safe to eat.
- If the chicken salad has ingredients such as yogurt dressing or mayonnaise, it might not be safe to eat right after freezing.
- In addition, once the chicken salad has been sitting out in the kitchen or in the sun for a long time, it wouldn’t be safe for it to be refrigerated or frozen. The reason why you must not freeze the salad would be due to the developing bacteria on its surface so it isn’t safe to eat as well.
- Indeed, the chicken salad which is most of the time refrigerated would be great to freeze for an extended period of time.
Before Freezing: Rules To Consider
Prior to the idea of freezing chicken salad, consider the following rules first:
- The cardinal rule of freezing says that if it didn’t taste good, to begin with, it will not taste any better right after freezing rather it would taste worse. Freezing would change the texture of the food once it is reheated. So, better consider the taste of the salad first.
- Once freezing a raw food having a high moisture content such as oranges, cucumbers, and watermelon, you might intend on eating raw again, but forget about it. After thawing, the moisture which keeps the food crisp as well as intact will not be the same.
- You must beware when it comes to anything that is creamy such as yogurt, custards, and blocks of cheese. Remember that sometimes chicken salad does have yogurt dressing.
How To Freeze Chicken Salad?
The same with some other dishes, freezing chicken could be simple. There are certain steps that should be followed in ensuring that the salad doesn’t go bad over a period of time and also tastes almost the same once thawed. The steps are as follow:
- First, refrigerate the extra chicken salad right after you are done serving it. Indeed, this step is very important. You must never freeze the chicken salad which has been sitting out rather always refrigerate first the salad.
- After you refrigerate the salad, for at least 6 hours, take out the salad and give a good stir then toss. This will ensure that the salad is very well-mixed and also no dressing would clump. This step will ensure that the chicken salad stays intact and also the dressing will not separate.
- And now, you could transfer the salad in a freezing bag. You might also split the salad in different bags ensuring not to fill any bag to the brink. This will ensure that the ingredients in the salad don’t get smashed and crumpled.
- Bear in mind that this next step is very important. After placing the salad in the bags, you have to remove any excess air in the bags. It could be done through lightly pressing the bags to release all the air prior to sealing them. But, it is advisable that you use vacuum sealer since the excess air could not just make the salad soggy as well as ruin the flavor but it could also promote bacteria growth.
- If the bags are already sealed and ready to be frozen, label as well as the date the packets in order for you to know how long you could keep them in the freezer. You must not let the chicken salad sit in the freezer for more than 3 months.
- And finally, flatten the chicken salad bags and place them in the coolest part of the freezer. With this, the chicken salad would evenly freeze and in a lot shorter period of time.
In freezing chicken salad, be guided by the above-mentioned steps.
How Long Can I Keep Chicken Salad In The Fridge?
Now that you have refrigerated the chicken salad, you should also be familiar whether how long you could keep it in the fridge. Well, the accurate answer to that question would depend on the storage conditions. Take note that you should refrigerate chicken salad within two hours of buying or preparing.
As for maximizing the shelf life of this salad for quality and safety, refrigerate the chicken salad in airtight containers. Once stored properly, the chicken salad could last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
How To Tell If The Chicken Salad Is Bad?
And it is also of great importance that you know how to tell whether the chicken salad is already bad, spoiled or rotten. If you will practice proper hygiene as well as safety techniques would help in preventing foodborne illness.
Here are some ways on how you could tell that the salad is already bad:
- Smell the chicken salad and once it gives off an unpleasant and strong odor it has gone bad already. This smell is due to the fact that the chicken absorbs off-flavors of the other ingredients.
- You could also observe the salad’s color. Once it takes on a brownish-gray color, chicken salad is already spoiled. The naturally occurring enzymes would cause the carbohydrates and protein to spoil and degrade.
- The texture of the chicken pieces also matter. Once a sticky layer of the slime has already formed on the surface, the salad is contaminated by bacterial and mold growth.
- You have to discard the salad once you have kept it in the refrigerator for more than three days or once at a temperature that is higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, can you freeze chicken salad? Of course, yes! It isn’t a hassle to freeze chicken salad, right? In fact, it could help you enjoy this dish anytime. So, if you have leftover of this salad, then freezing it could be considered.
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