I am so obsessed with rotisserie chickens that I actually bought a rotisserie this year. And unlike many kitchen gadgets that have came before it, this one actually gets used regularly (I have a chicken out thawing for dinner tonight).
Whether you make your own or pick one up from the grocery store, rotisserie chickens are delicious and super convenient since you can have them as they are, use the leftovers for sandwiches or salads, and save the bones to make a delicious soup broth.
But what happens if you live alone or just don’t think you’ll end up eating your rotisserie chicken before it goes bad in the fridge after 5 days? How do you store it so it lasts?
So, can you freeze a rotisserie chicken? Yes, you absolutely can freeze a rotisserie chicken. If you do it properly, it will last 4 months for best quality, but virtually indefinitely as long as it stays below 0°F.
Keep reading to discover how to store a rotisserie chicken, the best way to thaw it, how long it lasts, and any other question you have about freezing and saving it for best results.
Can You Freeze A Cooked Rotisserie Chicken?
Freezing meat is a great way to help save it for longer since it doesn’t tend to last in the fridge longer than 5-7 days without going bad.
But you might be wondering whether you can freeze a rotisserie chicken if it is already cooked. The answer is, yes, you absolutely can.
Freezing a cooked rotisserie chicken is a great way to save it for later use in soups, sandwiches, wraps, salads, or even reheated and eaten as-is. You can freeze your rotisserie chicken whole, you can freeze it partially eaten still on the bone, and you can freeze it pulled off the bones.
Keep reading the sections below to learn how to freeze all the variations of rotisserie chicken you can think of and how to properly thaw it to use later.
Can You Freeze A Rotisserie Chicken Whole?
Say you are out shopping and there is a great deal on rotisserie chickens so you want to stock up. But you know you won’t be able to eat them all before they go bad in 5 days. So can you freeze a whole rotisserie chicken?
Yes, you can freeze a whole rotisserie chicken. You just want to follow a couple of steps to make sure it stays as fresh as possible.
Remember if you freeze a whole rotisserie chicken, you will have to thaw and use the whole thing within a few days since you shouldn’t refreeze it once thawed.
So this method is best for folks who plan to enjoy a whole rotisserie chicken and don’t need smaller portions.
Here’s how to freeze a whole rotisserie chicken:
- Let your rotisserie chicken cool fully. I like to put it in the fridge overnight and then follow the next steps so the bag doesn’t get full of condensation that can impact the taste once frozen and thawed.
- Once your rotisserie chicken is cooled, take it out of the container it came in.
- Find a large freezer bag and write the date and contents on it.
- Place the rotisserie chicken inside the bag and gently press all the air out to prevent freezer burn and then seal it.
- Place the rotisserie chicken in the freezer.
For freshest results, thaw and eat your frozen rotisserie chicken within 4 months. It can stay in the freezer longer, but it may not taste as good.
Can You Freeze A Rotisserie Chicken Off The Bone?
If you’ve enjoyed some of your rotisserie chicken and want to freeze the leftovers, you can absolutely pull the meat off the bone and freeze it that way.
This method is great if you plan to enjoy the rotisserie chicken in salads, soups, sandwiches, or wraps since you can shred it and portion it out.
For this method I recommend using either small freezer baggies or small airtight containers. Follow the instructions below to safely freeze your rotisserie chicken pulled off the bone.
How to freeze pulled rotisserie chicken:
- Make sure to let your rotisserie chicken cool fully so you don’t burn your fingers as you pull it apart. It’s also good to let it cool in the fridge overnight so that the bags/containers don’t fill with condensation and impact the flavor and texture of your chicken once thawed.
- Once your chicken is fully cooled, you can start to pull the meat off of the bones. Depending on the texture you want, you can shred it or keep it in larger pieces.
- Portion the meat into small piles. You want to portion it out into the amount you will realistically consume within a day or two of thawing so that it doesn’t go bad.
- Place the portioned rotisserie chicken into your small freezer baggies or airtight containers. If you are using baggies, gently press all the air out before sealing. If you are using containers, you may want to press some plastic wrap on top of the chicken to protect from freezer burn.
- Write the date and contents onto several pieces of masking tape and stick them to your baggies or containers so that you know how long your chicken is good for.
- Place the portioned rotisserie chicken into the freezer and use within 4 months for the best tasting results. Your rotisserie chicken can stay in the freezer for longer, but it may impact the final taste and texture.
Can You Freeze Leftover Rotisserie Chicken?
The final option when it comes to freezing your rotisserie chicken is whether you can do so if it is partially eaten, but still on the bone. Yes, you can absolutely freeze a partial rotisserie chicken on the bone to enjoy later on.
To keep your partially eaten, bone-in rotisserie chicken fresh in the freezer, make sure to follow these steps:
- After you have finished eating as much of your rotisserie chicken as you want, pull off any bones that no longer have meat on them and discard (or save for a broth).
- Once the excess bones are removed, let your rotisserie chicken cool in the fridge overnight to prevent condensation build-up in your freezer bag. This condensation can impact the taste and flavor of your chicken once you thaw it.
- Find a large freezer baggie and write the date and contents on it in permanent marker.
- After cooling your chicken, place it in a large freezer baggie.
- Gently press all the air out of the baggie and then seal it up. You don’t want any air left inside or it can cause freezer burn and dried-out chewy chicken once thawed.
- Place your chicken in the freezer and use it within 4 months for peak freshness and flavor. You can store it longer, but just note that it may not taste quite as good once it is thawed.
How Long Can You Keep A Rotisserie Chicken Frozen?
Now that you know how to properly store a rotisserie chicken using either freezer baggies or airtight containers, with date and content labels, you’ll want to know how long it lasts for.
If you have properly stored your rotisserie chicken, it will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 4 months.
However, as long as the temperature stays below 0°F you can keep your rotisserie chicken in the freezer virtually indefinitely.
The only issue is that it may develop freezer burn or dry out and lose some of its delicious flavor and texture the longer you leave it in there.
How Do You Properly Thaw A Rotisserie Chicken?
So, your chicken has been sitting in the freezer for a couple months and now you’re ready to thaw it out and use it up for some meals this week. So how do you properly thaw a rotisserie chicken so that it tastes great and maintains its texture?
It’s actually super easy – just remove your chicken from the freezer and let it thaw on the counter for a couple of hours until it is soft. If you have a whole rotisserie chicken to thaw, you might want to place it in the fridge overnight and then set it out for a few hours on the counter.
The bigger the portions of chicken you have to thaw, the longer they will take. If you’re in a hurry, you can always submerge the freezer baggies in warm (not hot) water to help speed the process along.
I find the portioned baggies of chicken off the bone thaw a lot more quickly than a whole or partial chicken.
Once thawed, you can use your rotisserie chicken any way you would use cooked chicken. It’s great chilled in sandwiches, chicken salad, eggs, or wraps. Or you can warm it up and enjoy it crisped in the oven!
How To Heat A Whole Rotisserie Chicken In The Oven
If you’ve thawed an entire rotisserie chicken and want to enjoy it with crispy skin for dinner, then you can warm it up in the oven. Follow the steps below to warm up your rotisserie chicken to keep it moist with crispy skin.
How to reheat rotisserie chicken in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Place your chicken in an oven safe dish and tent it with some tinfoil to trap the heat. Pour a 1/2 -1 cup of water or chicken broth into the bottom of the dish.
- Place it in the oven for about 2 minutes to warm through.
- After 20 minutes, remove the foil, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and roast for another 5-10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
- Remove the rotisserie chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving it up.
How To Heat A Whole Rotisserie Chicken In An Air Fryer
To get the crispiest skin and moistest chicken in the shortest amount of time, you can heat it up in an air fryer.
Depending on the size of your fryer, you might have to break the chicken down into smaller pieces before placing it in the fryer basket or on the racks.
Follow these steps to reheat your rotisserie chicken in an air fryer for crispy skin and moist meat.
How to reheat a whole rotisserie chicken in an air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F.
- Break your chicken down into the portion sizes you want to heat up or so that it will fit fully into your fryer.
- Place the chicken in the basket or on the fryer racks.
- Put the rotisserie chicken into the air fryer for about 3-5 minutes, depending on the skin crispiness you want. Check it at 3 minutes then return to the air fryer if you want it crispier.
- Once your rotisserie chicken is warm and crispy, remove it from the air fryer and let it cool for a couple of minutes before enjoying.
How To Make A Chicken Salad With Rotisserie Chicken
One of my favorite ways to use up cold leftover rotisserie chicken is to chop it up and turn it into a chicken salad.
Delicious Classic Chicken Salad Recipe
- 2 cups of leftover rotisserie chicken, cut into cubes
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups of mayo, depending on how creamy you want it
- 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped (or 2 tbsp. chopped red onion)
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of raisins or dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Place in the fridge to set for about an hour to let the flavors meld.
- Use as a filling for delicious sandwiches, wraps, on top of fresh greens or grains.
Mexican Cuisine Inspired Chicken Salad Recipe
- 1 soft avocado
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- optional: 1/2 jalapeno, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
- 2 cups leftover rotisserie chicken, chopped into cubes
- In a small bowl, combine the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, garlic, mayonnaise, sea salt, and jalapenos until relatively smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the grape tomatoes and chopped chicken until fully combined.
- Taste and add more lime or salt as desired.
- Let the mix sit in the fridge for an hour to set and then enjoy in sandwiches, wraps, or on top of mixed greens or grains.
As you can see, you can easily freeze a whole rotisserie chicken using an airtight freezer bag to use within 4 months for best freshness.
You can also pull your chicken off of the bone and store it in smaller portion sizes for easy use in sandwiches, wraps, salads, and soups.
If you freeze a whole rotisserie chicken, try warming it up in the oven or air fryer for crispy skin and moist and tender meat to make a quick, delicious dinner.
The leftover meat can be used to make a classic chicken salad or a Mexican-inspired chicken salad.