Cooking Frozen Chicken Breast Fast in Your Dutch Oven

Why Thaw?

I am writing this completely off the cuff, in answer to the above request, but I was just thinking about this yesterday as I spontaneously concocted a delicious chicken, veggie, and rice dish, so here goes...

I never thaw any meat!

That's right! Never! I just go ahead and cook it frozen!

But...How?

Be sure you have a big enough pot to accommodate your frozen meat. I have a nice big Dutch Oven that can handle roasts, two big chicken breasts, and so on. A big crock pot will handle a whole chicken. Of course, with a whole chicken, you will have to watch for the time when you can take it out of the pot briefly and remove the innards, but that really is a small chore. I have done this before, but it is not something I usually do. So in this article, I will concentrate on small roasts, chicken breasts, steaks and chops.

Don't Waste Time Thawing Chicken!

Attribution License:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ Photographer:emdot:everystockphoto.com
Attribution License:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ Photographer:emdot:everystockphoto.com

Steaks & Chops

Use a heavy cast iron skillet.  Pour in just enough light oil (I use peanut oil for everything) to cover the bottom of the pan.  Place your meat in the pan, season it as desired, and turn the heat on to medium.  If your meat is frozen together, that's OK.  Just leave it that way for now.  Cover the pan and set your timer for 10 minutes. 

When the 10 minutes is up, uncover the pan. Separate the meat if necessary, turn it and season it.  Cover the pan again, and set your timer for 10 minutes. 

When the 10 minutes is up, check to see if your meat is done to your liking. Thin steaks and chops will be thoroughly thawed and completely cooked.  Thicker ones will need a bit more time.  Turn and set your timer in 5 minute increments until your meat is done to your liking.

Thicker Poultry & Small Roasts (2-3 lbs.)

Pour just enough peanut oil in the bottom of your Dutch Oven to cover the bottom. Add chopped onions, peppers, and garlic to suit your usual taste. Set the Dutch Oven on medium heat, covered, while you get the meat ready to cook.

Once the meat is unwrapped and rinsed if necessary. (I rinse it because unwrapping frozen meat involves so much handling that I just feel it is better to rinse it.) Uncover your Dutch Oven. Stir your veggies and move them to the sides so that you will have a space to put your meat in contact with the hot surface of the bottom of the pan. Set the meat in the pan, Season it as you wish. Cover and set your timer for 10 minutes.

When the 10 minutes is up, turn your meat and season the other side. Stir the veggies around a bit to keep them from burning. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Uncover, turn the meat and stir the veggies again.

At this point, you will want to add liquids and more veggies. I usually add a 16 oz. can of stewed tomatoes, a bag of frozen vegetables (carrots, California mix, stew veggies) or fresh vegetables like carrots, potatoes, celery. I tend to use whatever I have on hand. This is really up to your taste. Just be sure you add veggies and moisture to just cover the meat. You can add chicken or beef boullion to make enough liquid.

Add more seasonings to taste, cover and turn the heat to high. Bring the pot to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium or medium low, depending on how hard it's boiling. Simmer for 30 minutes. Check for doneness and tenderness. Your meat may be ready at this point. If not, turn it and continue cooking it in 15 minute increments until it is done to your taste.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:March 27, 2009

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Comments 13 comments

Cindy 7 years ago

Sounds wonderful!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks! :)


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

A life saver, like in today! Your off the cuff writing saved my sunday dinner. Thank you!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas Author

LOL! OH! Good! I'm glad I could help. You know, when you think about it, not thawing is healthier, too. It's the thawing time when bugs like salmonella have a chance to get into your meat and take a foothold!

Glad you had a good Sunday dinner! :)


Lynn 7 years ago

Wow, I never thaw either, and my friends think I am nuts! Guess what? The very BEST way to do a THANKSGIVING TURKEY is frozen in the crockpot!!! Yup! Family raves!!! And it's so darn easy we do it often! Get the largest oval crockpot. Find a large FROZEN turkey breast... I shop for one that got frozen into a flatter shape so lid will close. They freeze into all sorts of shapes in those big freezers. Unwrap it, leave the giblet/gravy bag inside. It'll float to top for removal later. Add about 2 cups water. Sometimes I add a scoop of powdered turkey gravy mix to the water. Then set on low at about 10 p.m. Next day, there's lunch!!! Hot, browned, gorgeous, falling off the bones! I do the same with frozen large chuck roasts! Add the veggies in the morning and ready at lunch!


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justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas Author

WOW! That sounds great! I'll have to try that! :D


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Sounds like a real time saver to me! I am always forgetting to take something out to thaw for dinner and have to spend the time to thaw it. This sounds great, especially for chicken breasts, which I cook often. I am going to give this a try right away! Voted up, useful and interesting! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Suzanne,

I have done that with frozen meat if wishing to use it in a soup but I have never done it for other purposes such as you outlined here. Will have to give it a try sometime. Thanks for the idea. Up and interesting votes.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks ladies! Yes, I have never understood thawing meat. The thawing time is the most dangerous time, and all you have to do is increase the cooking time and make sure it is cooked all the way through to use most meats frozen. This makes it possible to simply brown both sides and add veggies such as carrot and potatoes and have everything cooked through at the same time. :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

They say that the best way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator and of course that takes time. We have done that with things like turkeys which sometimes actually take a couple of days to thaw in that manner.


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justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, I don't ever cook anything that big. I suppose you would have to thaw that, but things that fit into a pot or pan don't really need to be thawed. :)


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

I also cook from frozen and find it saves me lots of time. It doesn't change the taste of the food. Although many cooks say it should be thawed in the fridge, I don't like to thaw meat or poultry because of worrying about bacteria forming or worse ---- forgetting I left it out to thaw so it gets toward room temperature. Voted up and interesting.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, I think it makes it a lot easier. If you begin with frozen meat, you can cook whole potatoes and large carrots with the meat and it all comes out ready at the same time. If you thaw the meat, you have to start the veggies and wait until they are about half done and then add the meat. Of course, this depends on the size of the piece of meat. Going straight from freezer to frying or roasting pan definitely eliminates worries over bacteria. Thanks for commenting and voting! :)

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