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Freezing an Egg & Chicken Dish

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Q. I know I can freeze egg yolk — but what about chicken (supposedly "fresh," as in grocery-store fresh) that is marinating in beaten egg yolks, grated parmesan, and bread crumbs? I get a Thanksgiving-bad-stuffing-in-the-poultry-feeling thinking about this. Truth?

A. This is the kind of question that drives readers away from our site — even hard-core meat eaters. If everything is fresh and spotless, you can reasonably expect that freezing your concoction will retard the growth of harmful microorganisms. Indeed, there are probably commercially frozen breaded chicken products not so different from what you propose.

From a practical point of view, however, thawing it presents a problem. Chicken and eggs are two of the foods that cause the most concern at the US Department of Agriculture as harbors for bacteria. You would have to thaw it in the cold of a refrigerator, and then cook it thoroughly right away. Another option, perhaps, — and this is the approach frozen-food manufacturers recommend — would be to take it straight from the freezer to the oven and bake it directly. (We are talking about breaded chicken pieces here, aren't we, not really an egg-cheese-and-bread-crumb marinade, which just sounds like a mess? If that's the case, though, clearly it would have to be thawed for you to be able to pluck the chicken pieces from the surrounding soup.)

Freezing your chicken mess doesn't really sound any worse than freezing a casserole before it is baked, which is a perfectly acceptable practice. Egg yolks, as mentioned elsewhere on this site, do get rubbery when frozen and thawed, so you also might not be happy with the texture of your finished dish.

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