Any suggestions for SV’ing and then freezing chicken breasts?

Having just SV’d some chicken breasts, and loving the way they turned out, I was thinking I’d do a bunch of them, and save them for later.

I’m thinking I’d do 6-8 boneless chicken breasts in separate vacuum sealed bags.

I thought I might then freeze them for use later on, defrosting one or two at a time in the fridge for a couple days, until I’m ready to use them.

Questions:

  • Is there anything wrong with my thinking on freezing them after having been cooked?
  • If not, should I freeze them in the same vacuum sealed bags they were cooking in, thereby keeping all the juices with them, or should I drain them, dry them, and reseal in vac bags? (I’m kind of thinking those juice would be a PITA to deal with after they’ve frozen and thawed). Not sure if I’d use the breasts cold or reheat after thawing.
  • Is the freezing going to defeat the purpose of having SV’d the breasts? (IE: no longer tender and moist?)

I do that a lot for roasts and pork chops. I use the ziploc large freezer bags. I try to maximize the use of my SV vessel as much as possible (just don’t go too far - you want to ensure you have good water circulation).
Especially for poultry, everyone is concerned about food poisoning - to ensure nothing grows, use an ice bath to get whatever you’ve cooked chilled as quickly as possible - minimizing the time in the danger zone. Then you can pop it into the fridge or freezer (depending on how long you’re going to wait to reheat it). If you’ve pasteurized your food, it will keep in a refrigerator that’s below 40F for at least 7-10 days (provided you don’t open the bag).

Freezing your meats with the liquids that they’ve lost during cooking helps to preserve them from freezer burn. Also, freezing your meat can actually tenderize it, as the moisture in cells tends to have a lot of them rupture during the freezing process. It’s “freezer burn” - prolonged freezing, with air in the bag to dry out your meats, that causes them to get tough and dry.

I also usually use my water bath to reheat the meat, directly from the freezer - I just bring the bath up to temperature (the same temperature I cooked the meat at) before putting the frozen bag into the bath (thereby also minimizing the amount of time the meat passes through the danger zone on the warm up).

Then, when you’ve left ample time (check your thickness charts - most double the time from frozen), you prepare your meat and use the au jus just as you would have, had this been a “fresh” cook. :slight_smile:

Oh…and, as SV is so forgiving, if you leave it longer, what’s the harm? Chances are it’ll just be a bit more tender. :slight_smile:

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