The most important tip for freezing chicken is to protect the chicken from exposure to air. If chicken is tightly wrapped, it lasts in a freezer for about three months. For the best results, wrap and freeze chicken while it is still fresh and raw. When freezing cooked chicken, allow it to come to room temperature before freezing it.
To properly wrap chicken to prevent air exposure, wrap the meat very tightly in plastic wrap or freezer paper. Press the wrapping tightly to the surface of the chicken, and then wrap it again in foil or a freezer zip-top bag that has the air pushed out of it. The plastic packaging that chicken comes in from the store is not air tight. Failing to tightly wrap the chicken results in freezer burn, which causes dry spots on food that are often marked by ice shavings on the meat.
To properly thaw the chicken, place the meat in the refrigerator well in advance of use. Small or individual pieces of chicken take about 24 hours to thaw in the refrigerator, while larger pieces of meat take a couple of days. Another way to thaw the chicken is to run the packaged chicken under cold water. Do not thaw chicken at room temperature, and do not cook it while it is still frozen.