The fastest method of the three is undoubtedly the microwave, which has a defrost setting.Whichever quick method you choose (cold water or microwave), one thing remains the same—you should always cook the chicken … You should plan on at least 24 hours for every 5 pounds.

The best way to thaw a whole chicken is in your refrigerator.

The easiest way to defrost your chicken is to let it thaw on its own in your refrigerator. Healthcare providers believe that inappropriately deliquesced breasts of chicken are more likely to contain bacteria and cause pathogens, such as staphylococcus aureus and listeria. Thawing chicken in the fridge is the best and safest way to defrost it, but it requires about a day of planning ahead, so if you need a faster solution, skip ahead.

Method 3: Defrost chicken in the microwave. If you have the time to spare, this method is essentially foolproof and requires little personal attention. Yep, you can actually cook chicken in its frozen state, you just need to add about 50 percent more cooking time. Microorganisms multiply rapidly at temperatures above 40 degrees F, so keeping chicken in the fridge while it defrosts prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria. Defrosting a chicken in the refrigerator is the best way to keep your family safe from salmonella and other food-borne illnesses. So a 6-pound chicken will take a bit longer than 24 hours to thaw, and a 9-pound chicken will take two full days to thaw. How to Defrost Chicken Breast in the Refrigerator Tips.

A whole chicken will still take quite a while to thaw. Defrost Chicken and Other Meat Safely According to the USDA, three safe methods to defrost a chicken (and other kinds of meat) are in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave: Just before lunch, the engineers set up the chicken-cannon, loaded a frozen chicken into it, and left for the canteen. This method works best for recipes that require braising or slow-cooking, rather than sautéing or frying since the excess moisture in the frozen chicken will prevent the meat from getting that crispy, browned exterior.