First of all, you never, ever defrost poultry under warm water. It is dangerous, and will just absolutely ruin your product. I always buy my poultry in bulk and stick most of it directly in the freezer. This means I really only need to buy poultry once every six months or so, and it really cuts down on my food bill.
The trick to buying in bulk is not to freeze in bulk. Before you pop your poultry into the freezer, separate your portions in freezer-safe bags squeezing the extra air out. This way you won’t have to defrost an entire 24-breast package when you just want one for dinner.
If you know you’re going to be working with poultry a few days in advance, take out your poultry and put it in the fridge to let it defrost naturally. Breasts, wings, and thighs generally take 24 hours to defrost, but a whole chicken will take anywhere between 1 and 3 days depending on the size.
After you’ve defrosted your poultry, rinse off the ice and any other juices that may have melted along with your ice. Pat the poultry dry and make sure your surface and your hands are clean to avoid and encounters with salmonella.
Featured recipe: Classic Chicken Parmesan with Linguine