How long can you freeze raw chicken before it seriously affects its taste?
The dramatic effects of freezing something almost always has an immediate impact on taste. But it seems like the longer something is in the freezer the worse it tastes. Recently, I found some months old raw chicken in the back of the freezer and it definitely tasted slightly strange.
So, beyond the initial freezing process, how long can you store frozen chicken before being frozen affects its taste?
Please... should be "affects its taste", not "effects it's taste". (Good question, though.)
Aside from initial quality, post-thawed quality depends on the freezer and even the location within it. Things I keep in a door of the frost-free freezer over my fridge can get quite freezer "burned" within a month. Takes much longer for that to happen to something in the colder and lesser air current of a top-open deep freeze. In a good freezer, I'd say 3-6 months is not a problem.
The change in flavor is mainly affected by packaging and how long before it gets frozen.
Packaging: If you have vacuum sealed chicken it will last quite a while. It won't get freezer burnt, dry out or pick up flavors from other freezer occupants. I would say properly packaged will last months to a year range depending on your taste buds.
Time before freezing: I have a habit of buying meat to cook right away, but end up freezing it raw several days after the fact. I then see it a week or two later and pull it out to cook. It never tastes as good as when I freeze it immediately.