Raw or cooked chicken can be stored in a refrigerator for a few days, though it’s important to prevent raw chicken juices from leaking and contaminating other foods. Ensure that chicken remains in its original packaging (which should be vacuum-sealed or tightly-wrapped) until it is ready to be cooked.
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Next: How to Freeze Chicken
While freezing will make your chicken less tender and juicy, it is the perfect way to store the family-sized pack you bought at Costco last weekend. Remove the chicken from its original packaging and rewrap it tightly using aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Double wrap if you are planning to store the chicken for more than two months. Ground chicken can last up to three months in the freezer, while chicken pieces can last up to nine.
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Next: How to Thaw Chicken
You should never thaw chicken at room temperature, as it is highly susceptible to bacteria growth. Frozen chicken should either be thawed in the microwave, in the refrigerator, or in cold water (which should be changed every 30 minutes).
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Next: How to Store Chicken
Anyone who resides south of the Mason-Dixon Line can tell you the hallmarks of properly prepared Southern fried chicken: The skin needs to be well-seasoned and crispy, and the meat inside moist and tender. These fried drumsticks coated in a buttermilk batter meet the criteria, and would be perfect served alongside macaroni salad at your next picnic.
Special equipment: Although not necessary, a candy/fat thermometer is handy for this recipe.
Game plan: If you cook the chicken just before leaving on your picnic, transport it warm, uncovered, in a basket lined with paper towels and foil. If you make it a day ahead, let it cool, then refrigerate it overnight. Pack the cold chicken in a covered plastic container lined with parchment paper.
To see this recipe with illustrated steps, check out The Basics: How to Make Buttermilk Fried Chicken. And view other variations if you want to explore more styles of fried chicken.