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
We’re all familiar with the ugly Salad Hall of Shame version of this dish, but now it’s time to try a delicious rendition. We did away with the funky canned ingredients and greasy fried shell and opted for fresh corn, avocado, and tomato and a cumin-flavored Tex-Mex dressing.
What to buy: Pick up a full-sized (17-ounce) bag of tortilla chips so you’ll have enough to serve with the salad and extra to scoop up any leftover sour cream dressing. (Of course, don’t forget the mojito ingredients, too!)
Game plan: The chicken can be cooked, shredded, and refrigerated up to a day in advance. For a slacker solution, use the meat from half of a precooked rotisserie chicken (or about 3 cups of meat).
Both the cumin and sour cream dressings can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
If you’re making the black beans from scratch, you’ll need to do start two days ahead in order to soak the beans overnight before cooking.