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
In this adaptation of a recipe from Martha Stewart, a cooked chicken (either home-roasted or scored from the deli case of your local market) forms the basis of a deep-tasting gumbo you can have on the table in 40 minutes. The only real cooking involved is to make a golden roux from vegetable oil and flour. Once you’ve done that, it’s a matter of softening some onion and bell peppers, simmering andouille sausage and frozen okra, and warming up the shredded chicken.
For more quick chicken dishes, try our easy chicken stir fry recipe. For an easy New Orleans-inspired cocktail, try our vieux carre.