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
Here’s a great spin on a classic Chinese takeout kung pao chicken for the slow cooker. The convenience and ease of a slow cooker enhances the aromatic flavors of Sichuan cooking by allowing the chicken to braise in a complex sweet and spicy sauce. It calls for Sichuan peppercorns, or Chinese coriander, a spice with slightly lemony overtones. For years, the Sichuan peppercorn was banned in the U.S., but now it’s easily found in Chinese markets and at Whole Foods. Our version omits the vegetables and allows the Sichuan peppercorns and chile peppers to shine, in a less-Americanized version that’ll make it hard to go back to takeout. Serve with steamed white or brown rice.