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Cooking/Recipe Articles :: Cooking Tips :: Cooking Chicken :: Storing Chicken

Storing Chicken

How should I store chicken at home?

Chicken, like all meat, is perishable.  It should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator (40o or below), sealed as it comes from the market, and used within two or three days of purchase.

Should I freeze chickens?
Frank doesn't recommend freezing poultry. However, if a bird must be held beyond three days, freezing will keep it wholesome.

How do I freeze poultry?
When freezing is necessary, seal chicken or other poultry in an airtight container, heavy plastic bag, plastic wrap, foil or freezer paper.  Try to have the wrapping tight against the chicken because any place where it isn't, small ice crystals will form. That means moisture has been drawn from the meat, and where that's happened, the meat will be tough and breading won't stick.

Frozen uncooked chicken can be stored up to six months; frozen cooked chicken should be used within three months. (Personally I try to avoid freezing chicken since I know that freezing makes the chicken less tender and less juicy. Still, in spite of good intentions, I sometimes end up doing it. I've learned to make it a point to have a wax marking pencil and freezer tape handy, so I can label the package with the date and contents. I wonder if you've found, as I have, that it's unbelievably easy to lose track of how long things have been in there.)

Do not stuff poultry before freezing, and freeze cooked birds and stuffing separately.

Can frozen chicken be thawed and frozen again?
Each time you freeze chicken, you sacrifice quality.  If carefully handled, however, it is safe to defrost uncooked chicken and to freeze it again after cooking.  If frozen after cooking, do not thaw and freeze again.

From the Perdue Chicken Cookbook

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Created: 6/10/2006 | Last Updated: 6/11/2006 | broken links | helpful | not helpful | statistics
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