What is your favourite comfort meal? I love digging into fried chicken when I am hungry, sad, or lonely. The aroma, the spices, and the unparalleled feeling of biting into one of the juicy pieces is something that cannot be described in words. I am sure, all of us who consume and love non-veg like to eat chicken in whatever way it might be. Chicken dishes are universally loved by all non-vegetarians, yet very few of us know that chicken can last for a year if stored correctly and in right conditions.
You will be surprised to know that unopened fresh chicken lasts for 1-2 days in the refrigerator, while for a year in the freezer. Cooked chicken lasts for 7 days in the refrigerator, and again a year in the freezer, and roasted chicken lasts for 7 days in the refrigerator and 6-8 months in the freezer. Pretty interesting, right? So, if stored under right temperatures, you can have chicken that you cooked last year! Your frozen chicken will remain safe for consumption even after two years, but its taste will deteriorate. Hence, it is advisable to consume chicken within one year of storing it. But, rest assured, you won’t contract food poisoning or any other food-related disease even if you consume chicken that has been stored for two years according to researchers. But, for the sake of taste- because chicken dishes are known for their delectable quality, they should be consumed no later than a year of storing them. If hit the two-year mark, you’re likely going to experience some dryness and loss of flavour. So roasting and serving the chicken whole may not be the best way to go. Instead, you might want to opt for cooking the chicken first and then using it in a soup, stew or casserole.
So, how do you tell if the chicken is bad, rotten and spoilt? Well, use your senses. Your senses are perfectly capable of telling you if the chicken has gone bad. A rotten chicken is characterized by dullness, sourness, foul smell, and slimy flesh. And your senses will tell you whether you should or should not have that piece of chicken. And trust me, nothing, not even a breakup can spoil your mood more than finding out that your fiery piece of chicken is rotten. It ruins your mood and obviously your taste buds.
How do you store your chicken if you wish to extend its shelf life? Well, the chicken will remain fresh if you store it in your refrigerator immediately after use only to consume it in a couple of days. Once prepared, you should store chicken in a tightly closed container to prevent moisture and other contaminants from entering and spoiling it. If you wish to preserve your chicken for a way longer duration (read a year), then, rest it in the freezer inside a freezer safe container. This way, you will not have to waste your unused chicken, and can have it later whenever you want.
So, chicken is pretty awesome, and now that you know it can be stored for almost a year, it is still advisable to buy fresh chicken whenever required because fresh is always better than frozen.