Questions for the Cook

How long can you keep chicken in the fridge?

Dear Cooks:

How long can chicken be (kept) in the fridge uncooked? If I have breaded chicken cutlet I’m never sure how long (it can last in the refrigerator) and I tend to cook it all at once. (Also) I feel like I’m limited to what I can do with the chicken once its cooked.

Thanks for your help,


Dear SS:

According to, uncooked poultry is safe in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, and safe in the freezer for 9 months (for pieces) and up to 12 months for whole chickens or turkey.

Cooked poultry is safe refrigerated for 3-4 days. You can also freeze your cooked breaded chicken cutlets (tightly wrapped in foil or saran wrap and place in freezer bags) for 1-3 months. Just pull it out the night before you want to have it and thaw in the fridge.

As for ideas on what to do with cooked chicken or breaded cutlets, here are some ways to get creative with leftovers:

  • Slice and toss with pasta and veggies or in your favorite mac and cheese recipe (photo above is a yummy chicken caesar mac)
  • Chop up the chicken and toss with greens and veggies for a healthy salad
  • Place in a pita or tortilla for a yummy sandwich
  • Make some pasta, top with a cutlet, then jarred marinara sauce, and some cheese – place under a broiler and you have chicken parm
  • Have panini night by layering a chicken cutlet with spinach or arugula, red onion, avocado, tomato and cheese – grill and you have a tasty sandwich

Here are some of Rach’s favorite recipes using chicken cutlets:

Chicken Parm Sliders

Chicken Parm with Polenta

Tex-Mex Chicken Club

Crispy Parm-Crusted Chicken on Summer Lemon Pasta

Parm-Crusted Chicken Picatta

5 Responses to “How long can you keep chicken in the fridge?”

  1. Mike says:

    I came across this page after doing a search for information about storing chicken.

    The advice given above seems to indicate that fresh uncooked chicken shouldn’t really be stored in a fridge for more than a couple of days (unless freezing it). That being the case, why do many supermarkets give such long ‘use by’ dates? For example, when I buy chicken from my local ASDA supermarket (Walmart for you people in the US!) the use by date is usually 5-6 days.

  2. folamix says:

    I thawed some frozen chicken wings by mistake so I baked them up and plan to use them in a couple of days. Can I barbecue them or put them in the oven to crisp up?

    • Jenn Giacoppo says:

      Either one of those methods should work well! Just don’t microwave them, which will make them soggy. And if you put them in the oven, don’t cover them. Good luck! – Jenn,

  3. Steph says:

    When using cooked chicken in a Mason jar salad, will it remain good for the full 5 days? The salad and all other ingredients remain fresh.

  4. Lora says:

    Good to hear about the cooked chicken. I had roast Monday, risotto yesterday and now am reassured it’s okay to make a chicken & mushroom pie for tonight. However with regard to raw chicken, like Mike, I’ve observed that British supermarkets (not only Asda) often have use by dates which are longer than the 1-2 days you are suggesting here.

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