How to Store Fried Chicken?

Want to keep it crisp and delicious no matter what? We can tell you, how!

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Want to keep it crisp and delicious no matter what We can tell you, how!

Food stocking is an essential part of the cooking process since it allows us to preserve it edible longer. And if we all know that fresh foodstuff like veggies or greens must be chilled for saving it from fading and decay, prepared meals can often cause questions. 

For instance, many people doubt whether it is needed to freeze fried food since it is already cooked which (as they think) means it will not spoil that fast. Fried poultry is not an exception, too.

That is why, to clarify this issue, we decided to give an answer to the most frequent question of all housewives: can fried chicken be frozen?

Interested? Then stay with us!

In How Many Ways Can We Fry Chicken?

Such a question might seem somewhat strange to most people since the answer seems to be obvious: we simply fry it! Usually, cut or sliced, we toss the poultry meat to the frying pan, add some oil and seasonings, and cook until it is ready. Isn’t it always like that?

Well, basically, yes. But when it comes to chicken in particular, this kind of poultry can be fried in several ways:

  • The first one is the method all of us used at least once. 

We will need a pan, some vegetable oil, salt and pepper (or other seasonings depending on your taste), and of course, the chicken.

The pan-frying method requires relatively small pieces of poultry to be cooked so if we have a whole carcass, it must be divided into smaller parts. But what most of us usually do is that we buy already separated parts of it. 

Any store sells wings, nuggets, breasts, and other parts of a hen carcass today which makes the procedure way simpler since we don’t need to waste time on carving it.

To prepare this kind of meat this way, we will need to wash it, take the skin off (since it is the fattiest part of a hen), and toss to the pre-heated pan with oil. Frying takes little time, approximately fifteen minutes, and no special skills.

  • Deep frying is another method of preparing delicious poultry flesh. Some say it is less healthy because of the large amount of oil used, however, people keep on consuming this crispy meat.  The best thing about it is that poultry needs only six to eight minutes in a deep fryer to get ready which makes this approach one of the fastest and most convenient if we need to have some food quickly.
  • Another way of frying hen meat is to bread it. Unlike the approaches provided above, this one can take some time to get the foodstuff ready for cooking, however, it is worth those efforts! Juicy, delicious chicken with a crispy crust – who can resist that?!
  • A somewhat similar way is to dredge chicken in flour before frying. It also makes the flesh juicier and keeps it soft while cooking, moreover, poultry prepared this way will absorb more flavor from the oil or butter it is fried in.

Having so many different methods of frying this kind of poultry, it now will be simpler to make this foodstuff more versatile.

How to Fry ChickenHow to Fry Chicken

Mistakes To Avoid When Frying Chicken At Home

Let’s agree, most of us, home cooks, don’t bother much about the proper preparation of poultry for cooking it.

We usually grab a batch of chicken and toss it to the pan or oven without even thinking that we do something wrong. So if you want to always have the home-cooked nuggets or wings yummy and crisp, consider following the next suggestions:

  • Never start cooking it right from the fridge! Cold poultry will be cooked unevenly with either burnt or soggy skin. Moreover, improper cooking may lead to contamination since bacteria will not be killed by the heat.
  • Forgetting about brine is another common mistake of home chefs. Unbrined poultry tends to end up being dry inside. For fixing that, soak it in brine for at least two hours prior to placing it in a pan.
  • For some reason, many housewives skip breading as a part of the cooking procedure. Yes, that desired crispness can be achieved even without breading, but to have the poultry insides moist and juicy, filled with flavors, a crust of bread crumbles is a must! 
  • Consider the oil that is used, too. Veggie, canola, or peanut oils will give your meal that crispy touch, besides, due to the low smoke point, poultry will get fried evenly.
  • Using paper napkins to absorb the excess oil is often another failure we do. Yes, if you want your meaty meal to be less fatty, it’s ok to dab it with napkins, but if you are eager for the crispy crust on your chicken, we would recommend you to avoid resting it over the paper towels.

Storing Fried Chicken. Hints And Instructions

Mistakes To Avoid When Frying Chicken At Home
Photo by Cooker King

Frying is believed to prevent foods from spoilage which makes some of us assume that once the foodstuff is thermally treated, it doesn’t require any serious preventive measures for keeping it fresh.

Nevertheless, thinking like that is a big mistake. Even fried foods can go bad, that is why knowing how to store fried chicken correctly is a must.

It is often asked what the best way is to store fried chicken. Well, since fried meat doesn’t last long being out, it must not be left uncooled for more than two hours, otherwise, the dish will have to be tossed to the trash bin.

The optimal way to save the delicious poultry longer is to refrigerate it. Like that, it can be enjoyed for three to four days more safely. The frosting is another option, especially if the poultry has to be preserved for a longer time.

Fridge 3-4 days
Freezer up to 4 months
Counter up to 2 hours

To correctly get the chicken refrigerated, complete several easy steps:

  1. Prep either tanks with leads or foil to cover the poultry bits
  2. Wrap each piece or pack them all in one tank and refrigerate
  3. Do this within two hours past the dish was cooked

It is extremely simple to store fried chicken like this and the only thing that must be considered is the time since refrigeration must take place pretty fast after the cooking time.

Nevertheless, even if we do our best to keep fried poultry crisp and consumable, a day may come when we figure out it has turned bad.

People often get surprised and disappointed: why? We did everything right, we kept it cooled, so why did it spoil?

Storing Fried Chicken. Hints And Instructions
Photo by Brian Chan

Well, like any foodstuff, fried chicken does turn spoiled, unfortunately, and we can name several basic reasons why it can happen:

  • it was stocked improperly. Yes, we know, nobody wants to confess, but we can often miss something important when packing it for refrigeration. If we tossed it in there when the meat was still warm or even freshly fried – it will spoil. If we wrapped it not tight enough – it can dry out and spoil. Finally, if it was placed on the wrong shelf – it can also turn bad!
  • frequent reheating is another reason that leads to quick quality degradation. Please, remember the very crucial thing: the more often the foodstuff is warmed up the faster it will become spoiled. Especially if it is fried chicken.
  • we refrigerated it after keeping too long outside. No matter whether you forgot to cool it in time or it was another reason if the chicken was unchilled for more than two hours after it was fried, and only then we refrigerated it…be ready for having it spoiled way faster than you expected.

Spotting spoiled poultry is not complicated: you will see it gets slimy and has an unpleasant sour odor. In this case, toss it away without regrets since even slightly spoiled chicken is hazardous for the wellbeing!

Common Questions Regarding Storage

Even though stocking fried chicken is very simple, consumers keep on asking about various details regarding the process.

How long can you leave fried chicken out?

Since harmful bacteria start developing and spreading very fast, cooked/fried poultry must not spend outside more than two hours after it was cooked.

Storing Fried Chicken

How long can you keep a fried chicken in the fridge?

Refrigerated hen flesh is not that durable, it will be able to remain fresh for nearly four (sometimes five) days if cooled. Once the fried chicken refrigerator life is over, discard it.

Can you put a floured chicken in the fridge?

Fried floured chicken can be left in the fridge where it will stay edible for the same period of time as ordinary fried poultry would.

Is it ok to refrigerate breaded chicken before frying?

Poultry has to be cooled before cooking due to safety reasons. So yes, keep it chilled taking it out only 30 minutes prior to frying.

How Do You Keep Fried Chicken Crispy?

You've Been Making Fried Chicken Wrong This Whole TimeYou’ve Been Making Fried Chicken Wrong This Whole Time

What is more interesting is how to keep fried chicken crispy. Many home chefs stumble upon this issue when finding their fried poultry with absolutely no crispness after an hour past they fried it.

And if you thought that this mission is impossible to complete, we are here to cheer you up! To revive the poultry and return crispness to it, all that needs to be done is:

  • to get a cooling rack and a baking tray
  • preheat the oven to 250 F
  • delete the excess oil from the meat
  • place the rack over the tray and lay the fried chicken on top
  • slide this construction into the oven and leave there for two minutes.

We recommend everyone do that right before serving the dish since frequent and repeated warming up may badly influence the poultry.

Can I Refrigerate Something Before Deep Frying?

Once you prepared some hen flesh for cooking, a question may occur whether it is ok to leave it to cool before it is time to start cooking it.

If the foodstuff will be fried, then yes, it can be cooled prior to frying.

However, if the purpose is to deep-fry the chicken, we recommend you deep-freeze it before it ends up in the fryer. Defrosted foods may not become so crisp as you want them to be, besides, the whole process may fail.

Can I Freeze Fried Chicken?

Can I Freeze Fried Chicken

Sooner or later, most of us face the same question: is it ok to freeze fried chicken? The reasons can be different: too many leftovers or some extra batch or it brought by the loving relatives.

No matter what it was, freezing it is indeed possible.

How long is fried chicken good frozen?

Usually, if prepared and packed correctly, it will easily last for up to half a year, breaded pieces will have a somewhat shorter term of stocking (1-3 months).

Regarding how to freeze fried chicken, the procedure is super simple:

  • let freshly fried poultry cool a bit (no more than two hours!)
  • Place the bits into a frost-resistant tank and close tightly, or wrap each piece with foil
  • Tag them with the starting date of frosting
  • Leave in the frosting camera 

Can you freeze and reheat fried chicken?

Yes, it’s possible, only be careful when warming it up repeatedly! First, it must be defrosted either in a fridge overnight or in cold water.

Only then it is safe to warm it up for 10-15 minutes in the oven since it is the least aggressive way of doing that.

Poultry meat can be repeatedly warmed only once since frequent heating leads to the spreading of bad bacteria. So ensure it is consumed or discard the reheated leftovers, but don’t frost them again!

We told you about the fried chicken shelf life, taught how to freeze and thaw it, and shared several handy suggestions of cooking and stocking it.

Hopefully, from now on, dealing with this foodstuff will be easy for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can you eat KFC left out overnight?

We’d not recommend you do that: any chicken, whether homemade or cooked for commercial selling, must not be left out for more than 2-3 hours.

⭐ Why is my fried chicken not crispy?

Probably, you used too high or too low heat for frying it. Try to revive it in the oven for 10-15 min.

⭐ How do you reheat deep fried chicken?

Do it in the oven preheat to 350 F until the food is warm enough.

⭐ Can I eat cooked chicken after 5 days?

It’s not recommended since it can be safe for only 3-4 days. If it’s older than 5 days, discard it.

⭐ What type of flour is best for fried chicken?

Ordinary all-purpose flour, semolina, rice, barley, or rye ones will also be ok.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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