Be it a breast, thigh, drumstick or whole roasted bird, chicken has a special place in our hearts—and in our weekly meal plan. Versatility is among the many benefits this ingredient has to offer, and leftovers can be used in anything from soup and pot pie to enchiladas and salad. In fact, this is one instance where you won’t be subject to groans when you serve up yesterday’s dinner—but only if you know how to reheat chicken properly. Follow this guide and you can avoid the common pitfall of turning a prized piece of poultry into a bland and dehydrated disappointment.
How Long Does Cooked Chicken Last in the Fridge?
So you found a container of shredded chicken from, well…you don’t remember when. (Cue the spooky music.) Is it OK to reheat and eat? Probably not: According to the USDA, you should use cooked chicken within three to four days if it’s been kept refrigerated at 40°F or less. In our kitchen, we adhere to a “five days max” policy for most leftovers in the refrigerator—including leftover chicken—and use smell and appearance as backup indicators of freshness.