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Can I rescue undercooked chicken?

I roasted a chicken last night to make chicken pot pie. When I took it out to shred it today, some of the breast meat was not fully cooked. Can I rescue it by re-heating the already shredded chicken in the broth to bring it up to temp./fully cooking it? Does the fact that it sat overnight in this state matter? Opinions welcome. Thanks!

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  1. I think re-cooking it in the broth or nuking the undercooked bits would work out fine. I think the overnight factor shouldn't matter. Happy pot-pie! Adam

    1. Food safety experts would caution against it. Partial cooking may allow surviving bacteria to grow overnight.

      1. I just got over a serious bout of salmonella from an undercooked chicken. Normally, I'm pretty cavalier about this stuff but after that I'd recommend against it.

        It is not worth even the chance of what I went through to save a little money/time.

          1. 2 for 2 against......NOW what?

            1. "If in doubt, throw it out."

              1. Folks, you're missing the point here.

                This chicken is for CHICKEN POT PIE. Has anyone ever made chicken pot pie? I have... and one of the steps is to drop the chicken into a hot, cooked sauce. After that you put the thing into a baking dish/pie dish/however you make yours, and then bake it again until the filling is bubbling hot. You even have to wait for 15+ minutes to eat it because it's so hot.

                It will be fine, use the chicken.

                4 Replies
                1. re: HaagenDazs

                  Assuming you refrigerated it overnight, AND you know cook it to a very high temp, you are fine. For the future, get yourself a good instand read therm though...

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    I don't think anyone is missing the point. No one is in a panic here. The OP could be making CHICKEN SALAD. That's not the issue since the OP had already stated that the chicken would be boiled in broth.

                    But bringing a piece of meat to danger zone temperatures can allow bacterial colonies to grow and produce exotoxins that can't be cooked away. Your argument is too simple. It would imply that a rotten piece of meat be eaten just as long as you make a pot pie out of it.

                    The chance of a problem is truly miniscule but why take the risk when the payoff is equally miniscule and the solution is within easy reach.

                    1. re: Frommtron

                      Watch out. The sky might be falling.

                      If my answer is too simple, yours is far too complex to lend any advice to the situation.

                      You correctly said it: we're not talking about chicken salad, so why even bring it up?

                      We're not talking about botulism here either. (Common food exotoxin) we're talking about a slightly undercooked chicken that will be thoroughly re-cooked in a food item in less than 24 hours. To imply that it is rotten is up to you, but know that we're not talking about rotten foods.

                      1. re: HaagenDazs

                        I don't think you understood the post above. Both points were bought up to illustrate the fallacy of your position that somehow the cooking method of chicken pot pie makes food safe to eat.

                        1. All the steps of cooking a pot pie are no more effective at killing live bacteria than simmering the chicken in broth for a few minutes.

                        2. Cooking food at a high temperature for a long while doesn't guarantee it's safe to consume.

                        The only argument that holds water is the statistical one: the chance that the chicken will pose a problem is miniscule but one that any food safety expert would advise against taking. This is common, basic stuff regarding food safety.

                        I would not eat it since I just got over a two week bout of salmonella. If this were a year from now I probably wouldn't think twice. I eat raw eggs and what many would consider undercooked chicken all the time with no ill effect (usually). This isn't a question of whether or not you or I would eat it. The issue is whether the OP wants to eat it.

                        My simple advice: avoid the anxiety and the miniscule chance and don't eat the chicken. Yours is to play the odds and eat it. Why you have an attitude about it I can't understand.

                  2. With undercooked chickens, I've chopped the uncooked (and cooked) parts up and sauteed them in the rendered fat until done. (these were refrigerated overnight) Since I pull apart the chicken to start the stock before going to bed, I'm well aware of whether it was undercooked soon afterwards (this has happened even with meat thermometers).

                    I wouldn't worry, but if you are, it's better to keep your conscious clear.

                    1. From a food safety standard, no. Personally, I would if it were for me, a healthy adult but not for children, pregnant women, seniors, no one with a compromised immune system. And, I'd only do it for myself and not if I were serving to a party.

                      1. Okay, I'm really confused here.

                        The chicken was raw and refrigerated.

                        Then it was (partially) cooked. The part that wasn't fully cooked is the middle of the breast - a whole muscle (okay, two muscles on each side) that provides no access whatsoever for pathogens.

                        After that, it was refrigerated.

                        Now it's going to be cooked again.

                        Then it will be put in a chicken pot pie, where it will be cooked yet again.

                        So unless the OP's fridge is infested with gremlins that run around shooting excrement into foods with a basting needle, there just isn't any significant risk of infection.


                        2 Replies
                          1. re: alanbarnes

                            Bad Gizmo! Eating after midnight and pouring water on himself (or herself?).

                          2. I've appreciated this lively discussion! You've both made good points and come up with some great analogies.

                              1. If it were me, I would just avoid the undercooked parts. Safety concerns aside, I find that when I undercook a protein, let it cool then cook it later, the texture suffers - it becomes tough and rubbery. Just cut around the undercooked parts then shred it. If you've already shredded it... I suppose refer to previous responses.

                                1. Okay.. just to stop the worrying -- no one died. Or got sick. I brought the broth to a rolling boil and added the chicken and left it for about 5 minutes then removed it and on I went with Alton Brown's lovely chicken with dumplings. I'm pretty cautious -- I've had food poisoning -- but I felt pretty safe. Thanks for everyone's advice. You are the best!