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Old Chicken, eat or toss?

Ive got a whole chicken in my fridge that I've put off cooking for about 3 weeks (yeah.. I know). Its still in the store packaging, never opened, refrigerated the whole time.

do i cook it or throw it out?

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  1. 3 weeks - wow! That seems like a long time to hold raw chicken in the fridge. Is there a "best by," "sell by" or "use by" date on the packaging? Unless there is one that is at most only a few days ago, I would toss it.

    1. I would cut the plastic packaging and give it a sniff. My guess is that it will stink pretty bad. Frankly, I would probably leave it in the refrigerator until trash pickup day and then toss it. (Actually, I would put it in the trash today because it's around 20° in our garage.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: John E.

        I would wear goggles if you open it, it might explode!

        1. re: John E.

          Your second solution gets my vote. That bird has to reek to high heaven.

              1. re: SaraAshley

                I was wondering that too. Or maybe a test to see how far one has to go to get a Chowhound consensus on "toss it."

                1. re: cookie monster

                  This thread just might be the first time there is a unanimous vote to toss a food product that is questionable.

                  1. re: cookie monster

                    That's what I thought. I often read similar threads like this and laugh. Hell, I've actually considered posting a really ridiculous one as a joke myself, but I decided to be good. :)

                    1. re: SaraAshley

                      Me too! "I bought some raw milk at a local dairy farm. Unfortunately, I forgot it in the trunk of my car and then went out of town for a week. The car was parked outside and the average day time temperature while I was away was about 85'. I haven't opened the jug yet to smell it, but it still looks ok, just a little chunky. Do you think it's safe to drink?"

                2. I can't believe it doesn't smell to high heaven. There's no way it's fit to eat.

                  1. 3 weeks? Even I won't eat it

                    1. If you had ever gotten the least bit of exposure to chicken that has gone "past" you would not even ask this question.

                      Throw it away. Far far away.

                      1. Check the use by date. I was shocked recently when I actually looked at it. I have a vacuum sealed rack of lamb that has a "March 4" use by date.

                        1. I'm pretty brave in the kitchen, but even I would toss that bird!

                          1. If you're calling it "old chicken" it needs to go.

                            If garbage day is far off, I've been told that freezing it until garbage day is a good strategy. Just mark it so you do pitch it.

                            1. I think KM really needs to make a decision on this one in the next 7-10 days.

                              1. Good God.

                                I can't hardly believe you are asking this.

                                Throw it away immediately

                                1. such consensus. I have to cook it just to be contrary.

                                  fear not, into the trash it will go.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    Glad you checked back in. We were going to send an ambulance.

                                    1. re: KrumTx

                                      Save it for the living, send the hearse...:)

                                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                                      Oh, don't *cook* it! Make chicken sashimi. Stick some Vap-O-Rub up your nose. Make pre-need arrangements.

                                    3. I'd brine it. Isn't that the anwer to everything chicken? :)

                                      1. Quick, grab it from the trash. This stuff is ready to be transformed into Ayam Budu.

                                        Toss the skin. The flesh and fat should pull fairly easily off the bones. Chop and shred the meat, then combine with 1/4 by weight very coarse salt. Knead together until it starts to transition into a paste. Seal into a porous terracotta container and bury in a dry part of the yard. Come back in 4 to 6 months.

                                        This Malaysian condiment will render you the talk of the neighborhood. Those who are making boring fish paste will be green with envy. Especially if they live down wind.

                                        If you ever have some well ripened goat lying around, I will be more than happy to share my "Komodo Surprise" recipe with you.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                          "render you the talk of the neighborhood" ?
                                          That can work two ways...:)

                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                            sadly i won't have a dry part of the yard till sometime in april. i have no doubt i would be the talk of the neighborhood. after i am evicted do you think they will let me come back and dig it up in 6 months?

                                            condo associations have such silly rules. no towels on the balcony railings, no shoes left in the hall, no fermenting chickens in the yard. what is the world coming to?

                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                              Most of them allow 2 pets, tethered if outdoors, but I'm not aware of any that prohibit goats or sheep or llamas.

                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                i don't see any mention in my association's bylaws forbidding fermenting chickens in the yard. not picking up dog poo, it's in there, but seems as though fermenting chickens are a go!

                                            2. Just use common sense. yikes! toss it don't even bother sniff test it will be rotten. Im also surpassed you can't smell it.

                                              I think stores make mistakes quite often on sell by dates some to short some to long.

                                              1. Uncooked refrigerated poultry is good for 1-2 days PAST the sell by date. If the date was still good, you could have cooked it even if it was in the fridge for a month and it would have been safe. It may have had a smell to it but that would have been because of the dead blood in the package. Rinsed off, it would have been safe (no speeches please about rinsing off poultry) if the date had not expired.


                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                  I understand where you are coming from. I also think that 3 weeks is a number I don't really want to challenge when dealing with chicken. About four years ago I forgot a pork shoulder in a cooler outside in November. The outaide temperature had been below 40° the entire time, but the pork had gone bad. I ended up feeding that pork to the wolves at our cabin up north.

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    Perhaps that pork was almost past it's expiration date when that happened? I definitely don't take chances where there is a possibility of food poisoning may be concerned but I'm also not one to just throw out food without checking my resources AND depending on the variables.

                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                      The funny thing is that 12# pork shoulder came as a pair. I cooked one and intended to freeze the other, but I forgot about it. When I smelled the pork, it was bad, so I got rid of it.

                                                2. You are joking on here right? Toss that filthy infested thing in the trash. Shocking you even asked. Any form of food poisoning is potentially lethal.

                                                  1. Break it down into small one to two inch pieces and fill a mason jar 3/4 of the up with raw chicken. Top it off to the brim with buttermilk and put the lid on tightly.

                                                    In the dead of night, hide it somewhere in the car of an enemy - where they won't notice it for at least a few weeks. Gas will develop and expand as the chicken decomposes - the buttermilk helps with this. You get one good hot day and that baby will bust open, spraying rotten chicken and buttermilk everywhere. If you do this right, they will have to buy a new car. Chicken bomb.

                                                    I just hate to waste food.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                        Now that made me laugh out loud:-))

                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                          That's quite a detailed and well thought-out plan. Just how many people have you done this to??? ;)

                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                            That's a step up from the usual 4 am pizza deliveries and loads of soil...

                                                            1. re: lagatta

                                                              This story of the exploding buttermilk and chicken carrion just seems like something Justin Bieber would do. When I read NonnieMuss's description of how to do it, I couldn't imagine anyone except JB pulling it off...

                                                        2. Here is the chow rule of thumb to live by; if you have to ask you should just toss it!

                                                          If you have reason enough to pose the question to people who can't see, smell, poke or pinch it, just do yourself a potentially life saving favor and toss it!

                                                          1. Jeezus Buddha. Throw that sucker out before you poison somebody. Especially since you're in Hawaii. That chicken package took extra time to get to you in the first place.

                                                            1. Just reading this makes me wan't to throw up. I won't even mention what I ate Wednesday night.I am just getting out of the house today from being sick.Throw it out.

                                                              1. Ok, I'll be Devil's Advocate. Don't trust your nose - if trusting your nose is such great advice, why are some of the stinkiest cheeses (and other foods) considered great delicacies? Cook it. Eat it. Report back.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: ricepad

                                                                  There will be no report back. That stuff is deadly