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cooked chicken left out

I feel like a moron having to ask this but here goes:

I roasted two whole chickens yesterday with the intent of carving and freezing in portions for school/work lunch. Usually with roasting a chicken, I cook around 250 until it hits 140 Fahrenheit, and juices are clear then wrap it up in foil to rest anywhere from 30mins to an hour before carving.

I had plans to go out yesterday, and when I took the chickens out realized I was out of foil and didn't have time to wait for them to cool down enough to go in the fridge, so decided to just put them on the counter and put a big bowl over each.

6 hours later, I come home and carve the chickens only to discover that there was still a lot of blood inside, esp. the thigh and drumstick meat.
I carved them up and put the meat in the fridge, thinking maybe I can just sort of 'reroast' the meat, but I'm not sure if this is safe. I know roasting the meat again will make it dry as hell, but I'd rather not throw it out if i don't have to.

So, give me your opinions chowhounders: can I get away with this eating dried out meat and learning a humbling lesson, or do I avoid poisoning my fiancee and myself and learn an even more humbling lesson by chucking two whole chickens? go!

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  1. Ideal conditions for bacteria to multiply. Throw the chicken out. Years ago, my brother made a lot of people very ill by "re-cooking" underdone chicken.

    1. It's dead meat - toss it. Six hours on the counter gave the bacteria an open buffet and motel. Don't go there.

      1. Are you sure it was blood? It's common these days for red liquid to leak around joints and bones in fully cooked chicken.

        If it's actually blood, no I would not eat.

        If it's not, yes I'd eat it but I'm admittedly pretty lax with food safety rules. I've left fully cooked chicken out all night and it's fine. At holidays, the turkey sits out for 6 hours or more and is fine.

        12 Replies
        1. re: fldhkybnva

          How is the OP supposed to tell "if it's actually blood?"

          1. re: pikawicca

            He/she cooked it. I can tell blood from the other red liquid that comes out of cooked chicken. Unless this was the first chicken ever, I'd hope it'd be easy to figure out.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              IT sat out on a counter for 6 hours even if the red is not blood it should not be consumed.

              1. re: Ruthie789

                OK, in your house, not in mine. Like I said above my family has had countless holiday meals where the food sits out for longer than that and people continue to eat it. But as with all of these inquiries, it's a personal judgment call. I wouldn't serve it to anyone, but I'd eat it myself if I knew it had been cooked to temperature.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  fldhkybnva, please see my post below regarding food poisoning.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    With all due respect, I do not think it is a personal call. Food that is not held at proper temperatures can cause an array of problems, and it is not always evident that an upset stomach and the "like" may have its origins from improper food handling. If an elderly person or a young child or a fragile person gets sick from food poisoning the consequences can be quite serious.

                    1. re: Ruthie789

                      Like I said, I'd eat it. I wouldn't feed it to anyone. I'm not a young child or a fragile person.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        Neither was I the three times I had terrible food poisoning. Neither was my husband last fall when it landed him in the hospital - the words "life threatening" were used by his doctor.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          As this thread has shown, each individual has a very different tolerance for how far they push "food past its prime". I eat stuff in the fridge that my wife won't go near. Hasn't had much, if any, negative effect on me thus far. And, as has been discussed in lots of different threads, food spoilage is a very complicated algorithm - in this case, how fresh was the chicken, what was its source, what was the final internal temp and how long was it held there, what kind of bacteria are floating around the OPs kitchen, how clean was the counter and bowl, and, if the OP had chosen to keep the chickens, how they treated it (take the meat off the carcass?) and where in the fridge they put it (top shelf front, where its warmest, or bottom back where its coldest.

                          Some folks don't want to take risks, and that's fine. Others do, and that's fine too. And when someone asks, there will be a wide diversity of opinions based on people's experiences. It's ultimately up to each individual to choose what they are comfortable with.

                          1. re: foreverhungry

                            Exactly, thank you. It's a personal decision...

                          2. re: sandylc

                            Yes, but those were the words used by "Ruthie789." I've had food poisoning, it was damn near awful and I couldn't eat really for 3 weeks. I'd still eat the chicken.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Sometimes threads can banter back and forth and parties fail to agree and that's fine. I would just encourage the op to be an informed cook.

            2. It's unlikely to be blood, there's been lots of threads here and elsewhere on what the red is in a cooked chicken, when fully cooked.

              Personally, I'm less concerned about how a chicken is handled in the few hours after cooking than I am how it's handled in the few days in the fridge.

              I've often left chickens, whole or pieces, on the counter for a few hours after cooking. I then handle those carefully - ziplocked with air sucked out, bottom shelf back where it's coldest, and use it soon.

              IMO, no reason to throw it out, that's a waste. Treat them well, and they will feed you well and safely. This is like people throwing out milk a day after the "expiration" date.