how long is fried chicken good for in the fridge

Your kids have finished smacking their lips, and have truly licked every last crumb off their plates. That fried chicken was so good, it’s surprising that there is even anything left over after dinner. But, amazingly, there are still a few pieces left in the dish, and everyone is satiated. You can put them in the fridge for another day, but how long is fried chicken good for in the fridge?

Chicken is a popular food that finds its way onto my table at least once a week, in one form or another. It is a healthy form of protein and contains many nutrients needed to keep our bodies healthy. It is highly versatile, as there are so many things that you can do with chicken.

One thing that you should always be on the lookout for is to make sure that your chicken is fresh. If you have leftover chicken, it only has quite a limited fridge life.

How Long Is Fried Chicken Good For In The Fridge?

Chicken has a lot of natural moisture. It is also usually soaked in brine before being packaged and sold, in order to keep it soft and succulent. As a result of this moisture, chicken tends to go off rather quickly. 

After putting the fried chicken in the fridge, it can usually keep for about 3 days. After this, it will start to deteriorate, and bacteria will build up. By day 4 it is probably starting to go off. By day 5 it is not safe to eat it and I would recommend throwing it out.

How Can You Tell If Chicken Has Gone Off?

You do not have to take chances and risk feeding your family chicken that is not fresh. If the chicken has gone off, there are numerous ways to tell.


Fresh chicken has a distinctive smell. It should not smell like dead fish or dirty socks. If fried chicken is off, it will have a strong, unpleasant, rancid smell. If you get even the faintest whiff of a foul odor as you unwrap it, toss that fried chicken into the garbage.

In addition to making you ill, the bacteria in that fried chicken could potentially multiply and contaminate other food in your fridge.

2. Appearance

Fried chicken that is still good to eat should look as good as it tastes. It should be golden brown in color. If it is going bad, the crumbed coating will start to fall off and the chicken will start to develop a greyish hue. It will look completely unappetizing.

3. Touch

If you suspect that the fried chicken in your fridge is no longer good, try feeling it. Chicken that is still good to eat should feel dry when it is cold. If it has a slimy coating, it is off and should not be eaten.

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What Will Happen If You Eat Chicken That Has Gone off?

how long is fried chicken good for in the fridge

Bacteria and other microorganisms, like Salmonella and Campylobacter, can multiply very rapidly in chicken that is no longer fresh. These can cause food poisoning if they are ingested in sufficient quantities. 

You don’t need to eat much for it to make you sick. One small chicken leg will cause enough of a gastrointestinal upset to make you feel pretty grim. 

If you eat a whole meal of fried chicken that is off, within a few hours you will probably start to feel nauseous and may begin vomiting. You could also have severe stomach cramps, accompanied by an unpleasant bout of diarrhea.

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What Should You Do If You Have Eaten Fried Chicken That Was Off?

If you neglected to check how long fried chicken is good for in the fridge, and you have inadvertently eaten some that are off, you should try to keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

You may need to take an over-the-counter anti-spasmodic medication to help with the cramps. If symptoms persist and you are vomiting copiously, I always recommend seeking medical advice. 

If you do have leftover fried chicken, and you aren’t sure if it’s still okay, you should follow this guide for how long fried chicken is good for in the fridge.

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Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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