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Making a chicken salad is always a great idea, yet sometimes you either make too much or you eat too little. Regardless of the reason, you always end up with a bit of your homemade chicken salad leftover. It would be a shame for it to go to waste, so storing chicken salad seems like the best idea. Today we will cover the basics of storing your chicken salad so that it can be enjoyed another day.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Chicken Salad?
- 2 Storing Homemade Chicken Salad
- 3 Storing Chicken Salad, Is It Worth It?
- 4 FAQs on Chicken Salad
What Is A Chicken Salad?
While the question may seem a bit unnecessary due to the title of the dish being quite self-explanatory, a chicken salad actually has many variations that change how some of the ingredients are cooked and prepared. The salad also changes depending on what type of chicken salad it is, as does the salad dressing.
A chicken salad may seem like a very mid-tier dish but with the best quality ingredients and some brilliantly cooked chicken, chicken salads can be a jaw-dropping dish. While the dish is a very simple concept of cooking chicken and adding it to a salad of veggies, it can be taken a step further by adding other meats and a dressing alongside.
The chicken caesar salad is the most popular variation of this dish and consists of salad, cooked chicken, cooked bacon, croutons, and a hard-boiled egg. Over the dish, there is even a specialized sauce called ‘Caesar dressing‘ which is a mix of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and pepper. While chicken salad is an amazing dish, it can sometimes not be as filling as you would have hoped. Thankfully, there are plenty of dishes you can pair with it that are certain to leave you satisfied.
Storing Homemade Chicken Salad
Normally there would be different storage rules for the food based on whether it is cooked or raw. A chicken salad cannot be assembled raw as the chicken would spread bacteria which could lead to food poisoning. You can obviously store the different ingredients found in a chicken salad, although for storage information on those you would have to check the packaging of the individual ingredients.
Storing Chicken Salad in the Fridge
If you are looking for a short-term storage solution then the fridge will be your new best friend. All you will need to do is store your chicken salad in either an airtight container or in a bowl that is covered in plastic wrap. It is important to note that if the salad you are trying to store is covered in a dressing, it may be somewhat soggy after it has sat for a while. Another important precaution to keep in mind is that the chicken salad should be at room temperature before you store it. If you leave hot food in the fridge it can create a breeding ground for bacteria. To cool your salad to room temperature, leave it on the side for no more than two hours. After two hours, the bacteria would have had enough time to breed to a point where it may make you sick or unwell if you eat it. The fridge may be the best way to store chicken salad as you can easily retrieve it whenever you want to eat it. The chicken salad will stay fresh and edible for up to 5 days, but after this, you may want to think twice about eating it. 5 days is how long chicken salad lasts before it is no longer recommended to eat. It may still be edible, however, it is more of a precaution and a case of ‘better safe than sorry’.
Storing Chicken Salad in the Freezer
While the shelf life of the chicken salad is definitely improved when properly stored in the fridge, it is still only a short-term solution and must be eaten within a week at most. For a long-term solution that will help your salad last for weeks, you can freeze it. To freeze chicken salad, you will need to take the same precautions you would for the fridge such as making sure it is at room temperature. You should still store it in an airtight container or in a bowl wrapped in plastic wrap, but this is long-term storage so try not to use a bowl you will miss. The shelf life of chicken salad in the freezer will be roughly 3 months before the quality decreases and it becomes inadvisable to eat.
Thawing Chicken Salad
While the freezer stores your food for longer, it does not have the quick accessibility of the fridge. This means, that if you want to eat your chicken salad, you will have to thaw it first. Thawed chicken salad, if done right, is just the same as it was before you put it in the freezer. To thaw it you will want to leave it in the fridge overnight and let it gradually thaw. You can also choose to thaw it on the counter, but once it reaches room temperature you would have to eat it within two hours otherwise the bacteria will breed on it.
Storing Chicken Salad, Is It Worth It?
If you are trying to promote a decrease in food waste then yes, it is absolutely worth it. When stored in the fridge, chicken salad is safe to take out and eat for up to five days (Although some sources say up to three days). Within these five days, you can easily find time to eat and enjoy your chicken salad just as much as you did initially. As for freezing your chicken salad, it is up to you. A chicken salad is really nice, there is no doubt about that. But if it is worth the hassle of freezing, storing, and thawing is another question. Freezing is certainly an option, yet it is very over-the-top when you can just place it in the fridge and eat it in a couple of days. But don’t let that stop you, freeze away to your heart’s content! Freezing is certainly better than wasting it!
FAQs on Chicken Salad
Is chicken salad good after five days?
Chicken salad is good for up to five days, but that does not necessarily mean it goes bad immediately on the sixth. It is up to you if you eat it or not after the five days but it is somewhat of a risk, which is why it is warned against.
How can you tell when a chicken salad is bad?
If you are thinking your chicken salad is bad or gone off, the best thing you can do is smell it. If it has an off smell or odor, it is best to discard it immediately. Another thing to check is how it looks. Carefully inspect your salad and if anything looks off or you see any mold then it is time to throw it away.
Can I eat 6-day-old chicken salad?
The chicken can be eaten for up to five days but does not immediately turn poisonous on the 6th day. The ‘up to five days’ caution is just to warn you that it is definitely safe for that amount of time but may start to go bad afterward. So yes, you can eat it on the sixth day as long as it is not displaying any signs of being spoiled.