Chicken can be conveniently and safely thawed in the refrigerator. Allow approximately five hours of thawing time per pound.
If you're short on time, you can defrost either using the microwave or cold water methods. When thawing chicken in the microwave, be sure to check your microwave manufacturer's instructions for defrosting a chicken. Remove chicken from the original package, and place on a microwave safe dish to thaw. To defrost a chicken using cold water, place the poultry in an airtight bag and thaw in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold; cook the chicken immediately.
Do not thaw chicken at room temperature, even if frozen inside. The surface of foods can warm up quickly, allowing bacteria to grow.
Whatever cooking method you useroasting, frying, simmering, grilling or microwavingbe sure to finish cooking once it is started. Interrupted or partial cooking may encourage bacterial growth in foods. Keep all hot foods hot (140-160°F) before and during serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers in a shallow container as soon as the meal is over. Do not leave cooked foods out at room temperature for more than two hours.
A meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine if chicken is done. For a whole chicken, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Find internal cooking temperatures for chicken and turkey.