To check doneness, cut into chicken piece to make sure that juices run clear and are no longer pink.
• Look for tightly wrapped packages without tears, holes or leaks and with little or no liquid.
• Check for a fresh odor. If it doesn’t smell right, don’t buy it.
• Choose cold packages and stay away from those stacked above the top of the meat case, which may not be cold enough.
• Don’t buy any packages if the sell-by date has already passed.
• Whole birds and cut-up pieces should be plump and meaty with smooth, moist-looking skin and no traces of feathers.
• Boneless skinless products should look plump and moist.
• Chicken skin color can vary from yellow to white and doesn’t indicate quality; turkey skin should be cream-colored.
• Cut ends of the bones should be pink to red in color.
• Place packages in plastic bags so juices don’t drop and contaminate other foods.
• Place poultry in refrigerator as soon as you get home. If you’re shopping on a hot day or will be longer than 30 minutes, store it in an ice-packed cooler.
• Poultry packaged in clear, sealed plastic wrap on a plastic tray doesn’t need to be repackaged.
• Poultry wrapped in butcher paper should be repackaged in plastic wrap, foil or resealable plastic freezer bags.
• Store in the meat compartment or coldest part of refrigerator, or freeze as soon as possible.
• Cook or freeze poultry within 2 days of the sell-by date.
• If the poultry is uncooked poultry, whole or in parts, you can store it in a refrigerator (36° to 40°F) for 1-2 days or in the freezer (0°F or colder) for 12 months (whole chicken); 9 months (chicken pieces).
• If the poultry is uncooked ground poultry, you can store it in a refrigerator (36° to 40°F) for 1-2 days or in the freezer (0°F or colder) for 3-4 months.
• If the poultry is cooked poultry, you can store it in a refrigerator (36° to 40°F) for 2 days or in the freezer (0°F or colder) for 4 months.
Sides of steamed veggies make great partners for baked chicken.