How long should I rest the chicken

Country Living Farm

10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
I just processed 15 birds. They have been on ice for 24 hours now. I normally rested for 24 hours in the past but sometimes the meat is still tough. Is it ok to rest 48 hours? I am guessing as long as it is on ice they do not go bad (spoil).

I usually leave them on ice long enough for them to completely cool down - I would think 24 hours would be plenty. Then I go on and put them in the freezer. I let mine age when I pull them out of the freezer to cook. I usually leave them in the fridge for three days before cooking. On the 3rd day I put them in marinade if I am roasting or grilling or soak them in buttermilk if I am frying. I have had really good luck with this. The birds have all been very tender whether I roasted, grilled or fried them.

I got this from an article written by Gina Bisco called Rediscovering Traditional Meats from Historic Chicken Breeds. The website is: You should read the entire article - very interesting - but I found this part to be definitely true:

After processing, for best meat texture, chickens should be chilled and aged before cooking. Most sources recommend chilling and aging chickens for 24 hours, and up to 3 days before freezing. I think aging at least 24 hours improves the texture, and that older chickens are better with longer aging, up to perhaps 5 days in the refrigerator for fowl. The properly aged bird should retain a very fresh clean smell with no hint of taint. I’ve read that chickens that are to be frozen need not be aged first if they will remain at least a month in the freezer. However, that advice may have been based on industrial meat lines, butchered very young. For historic breed chickens butchered at 12 weeks or older, freezer aging may not be enough. If a chicken was not aged in the fridge for at least 24 hours before freezing, then after thawing I usually will allow it another day or more to age in the fridge, before cooking.

Hope this helps!

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