So, a friend of mine told me they frequently add raw chicken to their (already cooked) leftovers when reheating (in a pan) to top them up. Though they stress that the chicken is completely cooked by the end of the reheating.

I feel like this is extremely unsafe in terms of food hygiene and food contamination, but apparently my friend and most of their family members have done this quite frequently without issue.

Other than the reheated food being overcooked and degraded in quality, I am not sure how I could explain that this isn't a safe practice. Or am I completely wrong in this matter?

  • 3
    Thanks for clarifying your question, and I'm sorry for the unfriendly way in which that clarification was requested.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 16, 2018 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


If a dish, any dish, leftovers or otherwise, has raw chicken added to it, then is cooked until said chicken is fully cooked, it is then safe to eat. There is nothing from what you describe that justifies assuming that the way the dish is handled would be unsafe.

  • I guess my assumption incorrectly stemmed from how one would store raw and cooked foods.
    – Gary
    Aug 16, 2018 at 17:33
  • 6
    @Gary : the problem comes when you have raw chicken touching other food, and then that other food isn't brought up to sufficient temperature. So long as the chicken is sufficiently cooked, and the rest of the food is also brought up to a sufficient temperature, it's fine. It's basically what you'd do for making fried rice -- cook the chicken, then add the previously cooked rice, and heat it all up together.
    – Joe
    Aug 16, 2018 at 19:33
  • 5
    @Joe - I think the idea is that if the chicken is added to the rest of the food, then in order for the chicken to fully cook in the midst of all that leftover food, the leftover food must also reach that temperature. Aug 17, 2018 at 17:54

I would like to think that adding raw chicken on the bottom of the container would allow it to cook done quicker than mixing it into the leftover dish while reheating. However, I have not tested this at all. I am questioning whether to reheat the Stuffing with raw chicken or pre-cook it. I have cubed it and will probably pre-cook it to be safe. I would like the convenience of not pre-cooking it but do not feel confident about it.

  • You need to fully cook the chicken. It’s often easier to cook the chicken first, then add everything else, as you may overlook/dry out/otherwise affect whatever’s being reheated if you try to mix it into the raw chicken.
    – Joe
    Nov 27, 2023 at 23:37
  • It seems you're unsure of all that you say, so this is not an answer. If you would edit for more assertive language, please indicate what justifies it.
    – ariola
    Dec 7, 2023 at 9:00

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