Assuming the chicken was frozen promptly after purchase and thawed in the refrigerator, defrosted chicken can be kept for 1 to 2 days before cooking, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. If the chicken is not used, it can be safely refrozen within this time frame.
Frozen chicken can be defrosted in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. It can also be thawed in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. A whole chicken or cut-up parts can take around 3 hours to thaw with this method, and boneless chicken can take around 1 hour. Chicken thawed in cold water should be cooked immediately.