According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, fresh raw chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before preparation. This time frame applies to both whole chickens and pieces.
When storing raw chicken in the refrigerator, it should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below to ensure that the meat does not spoil or grow bacteria. Chicken should be frozen if it remains unused for a couple of days after purchase. Although frozen foods can remain safe indefinitely, for the sake of quality and texture, frozen whole chicken should be used within a year of freezing, and chicken pieces should be used within 9 months after initial freezing.