How many hours can chicken sit out at room temperature before it goes bad?

The USDA Food Safety Service recommends that all chicken be either refrigerated or frozen immediately. Frozen chicken can be safely thawed in the refrigerator, microwave or in cold water, but should never be thawed on the counter. There is a 1-2 hour window that chicken can be safely left at room-temperature, but longer than this is not recommended. Be sure to fully-cook all chicken before eating.