Making a crockpot whole chicken is an easy way to meal prep that doesn't heat up the kitchen. If you love the convenience of a rotisserie chicken, try slow cooking a whole chicken at home instead. It's a super simple roasted chicken dinner that can be used for meals throughout the week.
It's the beginning of another hectic week. One of the best ways to prepare for the week ahead is to cook a whole chicken to use for different meals. Roasting a chicken in the oven is great and something I do a lot on the weekends. But if you're busy all day—or it's too hot to turn on the oven—a crockpot whole chicken is a great alternative. It's an easy, healthy slow cooker chicken recipe. And a great way to prep for keto, paleo, and Whole30 lunches and dinners.
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Can you roast a whole chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes, absolutely! It's so easy and the chicken turns out amazingly moist and juicy. The first time I roasted a chicken this way, my husband said we should never cook it any other way. It's a great weeknight dinner—just start it in the morning and dinner is ready when you're done working.
Cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker is simple. I use the same ingredients as my herb lemon garlic roast chicken, with the addition of some vegetables to create a rack in the bottom of the crock pot. This is my go-to flavor combination for poultry. It works well as a base for any sauces added later. And I always have the ingredients in my pantry.
Here's what you'll need
The process couldn't be easier. Just add some aromatic vegetables—onions, celery, and carrots—to the bottom of the slow cooker to raise the chicken up and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the crockpot. Using vegetables for this, instead of a rack or aluminum foil, helps flavor the chicken. And if you're going to make bone broth from the chicken bones, you can just leave the vegetables in the slow cooker and add back the chicken bones and the rest of the ingredients. (Find the full instructions for making slow cooker chicken stock here.)
Flavor the chicken with lemons, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken in the crock pot breast side up, set it to low, and walk away. The cook time will be 6-8 hours depending on the size of your chicken. It's done when the temperature reaches the recommended 165 degrees on a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part. The chicken should be falling off the bone tender.
How to serve it
Once the chicken comes out of the slow cooker, you can cut it up or shred the chicken to use in other recipes as you would a rotisserie chicken. (Don't forget to save the bones for making stock!) Or if you are going to serve it whole like a roasted chicken, you can brown the chicken under the broiler to crisp up the skin as shown in the video.
So try this slow cooker whole chicken to make your week easier. And for more healthy slow cooker recipes, check out these paleo crockpot recipes.
Crockpot Whole Chicken Recipe
- Cut carrots, celery, and onion into large chunks and line bottom of slow cooker.
- Rinse chicken, pat dry, and stuff with garlic cloves and lemon halves. Season all over with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence.
- Place chicken on top of vegetables in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours, or until chicken is 165 degrees.
- Optional: if desired, brown chicken under the broiler.