Making a crock pot whole chicken is an easy way to prep for paleo, keto and Whole30 meals throughout the week. And a super simple slow cooker chicken dinner.
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 if you're home—and something I do a lot on the weekends. But if you're running around all day, a crock pot whole chicken is a great alternative. It's an easy, healthy chicken recipe. And a great way to prep for paleo, keto and Whole30 lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Crock pot whole chicken
Cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot 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 slow cooker. 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.
The process couldn't be easier. Just add some aromatic vegetables 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.
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 as shown in the video below.
So try this slow cooker whole chicken to make your week easier. And for more healthy slow cooker recipes, check out these paleo crock pot recipes.
How to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker
Crock Pot Whole Chicken Recipe
- 2 carrots cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 small onion
- 1 large whole chicken
- 1 lemon halved
- 3 - 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 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.