Forget the expensive rotisserie chickens. Roast a whole chicken in the slow cooker for tender, delicious cooked chicken.
In my neck of the woods, whole chickens go as low as $0.57/pound. Yes, really. There’s generally a limit of three, but yes, the price is that low. In southern California. Who knew?
I buy the limit and stash them in the freezer. Then when it’s time to cook a chicken, I do it by the easiest means possible: the slow cooker.
Cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare a whole bird.
It’s not hard. The meat is tender and juicy. And you do very little work.
Ready to learn? Here we go.
1. Thaw the chicken completely.
Typically whole birds are stored pretty cold, so even the ones I buy from the store are often partially frozen when I bring them home. Store it in the fridge in a dish to catch drips while it thaws.
2. Rinse the bird and remove the giblets.
Using cool running water, rinse the chicken and remove the neck and giblets. Sometimes they are packed in a bag, sometimes not. You can use these for cooking, like in homemade stock, or discard. Your choice. (I ditch them usually, unless I’m making this recipe.) Pat the bird dry.
3. Season the chicken.
Once you’ve rinsed the bird and patted it dry, place it in your slow cooker. Rub on some butter or oil and then season it. You can use any spice blend you like as well as plain old salt and pepper. Sometimes I give it a heavy sprinkling of dried onion flakes as well as salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Consider thyme, herbes de provence, rosemary, oregano, basil, or sage to add to your seasoning.
4. Cover and cook.
Place the cover on the slow cooker and turn it on to high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. You do not need to add any liquid. Chickens today typically have some solution added, so they rarely need added liquid. At the end of the cooking time, the meat will be tender, practically falling off the bone. This is ideal for shredding or simply carve and serve.
I typically serve sliced chicken and chicken pieces one night and then have enough leftover for soup or chicken pot pie the next night. I use the bones and drippings to make broth in the same slow cooker as soon as I’ve finished carving the chicken.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can roast your chicken this way in the oven.
Chicken in a Slow Cooker
Forget the expensive rotisserie chickens. Roast a whole chicken in the slow cooker for tender, delicious cooked chicken with this easy recipe.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 10 minutes
serves 6 to 8
- one whole chicken, completely thawed and giblets removed
- 1/4 cup softened butter or olive oil
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 teaspoons other spices of your choice: garlic powder, dried chopped onion, rosemary, thyme, herbes de provence, oregano, basil, or sage
- Rinse the thawed chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Rub the chicken with the softened butter or drizzle it with oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and your choice of spices.
- Place the cover on the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours.
- Carve and serve chicken or shred it for use in another chicken meal.
- Use the bones and drippings to make homemade chicken stock in the slow cooker.
Tools I use to make this recipe:
This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these Amazon links, I am paid a small amount in advertising fees. Your price is not changed, but your purchase helps keep this site available to provide free content to you and all your friends. Thanks for your support.