One of the easiest ways to cook a whole chicken is in a crockpot! The possibilities are endless, but I’m going to share two of my favorite recipes for cooking a whole chicken in a crockpot.
First let’s talk about whole chickens, I also call them roasters – because that’s typically how people cook them (read my tutorial on roasting two chickens at once here). They are a VERY frugal protein – often costing $0.88/lb to $0.99/lb on sale. I like to stock up when under a pound and they freeze beautifully. Not only can you get a substantial meal from the chicken – but the bones and “leftovers” makes amazing slow cooker chicken broth. It’s the meal that keeps on giving. ?
Here’s how to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker . . .
- Whole roasting chicken – between 3-5 pounds - Fresh or thawed. Don’t try this with a frozen whole chicken.
- 2 medium onions, sliced in half
- 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika – I prefer smoked paprika, but any kind works.
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic – dried or fresh
- Clean out the giblets and other items in the chicken. Save for other recipe or discard.
- Clean up chicken – I like to cut off any large fat chunks. I like to rinse the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Set chicken aside.
- Peel and slice onions in half. Place the four onion halves, flat side down in crockpot. I like to do this because it props up the chicken and keeps it off the main heat and out of the juices.
- Place chicken, breasts down, on top of the onions.
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and the seasonings.
- Pour seasoning on to chicken and rub it all around. Give the chicken a thick coating of seasonings.
- Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4-5 hours on high).
- Using a meat thermometer, confirm temperature is at least 165 degrees (per food safety standards)
- Pull chicken apart – watch for bones, the whole chicken should come apart easily – much easier than when roasting so it’s much more prone to little bones.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
I do not add any water or liquid – I find that it will shed plenty of it’s own juices and it will be plenty moist – especially if you cook on low for 8 hours.
TACO VARIATION – For a different variation, instead of the seasonings listed above, just rub a package of taco seasoning all over chicken. Cook as directed above. It will have a very light taco flavoring – great for salads or enchiladas. If you don’t want to use the pre-packaged stuff, you can easily make your own taco seasoning.
I’d love to know what you think of this recipe! Leave a comment and let me know how it turns out for you. Do you have other Crockpot Whole Chicken recipe variations? I’d love to hear!