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When we’re run down, busy with life or just want a hearty meal this slow cooker whole chicken is an absolute winner. It helps us have a delicious roast dinner, we can cook some lovely soft veggies alongside it and the chicken even produces its own stock.
I love to use this tasty stock as a base for a good homemade onion gravy. If you’re looking for some inspiration for other slow cooker recipes then be sure to check out my Easy slow cooker recipes (UK recipes).
Ingredients for slow cooker whole chicken:
1 whole chicken (I went for 1.145kg but ensure your chicken will fit into your slow cooker pot!)
4 cloves of garlic
Herbs: 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 salt & pepper, 1 tsp paprika
5ml lemon juice (fresh is ideal but bottled will work great too!)
Method for my slow cooker full chicken:
Peel and quarter the onions.
Peel and chop the carrots.
Place these into the bottom of your slow cooker pot.
Crush the garlic cloves and add these in.
Mix together your herbs, spices and lemon, then spread this over the skin of your whole chicken.
Place your chicken on top of the vegetables.
Cook on high for at least 30 minutes, to ensure your pot is warmed through thoroughly, and then on low for 12 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
Ensure that the juices run clear from the thickest part of the chicken and the meat is no longer pink before serving.
Serve and enjoy delicious tender chicken.
If you want extra crispy chicken then give it a quick grill for a few minutes!
Slow cooker whole chicken cooking time
Cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker is best done low and slow I find. But if you’re in a hurry then 5-6 hours on high will be great too.
You can put this slow cooker whole chicken in your crockpot and leave it all day long while you clean, enjoy a family day out or anything else.
I find that for a slow cooker whole chicken 12 hours is perfect. It is succulent, has made its own stock and is so so delicious!
The vegetables and the whole chicken are moist, soft and delicious. The chicken is best removed using two spatulas, or similar utensils, as it is very breakable due to the long cooking time. You could also use a special product to remove the chicken, see below.
I find it very simple to cut this chicken into portions as the wings and legs slice off in seconds, with no problems at all. These wings are perfect for my air fryer chicken wings.
The chicken is full of moisture and when slicing the breast there is lots of moisture within the meat, despite the 12 hours that I have cooked it for.
Slow cooker whole chicken how to crisp the skin:
The skin is surprisingly crisp, without being dry, but can be crisped under the grill for 2-3 minutes if desired to make a slow cooker whole chicken with crispy skin.
This chicken is super simple, and best of all it is delicious. Last night my husband wasn’t feeling up to a full dinner so we ate the chicken and vegetables with some soft white rolls.
It is equally delicious as part of a roast dinner and best of all it leaves the oven free for other homemade trimmings.
Slow cooker whole chicken leftovers:
Looking for a slow cooker whole chicken and gravy recipe?
You can pop some gravy granules in the slow cooker pot, halfway through, for a cheats gravy.
Alternatively, you can pour the liquid out at the end of cooking, as the chicken will produce it’s own stock, and then you can thicken this on the hob, add browning and a little flour and make your own delicious gravy. I’ve also got an onion gravy recipe that would go great with this.
Can you make a slow cooker whole chicken with no vegetables
Absolutely! The main thing here is the low and slow cooking time, that makes for a lovely, tender, delicious slow cooker roast chicken. This is definitely my favourite way to cook a chicken, and my loved ones agree whenever I serve this up!
I would suggest propping the whole chicken up on a little bit of scrunched up tin foil, or maybe on a small rack if your slow cooker has one.
Can you cook a slow cooker whole chicken upside down? Do you place the slow cooker whole chicken breast up or down?
You really can do it either way! Lots of people believe that if you cook it upside down, breast side down in the slow cooker pot, that you’ll get a juicier chicken. It will cook in its own juices more, so it stands to reason that it will be more juicy and succulent.
Can you cook a slow cooker whole chicken on high?
Yes! I find that 5-6 hours on high is great for this recipe. If you use a small chicken, and check the internal temperature before serving, you may even be able to go for 4-5 hours.
Slow cooker whole chicken internal temp
The safe internal temperature will be 74C (165F). Personally I always check the deepest part of the chicken to make usr that the whole temperature is over 74C before serving.
A slow cooker whole chicken dry rub
Use the herbs that I’ve mentioned above and mix together. Pat them all over your chicken before placing into the slow cooker. If you want to keep the rub in place then cook this breast side up, rather than turning it upside down.
Products I use to make my slow cooker roast chicken:
Fancy making a full roast dinner? Try some of my accompaniments:
Why not make one of these recipes using some leftover chicken?
Also, be sure to check out my post on making multiple meals from one chicken – it will help your slow cooker whole chicken go further and save you some money too.
Why not try one of these fantastic slow cooker accessories:
Slow cooker whole chicken
- 1 1.45kg whole chicken
- 2 large carrots
- 2 large onions
- 4 cloves garlic
Herbs and spices
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 5 ml Lemon juice
Peel and quarter the onions. Peel and chop the carrots. Place them in the bottom of your slow cooker pot.
Crush the garlic cloves and add to the bottom of the slow cooker.
Combine together the herbs, spices and lemon juice to make a rub. Then apply this to the skin of the chicken, ensuring your cover the whole surface.
Place the chicken on top of the prepared vegetables. Turn your slow cooker onto high for at least 30 minutes.
There is no need to add any liquid, as the chicken will produce its own juices.
Once the slow cooker is warmed up either cook on low for 12 hours or cook on high for around 5-6 hours. Check that the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink before serving.
Can you cook a slow cooker whole chicken from frozen?
I would avoid doing this, as it won’t reach a safe internal temperature fast enough to be safe if there is harmful bacteria present.
If you want to cook a whole chicken from frozen then use an instant pot or pressure cooker.