This Crockpot whole chicken recipe is an incredibly simple way to cook chicken for a week of easy lunches or dinners.
Crockpot Whole Chicken Recipe
I love making sexy recipes.
You know the kind. The ones that are ooozing with cheese. Or that are slathered in a decadent sauce. Even those healthy recipes made with totally fresh, vibrant seasonal colors can be totally seductive. The kind that when you set them on the table, people exclaim, “Ahhhh…That looks sooooooo good.”
This Crockpot roast chicken is a good recipe. Great even. But it certainly isn’t sexy.
This is a totally utilitarian recipe. One that you keep in your back pocket. The one you pull out when life’s busy schedule is dealing you a mix of 2’s and 3’s but you’re ready to ante up to a full house.
Its true. You can be a winner in the kitchen.
And this is how it’s done.
Weeknight cooking is always the worst. And it seems like Monday nights at our house are the absolute bottom of the barrel.
Even though I work at home—creating and photographing recipes for God’s sake—half of the time neither me nor my husband can seem to pull it together and plan for the daily $64,000 question, “What do you want for dinner?”
Pulling out your Crockpot (aka slow cooker) on Monday morning makes dinner a whole heck of a lot easier.
The formula is simple. Simply toss in a few vegetables with a whole chicken and you’ve just created the base for a whole week of eats.
What’s in This Crockpot Whole Chicken?
Cooking a whole chicken in a Crockpot is a cinch. Mercifully, you only need a handful of ingredients to make a roast chicken in a Crockpot:
- Whole chicken
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Red potatoes
- Yellow onion
- Anaheim peppers
- Italian flat leaf parsley
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Crockpot
Are you ready to be amazed? To make this Crockpot whole chicken recipe, simply scatter the veggies in the bottom of the slow cooker, then place the seasoned chicken on top.
Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. You can serve it immediately, or shred the chicken to use in soups, stews, and sandwiches throughout the week.
How Long to Cook Chicken in a Crockpot?
This Crockpot whole chicken needs to cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
Each slow cooker cooks differently, so adjust your cooking times to reflect the size of your bird, the size of your slow cooker (I use this 6 quart cooker), and cook the chicken to 165 degrees internal temperature or until the juices run clear.
Tips for Making Crockpot Whole Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker produces a good amount of delicious stock that you can save for soup, or mix a bit into shredded chicken for a super moist bite. If you’d really like some great broth simply begging to be made into matzo ball soup or chicken noodle soup, add 2 cups of water plus 2 chicken bouillon cubes before setting your cooking time. The result is an incredibly flavorful broth worthy of any family recipe.
Slow cooking the chicken won’t produce a golden crust since the chicken is essentially braised with the moisture that is produced from the chicken and vegetables. I’ve combined kosher salt with paprika to add a more colorful skin, but if you want a deeply golden crust, simply transfer the cooked chicken to a baking sheet or roasting pan and place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until desired color.
I’ve cooked the chicken before with the breast up, and with the breast down. I can’t say for sure, but it does seem that cooking the chicken with the breast down produces a bit more juicy breast. However, if you’re serving it as a whole chicken for the dinner table, the skin on the breasts won’t look as good. I tend to remove my skin after cooking anyway, so I’m more about having a juicy bird.
Recipe Ideas for How to Enjoy Your Chicken
- Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Peanut Noodles with Chicken
- 5-Ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
- Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Ranch Sauce
- Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie with Asparagus and Mushrooms
- Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.
Crockpot Whole Chicken
- 1 5 pound chicken , giblets removed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces baby carrots , (or whole peeled carrots chopped into 2-inch pieces)
- 4 large red potatoes , halved
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and quartered
- 1 anaheim pepper , halved and seeded
- 6-8 cloves garlic , peeled and smashed
- Handful of Italian flat leaf parsley
- Rinse the chicken well and pat dry. Mix the kosher salt and paprika together and season the chicken generously with the kosher salt mixture and freshly ground black pepper.
- Scatter the vegetables in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker then place the seasoned chicken on top of the vegetables so they act as a shelf for the chicken.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.
- Remove the chicken from the stock and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. If serving immediately, cut the chicken into pieces. You can serve the vegetables with the chicken or strain the vegetables from the broth and save the broth for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Or if you want shredded chicken, allow the chicken to cool for about 15 minutes then shred with two forks and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
More Crockpot Chicken Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Chili
- Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
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I just purchased a great multifunction digital electric pressure cooker. Will this recipe work in it (obviously with a much shorter time frame)? Thx.
PS: I still have a slow cooker but my new device has a slow cooker-styled cook setting that will mimic a slow cooker but in much less time.
Hi Carlo, yes, this would work in a pressure cooker as well! You will want to add 1 cup of water to the insert before cooking. I’m not sure of the cooking time, but you’ve given me inspiration to find out. Typically I pressure cook my chicken breasts for just 13-15 minutes, but it would obviously be longer for the entire bird.
interested in trying this, but also have to ask as did someone else, did you put liquid in on top of the veggies? Or did it cooking just produce it?
Fix Your Skin
Just tried this and it was exactly what I needed. Thank you for this recipe. I am looking forward to similar ones that are tasty and delicious like this.
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While the chicken is resting you can always use the broth to make gravy! When the chicken is done, take it and the veges out of the crockpot and put the broth into a separator / measuring cup. In a saucepan on the stove over medium heat make a roux — place 1 TBSL of butter and let it melt. Then add 2 TBLS of flour (reg/rice/etc doesn’t matter) and make sure the butter has absorbed all the flour, and let this cook briefly while you skim the fat off the top of the broth in the measuring cup (if you don’t have a separator). Then slowly whisk in the broth into the roux starting with only about 1/4-1/2 cup, making into a smooth paste… this will help to avoid a lumpy gravy. Slowly add/whisk/add/whisk till all the liquid is incorporated and bring to a simmer, and continue whisking as you check for flavor and season it to your liking. If you need more liquid you can add additional broth from a can or made from bullion, or even a bit of milk like a friend of mine does (delicious!!) By the time your gravy is made, the bird is rested… and you didn’t even mind being patient during the resting time… and the gravy is great on both the bird and the veges!
A few days ago, I went searching for a simple slow cooker whole chicken recipe and stumbled across yours. I refrained from adding any liquid to the pot – as this is something I’ve always done in the past – stuck to your recipe and SO GLAD I DID!!! The flavor was excellent and the meat was moist. The juices produced in the slow cooker were just amazing; leftovers are now soup and in the freezer! My DH was ‘mmmmm, mmmmmm-ing,” thru out dinner. Needless to say, this recipe is going into my go-to-recipe-box, Thank You Heidi!!!!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Deb and honored to be a part of your future cookings!
Will try this one – though I’m none too sure what ‘anteing up’ is.
We are always told not to wash chicken – but you are telling us to wash it ?
I usually rinse it under cold water.
Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I’ll forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!
Do you need to put any kind of liquid in slow cooker
Do you add water to the crock pot?
Can you remove the skin from the chicken before placing it in the crock pot? If so, will this change the cook time?
This is so delectable and I can already taste the juicy chicken in my mouth. It is a rather sexy looking dish!
I love your receipe, but when I went to remove the chicken disolved into the broth and I had to pick thru. Chicken receipe was delicious but is there any way to “not” have the chicken fall apart.
Hi Lucy, I’d suggest you check your cooking time a bit earlier. Slow cookers cook at different rates, and it depends on how big your chicken is as to how long is just right.
I sincerely appreciate this. I just started a new job that drastically cut my cooking time down. I’ve been in search for as many crock pot recipes as possible.
Sandy @ ReluctantEntertainer
Heidi, this is gorgeous and makes me (a tiny bit) ready for Fall! Thanks for sharing such an easy recipe!
I put chopped onions, sliced carrots and celery in the bottom of the pot. Cover just barely with water, top with the herbed chicken. When done, I take out the chicken, cool then debone it. Toss all the scraps, skin and all back in the slow cooker and add 4 cups of water. Cook on low for 12 hours. The next morning I strain it and divide into 2 cup measure and put in ziplock bags and freeze. Fabulous, easy homemade chicken stock.
That sounds fabulous Linde. I think the stock from cooking chicken this way is really almost better than when I make it on the stove. But it’s great to have both options.
I’ve always done chicken parts, browning first to kick start temperature. Is it safe to cook a whole cold chicken in this manner? I only use pastured chickens from small farms so I’m starting with a healthy bird! I would love to try this!!
Yes, my chicken was cold and you can even cook them straight from the freezer if you want. Just be sure you check your internal temperature because obviously frozen birds will take longer to cook. Here is an article on eHow about temperatures of slow cookers and cooking frozen chicken in them. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5477300_can-put-frozen-chicken-crockpot.html
I’ve always read — always — that it’s never safe to put any frozen meat into a slow cooker. And that’s makes sense. I can’t see why anyone would be a frozen chicken into a warm cooker that is going to take hours to thaw. Asking for trouble.
I do it all the time and I’ve been okay! My Mom did it all the time growing up as well. We turned out just fine ;)
I have done mine from the freezer many times, and have never been disappointed.
Sarah | Broma Bakery
I don’t know what you’re talking about. This chicken is a stunner!
Katalina @ Peas & Peonies
Now this is convenient, never tried making a whole chicken in my slow cooker, but that’s about to change!