How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker
We just love the slow cooker. Even though we know it’s kind of a miracle appliance in the kitchen, we are still pleasantly surprised every time a new slow cooker idea crosses our paths. I’ve prepared roasts in the slow cooker before with great success, but never before had I considered preparing a whole chicken in the slow cooker – until now!
The best part about this recipe that we found over at Craftsy is that you only need 10 minutes of prep time. Then you pretty much set it, forget it, and come back to deliciously juicy, fully prepared chicken. Just make sure you use a small roasting chicken (about 5 pounds) so that you have plenty of room for the veggies to fit around it in the crock pot.
Here’s what you need:
-1 small roasting or “fryer” chicken
-4 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into strips or coins
-4 celery stalks, ends removed, cut into strips or coins
-2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
-1 whole lemon, quartered
-4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
-1 teaspoon thyme (leaf rather than ground)
-3 teaspoons rosemary
-1 teaspoon black pepper
Here’s what you do:
- Combine all of your seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Remove the neck from the chicken if need be. Then remove the pouch with its organs. Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Take the mashed garlic and rub it generously over the skin of the chicken. Put whatever garlic remains inside the chicken.
- Gently pat seasoning mix all over chicken skin and inside as well.
- Place all of the lemons inside the chicken.
- Place veggies in an even layer at the bottom of the slow cooker. Then place prepared chicken on top of the veggies.
- Close the lid and set the slow cooker to the Low setting.
- Cook for 4-8 hours, keeping this advice from Cratsy in mind:
My chicken, which was about 5 pounds, took about 5 hours, but this could depend on your slow cooker, too. Personally, I suggest checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer at 4 hours. Ultimately, you want the chicken to be 160 degrees F inside, but I find that if you remove it when it is at 155 degrees F or higher, it will continue to slightly rise in heat for a few moments afterward.
- Once chicken has cooked completely, remove from slow cooker. Set your oven to “Broil,” then place chicken in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Broil chicken for 4-5 minutes, until skin is perfectly crispy on the top.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with veggies from crock pot or use them in some other way! You can also reserve the drippings for chicken broth for another recipe.