If you’re after a soft, tender and juicy chicken, using a slow cooker to cook a whole chicken is the answer.
Once cooked, the chicken quite literally falls off the bone.
And, the best bit? You can put the chicken in the slow cooker in the morning and then get on with your day!
Read on to see how easy it is to cook a slow cooker whole chicken.
🛒 What You Need
- Whole raw chicken
- Slow cooker
Yes, it’s true – you could just place the raw whole chicken straight in the slow cooker pot as it is. However, it will taste much nicer if you add some extra flavours.
- Onions, chopped
- Whole garlic cloves, peeled
- Chopped carrots and celery
- Herbs or spices – I like to add some dried mixed herbs, but you can add whichever your favourites are
👩🍳 How To Cook A Whole Chicken In The Slow Cooker
Step 1: Add the chicken to the slow cooker
You can place the raw chicken directly in the slow cooker or raise it slightly from the base of the bowl.
To raise it, you can rest it on;
- a small trivet
- rolled up foil balls
- chopped up vegetables. Onion and carrot work well; this is my preferred method
Using a Sling
When you cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker, it can sometimes fall apart when you try to take it out. This is because the chicken becomes so tender and soft after such a long and slow cooking time.
Although this is good, it’s not always ideal if the chicken falls apart in the slow cooker bowl.
One way around this is to use a sling. You can either;
- Buy a purpose made silicone sling (from Amazon)
- Make your own from rolled-up foil
Step 2 – Season the chicken
Season the chicken with your choice of dried herbs and spices. I tend to use 1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook using the following settings:
- 7-9 hours on low (my preferred option), or;
- 4-5 hours on high
Ensure the chicken is completely cooked before removing it from the slow cooker. You can check by either piercing it with a knife/metal skewer and seeing if the juices run clear. Or, use a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be at least 75°C.
Step 3 – Optionally brown the chicken
One downside to using a slow cooker to cook a roast chicken is that the skin doesn’t come out crispy. If you want a browned chicken, place it under a grill for a few minutes until the skin begins to crisp.
Leave the chicken to stand for about 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
Do You Need To Add Water?
No, there is no need to add any water when cooking a slow cooker whole chicken. As the joint slowly cooks, the juices will gradually be released, and the chicken will cook in it.
Can I Make Gravy From The Liquid?
You should be left with quite a bit of liquid at the end of the cooking time. This is great for turning into chicken gravy or reserving for a soup stock.
You might want to pour it through a sieve to remove any bits, or you can serve it as is if you prefer.
If it needs thickening up, you can stir in some gravy granules; if you don’t have any, you can make up a little slurry of cornflour.
And that’s it! Yummy, tasty slow cooker whole chicken! Let me know in the comments if you make it!
🧾 More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
Are you looking for more slow cooker chicken recipes? Check some of these recipes for inspiration:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pulled Chicken
- Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chinese Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo
- Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chasseur