Crockpot Whole Chicken
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Crockpot Whole Chicken recipe makes the most flavorful, juicy rotisserie style chicken. A whole chicken and vegetables cook together in the slow cooker for an easy yet impressive dinner!
With instructions for how to brown slow cooker chicken and make gravy from the drippings, plus a step by step recipe video.
Chicken is a dinnertime staple, and when it comes to chicken recipes, this crockpot whole chicken is one of the best.
Cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot is easy and the results are truly delicious. This recipe requires simple ingredients to make a seasoned roast chicken, vegetables and gravy.
Why You’ll Love this Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe
- The chicken always turns out moist, juicy and flavorful.
- You can cook vegetables in the slow cooker along with the chicken, or you can leave them out if you prefer to cook just the chicken.
- It’s quick and easy to prep, and you can use any leftover chicken in many meals (ideas below – great for meal prep!)
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot
Here is a quick overview of the ingredients needed and the steps to make the best crockpot whole chicken. You’ll find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Onion, Carrots & Potatoes: These go in the bottom of the slow cooker, to keep the chicken out of the juices so it won’t get soggy as it cooks. You can also use other vegetables such as celery, parsnips or turnips. If you prefer to not use vegetables you can put a few foil balls under the chicken to keep it out of the juices. If you want to serve your chicken with mashed potatoes, you can leave the potatoes out of the slow cooker.
- Whole Chicken: You want to buy a whole chicken that is not too large, so it easily fits in your slow cooker. I used a 4 pound chicken, which fit perfectly in my 5 quart slow cooker. The chicken should be fresh or thawed, not frozen.
- Seasonings: This recipe uses a simple seasoning blend similar to what I use in my Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe. It’s delicious, and the paprika in the seasoning gives the chicken a beautiful browned appearance.
- Olive Oil: To rub on the chicken to help the seasonings stick.
- Lemon & Fresh Rosemary or Thyme Sprigs: You’ll put these in the cavity to flavor the chicken as it cooks.
- Butter & Flour: If you choose to make a gravy with the cooking juices, you’ll need butter and flour.
How to Make Crockpot Whole Chicken
- Put something under the chicken in the slow cooker to keep it out of the juices as it cooks. In this recipe I use onion, potatoes and carrots, which make a perfect side dish for the meal.
- Pat the chicken dry and rub it with olive oil and then the seasonings. For the most flavor, rub some seasoning under the skin on the breasts.
- Put half a lemon and fresh herb sprigs in the cavity. If desired, you can tie the legs together with kitchen twine. This is for presentation only and will not affect how the chicken cooks.
Do I Need to Add Water?
No, you don’t need to add water or other liquid because the chicken will release some juices as it cooks. You don’t want the chicken sitting in water as that will make it soggy.
How Long to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
I recommend cooking the chicken on your slow cooker’s high setting so that the chicken will reach a food safe temperature faster. The exact cook time will depend on the size of your bird and your particular slow cooker, but should be about 4-5 hours on high.
Avoid lifting the lid while the chicken cooks to keep the heat in the crockpot. It is ok to check the chicken for doneness near the end of the minimum cook time. Use an instant read thermometer to check if the chicken is done. It should register at least 165° F at the thickest part of the leg, not touching the bone.
How to Brown the Chicken
You can serve the chicken and vegetables straight out of the slow cooker, but I prefer to brown them under the broiler in the oven. This helps to crisp and brown the skin and caramelize the veggies.
To brown the chicken, put it on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken, leaving the juices in the slow cooker. Broil for 4-5 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing and serving.
How to Make Gravy with the Juices
Making chicken gravy with the juices from the slow cooker is so simple! On the stove, melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and then the chicken juices from the slow cooker. Cook until thickened and then season with salt and pepper. The gravy is so good served with the chicken and vegetables!
Can I Cook a Frozen Chicken in the Slow Cooker?
No, you should not cook a frozen chicken in the slow cooker for food safety reasons. If your chicken is frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few days before cooking it in the slow cooker. If you don’t have time to let it thaw in the fridge, you can cook a whole frozen chicken in the Instant Pot.
Leftover Chicken Recipes
You can store any leftover crock pot chicken in your refrigerator for up to 4 days. It makes delicious sandwiches, or try one of these easy recipes:
- Chicken Salad
- Chicken Taquitos
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake
- Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
Crockpot Whole Chicken
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 4 medium carrots (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 medium Yukon gold or red potatoes (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 pound whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ lemon (cut in half)
- 4-6 sprigs fresh rosemary or fresh thyme
For Gravy (Optional):
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional, for gravy)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional, for gravy)
- Place the onion, carrots and potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Arrange them in a single layer as much as possible.
- In a small bowl, stir together the spice rub ingredients: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in a baking dish to catch any excess juices. If there is a bag of innards in the cavity of the chicken, remove it and discard. Drain out any liquid that may be in the cavity.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin around the breasts. Rub the olive oil and then the spice rub over the chicken, rubbing some of the seasoning under the skin on the breasts if possible.
- Place the lemon pieces and fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs in the cavity of the chicken. Optional: tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker, breast side up. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, until the chicken registers at least 165° F in the thickest part of the leg, not touching the bone. Avoid opening the slow cooker lid during the cook time, as this can cause too much heat to escape the slow cooker.
- You can serve the chicken and vegetables as is, or use the following steps to brown the chicken and vegetables and make a gravy.
Optional: Brown the Chicken and Vegetables under the Broiler
- Preheat broiler with a rack in the center of the oven.
- Transfer the chicken (breast side up) to a rimmed baking sheet (be sure to use a metal baking sheet or other broiler-safe pan). Use a slotted spoon to place the vegetables around the chicken, leaving any juices behind in the slow cooker.
- Broil for 4-5 minutes, until the skin of the chicken browns and the vegetables begin to brown around the edges.
- Cover the pan loosely with foil and let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Optional: Make gravy with the juices from the slow cooker.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour in the juices from the slow cooker, while whisking constantly. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve gravy over chicken.
- Cooked chicken will last in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition information includes gravy and assumes chicken skin will be consumed, which it may not be.
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