Recipe: The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

I’ve tried a ridiculous amount of crock pot recipes, and this is by far the best (and easiest) way to slow cook a whole chicken until it is falling-off-the bone delicious. And if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet you’ll hardly have to buy anything to make thisRecipe: The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot from 100 Days of Real Food dish. Once the chicken is done it is flavorful enough to eat by itself, or you can incorporate it into another dish like pasta, chicken salad, or a casserole. We use a very basic crock pot that can purchased on Amazon for about $25.

Another great trick (that I learned from a friend!) is that after you pick off the good chicken meat you can leave the bones in the crock pot to make some stock. I usually start the chicken stock after dinner by filling it to the top with water, and then adding whatever I have on hand…bay leaf, carrot, celery, onion, parsley and/or thyme. Even if I am missing parsley or celery I still make it anyway, and it always turns out just fine. I keep it on low all night, and then in the morning I strain it into 1 or 2 cup Tupperware containers to store in the freezer. It works great and couldn’t be easier!

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Recipe: The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large chicken
  1. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
  2. Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Remove any giblets from the chicken and then rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.
  4. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, cover it, and turn it on to high. There is no need to add any liquid.
  5. Cook for 4 – 5 hours on high (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Don't forget to make your homemade stock with the leftover bones!
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.


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  • Comments

    1. Ann-Margaret |

      Hi, I have made this recipe twice now. I love it! It is super easy, the house smells amazing, and the husband and kids love it. Thank you so much for sharing. So many wonderful ideas.

    2. Morgan |

      I have made this several times now exactly as written. It is so simple and so delicious! I always make stock out of the carcass which also tastes fantastic. Thanks for this great recipe!

    3. Stacey |

      Made this for the first time on Monday and then made the stock (first time making a whole chicken and first time making stock). I cooked it on low for 8 hours. The chicken fell off the bone. The whole family gobbled it up. I haven’t tried the stock yet, will be making a Spinach, Chicken, and Lentil soup tomorrow night with it. Can’t wait to see how it turned out! Thanks for continuing to provide us with easy, family friendly meals. I get 99% of my recipes from your site!

    4. Dawn |

      Love this recipe! So cheap and always good! It gumbo season here on Louisiana, which can be a long process but not if I use this recipe! I get all the chicken I need and stock with almost no effort! Thanks so much for sharing!

    5. |

      Valuable information. Lucky me I found your web site accidentally, and I am stunned why this accident didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

    6. George |

      just how long on low for my 6lbs chicken? I am in 3.5Qt crockery cooker. I guess we could call this an older crockpot !!! I do need to get bigger ones, crockpot that is

      • Erika |

        I would say at least 7-8 hours, just a guess. I’ve cooked a 5 lb chicken in a 4 qt crock for 11 hours and it never dried out; very tender. But I’m not sure when it reached proper temp. If you will be home while its cooking, I would check the temp at 7 hours. Otherwise, if you’ll be gone all day, it should definitely be done at the 9-10 hour mark.

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Probably close to 8 hours, but you could check it sooner than that to be sure.

    7. Pam |

      This recipe is amazing!! Made it for the first time last night with 3 large chicken legs. The meat was falling off the bones and so moist and good! My husband and I loved it! Will be making again soon!

    8. George |

      7 hours may have been bit long!! it started falling off bone as I s trying to get it out of the pot. Required absolutely no effort taking the meat off the bone.

    9. Joyce |

      If I put two 3 lb. chickens in my large crock pot, how long should I allow (I won’t be at home to watch them)?

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Hmmm…sounds like you have a big crock pot! I would probably check it after 6 or 7 hours, but I am not sure exactly how long two chickens would take together. Mine can only fit one.

    10. Susan |

      I’m confused…there is no liquid to begin with when you put the chicken in the crockpot?

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Yes, that is correct…no added liquid before cooking the chicken.

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