Recipe: The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

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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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1,440 comments to Recipe: The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

  • Kerri

    Hi all!!! I tried this recipe but I switched out some of the spices because I didnt have them – here’s my additions
    1 TSP Italian Herb
    1 TSP Steak Spice
    1 TSP Canvender’s Greek Seasonings
    And I still used the Garlic, Cayenne, Salt & Pepper

    The chicken was so moist and delicious! My husband is not a chicken fan & he loved this – in fact he wants me to use this recipe on a weekly basis! We have a family of 5, so the healthy eating can get extremely expensive – I found my chicken at the local market 4.5 lbs & it was only $3.11!!! Thank you so much for all of your great ideas!!!

  • Heather

    Great idea on the stock!

  • kathleen

    Sorry – my husband did this to my chicken this morning. My house has stunk all day long and the chicken continues to stink while having nothing more than mere bland flavor to it . . .

  • Sarah

    This is a great idea, and chicken looks delicious, but I don’t have a crockpot, any ideas for an alternative form of baking it?

  • Amber

    I usually buy about 2 pound chicken, give or take a quarter of a pound, depending on what the store has that day. Will cooking for the amount of time listed in the recipe cause a smaller bird like this to be more tender or dry out?
    Thanks for your great site!

  • Megan

    Just did this tonight to make chicken tacos. It was so good and put my dust collecting crock pot to use, and I had every thing on hand before I stumbled on your page. I threw it in before class, and it was ready to make dinner tonight. I’ll have to check out the rest of your blog.

  • Katie Fife

    Just tried the crock pot chicken recipe above today. I cooked for 8 hours on low and felt like my chicken was a little dry. I put carrots, celery and onion in the bottom and added 1 C water but still wasn’t falling off bone and a bit dry. Did I have too much stuff in bottom of crock? Any ideas/advice?

  • Kara

    This exact recipe is in my crock-pot now! Can’t wait to try it and report back. Thanks!

  • Drew

    I followed this recipe last weekend with the following exceptions: I minced some garlic cloves, and cut back on the onion and garlic powder since I had fresh onion and garlic.

    I, too, doubled the recipe for my 4lb chicken. In fact, after pulling the chicken, I strained the little bit of stock the chicken made, put the pulled chicken and stock back in the crock pot, and added a third dose of those spices (most of the flavor was in the skin, which we do not eat). This was the perfect amount of flavor for me, and my wife and toddler who can’t do too many spices. I used this chicken for soft tacos with cilantro lime rice and guacamole, and the paprika-based chicken complemented the Mexican dish very well (I was afraid the tastes would clash).

    I then took all the bone, fat, skin, etc. and added water to brew a nice stock for later :).

    I am repeating my variation of this recipe today, except I’m substituting ground cumin for the paprika. I’m curious to see how this compares to the paprika based recipe.

    Thank you very much for sharing this amazing recipe!

  • 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.

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