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!

4.6 from 169 reviews
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. Kristina |

      Love, love, love this recipe! Found your site via Pinterest! Made this chicken this morning…cooked on low for 5 hours (my slow cooker gets really hot) and it fell off the bone as I was taking it out! Making broth now! Thank you for sharing!!

    2. Drew Stafford |

      I followed this recipe the first time exactly, then strayed the second and third times. Doing it a fourth tonight. I am not the best cook, but competent. This recipe is an AMAZING starting point. I substitute paprika for Goya adobo seasoning now when making Mexican dishes, but the paprika version still works good enough. I also do other variations based on my preferences (I love garlic and onion) but the point is I couldn’t have succeeded so well without this recipe.

      I read one comment about the house stinking. I found the first time I did this recipe, the paprika smell was almost overwhelming in the first hour or two of cooking, and I thought I used too much. However, the smell evened out during the last half of cooking and the flavor was very balanced. With so many spices, it’s very easy to nix ones you don’t care for too much and replace with ones you like more.

      Thanks a lot!

    3. casey |

      I want to try this during this week. Here is my question though….I would like to put it on before I go to work in the am but I am at work for about 9 hours. Should I put it on low for that long or would it overcook? Any other suggestions would be great. thanks!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Yes, try it on low if you need to cook it twice as long.

    4. Brenda |

      If I remove the skin, how will this affect the taste? I have tons of rosemary I am eager to use- what do you think? Any suggestion for crock pot and rosemary? I think you are awesome!!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        I would remove the skin after it is cooked (since it adds flavor)…and I think rosemary would be a great addition (fresh or dried)! Thanks for the comment :)

    5. Brenda |

      Just noticed the repeat question, sorry.

    6. |

      This is so perfect for me to try out. I bought a whole organic chicken last week on sale, amazing price of .99 per lb and couldn’t pass it up. I’m stuffing mine with a quartered onion and 1/2 of an orange and putting cut up potatoes on the bottom.

      Fingers crossed as this is my first crock pot dinner.

    7. Dyan |

      Has anyone tried making with boneless/skinless chicken? I have a 3 year old and bones can be annoying…

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        It falls off the bone very easily once it’s done.

      • Donna |

        Yes, I’ve made boneless skinless before and wouldn’t make them any other way now. You can even put the chicken in frozen. I use a bed of celery and onions and about half a cup of chicken stock. It’s fantastic every time.

    8. Raquel Brown |

      THANK YOU THANK YOU, nothing was left on the chicken , we are a family of 6 with four kiddos under 8, I am so thankful for stumbling across your website, I felt like a CHEF tonight …. and I am trying the stock as we speak hoping it turns out as yummy as the chicken was…..FROM a very thankful SAHM

    9. Teresa |

      I give this recipe an A++. My 17 yr old son is anorexic and I was very pleased that he ate 3 bites of the chicken. That alone makes this recipe a winner. I cooked it for 8 hours on low and the meat just fell off the bone and was very tasty. I will be making this twice a week from now on. Thanks so much.

    10. Joe |

      I’ve used this recipe regularly since January, switching and mixes spices and herbs to suit my whim of the day. The recipe as given is great, and yes, the intensity of the paprika and cayenne pepper lessens as cooking progresses. I use a 6.5 pound Perdue over stuffer roaster, which just fits into my crock pot. The Perdue birds have more meat per pound than other brands carried by my local super markets. For a 6.5 or slightly larger bird, the cooking time is 8.5 hours or a little more on high in one of the original 1970s Rival crock pots (which still works just fine). This recipe is a winner!

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