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 super moist, and falling-off-the bone delicious – plus it’s a great way to switch things up if you usually roast chicken! And if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet you’ll hardly have to buy anything to make this dish. Once the chicken is done it is flavorful enough to eat by itself as the main dish, or you can incorporate it into something else like pasta, chicken salad, chicken pot pie, 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!
The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot
Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
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.
Place chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, breast side down, cover it, and turn it on to high. There is no need to add any liquid.
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!
You could adapt this recipe to cook a small turkey breast, or even a few chicken breasts as well. Be sure to check out another great slow cooker recipe using what's left from this one - Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crockpot.