Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This Slow Cooker Whole Chicken yields a tender juicy chicken every time. Simply place a whole chicken on top of chopped vegetables in your slow cooker. Pour broth or stock overtop and sprinkle with poultry herbs. Cook low and slow for a few hours and serve as is or shred and use in your favorite recipe. In this post I also share how I like to brown the chicken skin, reserve the liquids and save the bones for stock!

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This Is My Most Favorite Things To Make in the Slow Cooker.

The prep is minimal and the results are phenomenal. Tender juicy chicken and all I have to do is throw it in my slow cooker? Yes. Please.

My great friend Heidi first shared this recipe with me years ago. For whatever reason, back then I turned it into this recipe. However, today’s recipe is my very slight adaptation of her actual original. I just made a minor change of using poultry herbs instead of dried basil (and upping the quantity as well) but you can use whatever seasoning that you desire. Since I was planning on making chicken noodle soup for dinner, I like to use poultry herbs as it adds an earthy flavor to the meat and cooking liquids. 

But truly it’s a choose your own adventure sort of recipe.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

 You can serve this for dinner carved and plated alongside mashed or roasted potatoes and a side salad. Or instead of purchasing rotisserie chicken, pick and shred the meat to top salads or use in your favorite recipes throughout the week.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

To Make This Slow Cooker Whole Chicken You Will Need:

  • carrots
  • celery
  • yellow onion
  • a whole chicken
  • bone broth or chicken stock
  • poultry herbs or poultry seasoning
  • ghee or olive oil spray (for browning skin)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

chopped veggies in the slow cooker

Place 2 chopped carrots and 2 celery ribs with 1 chopped yellow onion into the bottom of your 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker.

add whole chicken

Set your whole chicken on top of the vegetables.

pour in broth

Pour 1 to 2 cups (chicken) bone broth or chicken stock over the top of the chicken.

If making I’m making this simply to eat for dinner or if I’m using the chicken in a recipe, I will use 1 cup broth/stock. However if I’m making soup, I use 2 cups of broth/stock. Because I plan on adding this it to the soup later on.

season with poultry seasoning

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 tablespoon of poultry herbs, 2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds black pepper.

Morton & Bassett poultry herbs (not sponsored) is my absolute favorite! Their blend does have black pepper in it, so I don’t add any extra when making this. I’ve also made this same recipe with other brands of finely ground poultry seasoning with great results. Alternatively, you can omit the salt and pepper if desired.

cover and cook

Secure the lid and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

That’s It!

Now if you’re simply using this chicken for the meat, then you can use tongs to carefully remove and transfer it to a carving board. Let rest for 10 minutes or so and shred or pick the meat from the bones.

OR…

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

How To Crisp The Skin on You Slow Cooker Whole Chicken:

Make sure your slow cooker insert is oven safe and if so what the safest temperature is.

  • My slow cooker is Hamilton Beach and the insert is oven safe (up to 400°) Do NOT place the insert under a broiler.
  • Lightly spray the exposed seasoned chicken breast with ghee spray (or olive oil spray).
  • Place the insert (with the chicken) in your preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the skin is golden and crisp.
  • Carefully remove the chicken to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 to 12 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

separate cooking liquids and fat

When I add 2 cups broth to the slow cooker I usually end up with just under 4 cups of liquid gold.

4 cups broth or stock in a jar

HOW TO SAVE THE COOKING LIQUIDS:
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables and discard.
  • Wearing oven mitts, carefully pour the liquids into a fat separator (linked in recipe printable).
  • Once the fat has risen to the top, pull the plug from the spout and pour the chicken broth/stock into a heat safe container. Stop once the fat reaches the bottom of the spout.
  • Use this in soups or stews.
  • If you refrigerate this, it will congeal but will melt into the soup once added.

saved chicken bones for stock

SAVE THE CHICKEN BONES:
Once you’ve carved or pulled the chicken from the bones, don’t throw them away! Use them to make an easy stock. Or save the bones in a freezer safe bag. Once you have a full bag and make a large batch of chicken stock. Meanwhile, store the bones in the freezer.

chicken breasts and torn pieces

Click Here to find recipes calling for leftover chicken!

chicken bones, meat and stock

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Print

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This Slow Cooker Whole Chicken yields a tender juicy chicken every time. Simply place a whole chicken on top of chopped vegetables in your slow cooker. Pour broth or stock overtop and sprinkle with poultry herbs. Cook low and slow for a few hours and serve as is or shred and use in your favorite recipe.
Course Mains & Entrees
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, easy dinner, how to make slow cooker chicken, poultry, slow cooker, whole chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 298kcal
Author Laurie McNamara

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoons poultry herbs or poultry seasoning Like Morton & Basset
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper optional and to taste
  • ghee spray for browning skin (optional)

Instructions

  • In a 6-quart slow cooker (or larger) add the chopped vegetables. Place the whole chicken, breast side facing up, on top of the vegetables.
  • Pour 1 to 2 cups (chicken) bone broth or unsalted chicken stock over the chicken.

    If making I’m making this simply to eat or shred and use in a recipe, I will use 1 cup broth/stock. However if I’m making soup, I use 2 cups of broth/stock. Because I plan on adding this it to the soup later on.

  • Sprinkle with poultry herbs or poultry seasoning, kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper (if desired) before securing the lid.
  • Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5. Timing will depend on the size of your chicken.

BROWN OR CRISP THE CHICKEN SKIN (optional):

  • Make sure your slow cooker insert is oven safe and if so what the safest temperature is.

    My slow cooker is Hamilton Beach and the insert is oven-safe (up to 400°) and NOT safe for the broiler.

    Preheat your oven to 400° or the highest temp your slower cooker crock or insert can handle safely.

  • Lightly spray the exposed seasoned chicken with ghee spray (or olive oil).
  • Place the insert with the chicken in your preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the skin is golden and crisp.
  • Carefully remove the chicken to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

SAVE THE COOKING LIQUIDS:

  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces of vegetables from the liquids in the slow cooker and discard.
  • Wearing oven mitts, carefully pour the liquids into a fat separator.
  • Once the fat has risen to the top, pull the plug from the spout and pour the cooking liquids into a heat safe container. Stop once the fat reaches the bottom of the spout.
  • Use this to flavor soups, stews or gravy.

SAVE THE CHICKEN BONES:

  • Once you’ve carved or pulled the chicken from the bones, don’t throw them away!
  • Use them to make an easy stock.

    Or save the bones in a freezer safe bag. Once you have a full bag and make a large batch of chicken stock. Meanwhile, store the bones in the freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3652IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg