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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This slow cooker whole chicken (rotisserie style) is juicy on the inside with delicious, herbed, crispy skin on the outside. It’s a slow cooker chicken recipe favorite. Prep this in just 15 minutes in the morning and come home to a finished dinner!

Slow cooker rotisserie chicken on a bed of vegetables on a plate.

Rotisserie chicken is a great idea for busy weeknights. It’s delicious and feeds a whole family. But instead of making a trip to Costco or the market, you can make it right at home in your slow cooker or crock pot. So easy! 

By slow cooking, you’ll get a moist and juicy chicken every time. It’s foolproof. Just add some chopped vegetables below the chicken and sprinkle herbs and seasoning on top for an irresistible flavor. 

Oh, and the best part is the versatility of this chicken. You can eat it as is, or shred it into small pieces as part of your meal prep. Just toss it into a salad or mix it into a soup – the options are endless! Now let’s get prepping. 

Vegetables diced and in slow cooker (crock pot).

Slow Cooker Chicken Tips

Before we begin, here’s a few tips and things to look out for when cooking. 

Create a base for the chicken

The whole chicken will give off a lot of juice while it cooks, so you’ll want to raise it off the bottom of the slow cooker. The best way to do this? Add large chunks of vegetables to the bottom of the pot, such as carrots, potatoes, parsnip, onion, or sweet potato. Oh, and your side dish is now done too. 

  • Note: In this recipe, I am using a 4QT slow cooker. But if you have a bigger crock pot, I suggest adding a bit more vegetables. Just make sure your chicken doesn’t touch the lid.

Be careful when taking the chicken out of the pot

In fact, you might want to enlist help (if you’d like it to remain in one piece). Believe me when I say, your chicken will be JUICY! More juicy than any rotisserie chicken you’ve ever bought at the supermarket. It will break apart as soon as you attempt to remove it from the slow cooker. So I suggest using two large spatulas to carefully lift it out. 

Chicken rubbed with herbs in slow cooker.

Is It Better To Slow Cook On Low Or High?

When it comes to using your crock pot, you can either cook the chicken on low or high. If you are cooking on low, it will take about 7-8 hours. If cooking on high, it will take between 3-4 hours. 

But, I find that the “low and slow” method works best and prefer the 8 hour cook time. This means I can prepare the chicken in the morning and have it ready for dinner.

Slow cooker rotisserie chicken on a plate with vegetables.

How To Get Crispy Skin 

Slow cooking creates the juiciest interior because you’re using moist heat for cooking. The drawback is that skin may not get as crispy as my crispy baked chicken thighs. So, here are three optional steps you can take to get the ultimate browned, crispy skin.

  1. Rub the raw chicken with a teaspoon of salt and leave it uncovered on a plate in the fridge overnight. This will allow the chicken skin to dry up and get crispier in the slow cooker.
  2. Don’t add any liquid to the slow cooker. Don’t use olive oil on the chicken and don’t add lemon juice.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a baking sheet and put it under the oven broiler for a minute or two to get super crispy skin.

Slow cooker rotisserie chicken on a plate with vegetables.

How To Cook A Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

With a few simple steps and some prep work, this recipe will be done in no time. Here’s what you’ll need to do. 

  1. Prep the veggies. Dice up the carrots, parsnip, and onion into large pieces and layer them at the bottom of the crock pot. 
  2. Prep the chicken. First, ensure the giblets have been removed from the cavity of the whole chicken. Then place it on a tray and rub olive oil onto it. 
  3. Sprinkle the herbs and spices onto the chicken. Feel free to add more or less depending on your preference. 
  4. Slow cook the chicken. Place the chicken into the crock pot and cook the chicken on low for 7-8 hours (cook time will depend on the size of your chicken). 
  5. Remove the chicken carefully, transfer to a large plate along with the veggies, and serve! 

A chicken thigh and vegetables on a plate.

More Recipes To Make With Leftover Chicken

If you’ve got some leftover rotisserie chicken, tear it apart and save it for these delicious chicken recipes.  

And if you love this recipe, you’ll love my slow cooker pulled pork. Another reader favorite!

Slow cooker rotisserie chicken on a plate with vegetables.
4.93 from 14 votes

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken - Rotisserie Style

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
wait time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
This slow cooker whole chicken is juicy on the inside with delicious, herbed, crispy skin on the outside. It’s a slow cooker chicken recipe favorite.

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 1 parsnip, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 whole chicken, (4-5 pounds)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Add the carrots, parsnip and onion to your slow cooker. If you have a large slow cooker, feel free to add more vegetables.
  • Add the herbs and spices to a small bowl and mix together.
  • Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle the herbs and spices onto the chicken and rub them in and all around with your hands. Then place the chicken in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables.
  • Add the lid to the slow cooker and cook the chicken on low for 7-8 hours, depending on the size of your chicken. When done, carefully remove and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 107mg, Potassium: 433mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3821IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crock Pot Chicken, Rotisserie Chicken, slow cooker chicken, Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Recipe originally posted September 2014, but updated to include new photos and information.

 

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46 comments on “Slow Cooker Whole Chicken”

  1. Wow, my chicken came out super tasty and tender. And the ‘crispy tips’ really worked. High praise from the family. Thanks Lisa for again a wonderful recipe!

  2. So I made your crispy skin chicken thighs tonight and it was easy and a hit with my 10yr old.  It will now become a staple for us.  But speaking of this recipe, I notice the spices are essentially the same as the thigh recipe.  Would you have an idea of a diff type of rub for the rotisserie chicken?  Maybe a take on chipotle or a diff flavor all together.  I would love to get your thoughts and thank you for the crispy thigh recipe! 

    • Hi Mac – So glad to hear this was a hit with your 10 yr old! My crispy thighs are also a staple in my house :) As for dry drubs, this is my go-to spice and herb mix, but for my next chicken recipe, I will definitely keep in mind of a different dry rub for you guys.

  3. Help! Put this chicken on exactly as described but added lower carb turnips as parsnips replacement. With about 3 hours left to cook, I noticed a harsh smell, almost like burning, a real bitter smell that I had experienced once before but using an Instant Pit to cook beef on its own. That time the gravy was awful as a result of the bitter smell. After this slow cooker had finished, I removed the chicken which, even though placed on a bed of vegetables, was about 1/2 inch deep in juices. The chicken skin smelled almost like an electrical fire (no electrical issues with pot or outlet) and tasted harsh and inedible. although it did not look so. I had to peel the skin away. The chicken inside was tasty and moist. But I had to throw away all the lovely looking vegetables and juices as the harsh, bitter smell and taste was awful! Could the turnips be responsible in this case? Any other ideas?

    • Hi Jan – Wow, I have no idea why that happened. I’ve never had that happen in my slow cooker and there should definitely not be any harsh burning smells. The turnips would definitely not be responsible for that, it sounds like you may need a new slow cooker.

  4. I have cooked chicken in my crockpot like this for a couple of years. I cook on low and when it is finished I cut off a leg and thigh to throw under the broiler for dinner that night. The rest I skin and debone throwing the skin and bones back into the crockpot with the juices given off when cooking the chicken. I then pour in water to 1 inch of the top and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. (I add onion celery and carrots before adding the water) makes a great chicken broth to make soup or to freeze

  5. Made this on Sunday (19th Jan), husband couldn’t believe how juicy and tender it was, we all wolfed it down.  We had used Brussels sprouts, potatoes and parsnips and it was delicious.  Would definitely make it again if we are out all day and need something hot and perfectly cooked to come home to.  Very easy recipe – far too easy!!

    • Hi Dorothy – Isn’t this chicken so juicy and tender! Plus, I’m loving your combination with the sprouts, potatoes, and parsnips :) So glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed this recipe.

  6. Lisa, you and Alton Brown are my Goddess and God of chicken! Only two people who reliably have recipes for juicy and delicious chicken that actually deliver! And this was dirt simple. I am loving slow cooker meals that aren’t just glop in a pot, and are actually flavourful. And great tips for crisping up the skin after. Everything worked brilliantly!

    As an aside, my chicken was only maybe 3.5 pounds, and it still turned out perfectly.

  7. I just added this to my “Try” list. Thanks for the well-written information.

  8. How many pounds should the chicken be?

  9. This chicken looks amazing. I have never tried to cook chicken with crispy skin in a slow cooker, but will try the salt rub method.

  10. I never knew you can make a rotisserie chicken in a slow cooker, and such a simple recipe too! I’ll need to make this ASAP. :)

  11. This sounds delicious and so easy! I love the idea of crisping the skin after to get the best of both worlds, a moist and juicy chicken with crispy skin. Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. Ah, I’ve just told myself I would take a break from chicken… Well, after I try this recipe now :-) Fabulous looking rotisserie chicken recipe!

  13. This looks so easy! I’ve never cooked chicken like this in the slow cook before. It’s a brilliant idea, perfect for a busy weekday!!

  14. I finally got around to making this . Tell right off the bone! I’ve always used vegetables on bottom but never tried aluminium foil. So I did a onion cut in half and 2 balls of foil for the chicken to rest on. Yummy!! Thank you!!!😚

    • Hi Lourie – Ah! I’m glad this recipe came out okay for you. I am actually updating this recipe and will be posting the newer version next week :)

  15. This is a great recipe.  The meat just fell off the bone!  I have a request, could you share a recipe for homemade stock/ broth?  Thanks.  Love your website.

  16. Found this recipe yesterday and making it today…I just noticed from your pictures you put the chicken in breast side down. I didn’t realize until I already put mine in the crock. Does the breast side down make the breast meat juicier?

  17. Would this work with a pressure cooker?

  18. I made this for the second time. Because this time I had no plan to eat the skin, I didn’t pre-roast/grill it at all. The chicken is so succulent. The versatility of this ingredient is exponential. Delicious!

    Rating: 5
  19. I learned my lesson when making the paprika chickenalso on this website.When using a crockpot for chicken, the objective is not to cook the chicken until the flesh peels off the bones. In fact, the real objective is to make sure it does not dry out and still have a “biting consistency”. Observing this rule, this recipe has turned out quite well.

    Rating: 4
  20. I made this today and it was easy and delicious! Both my husband and I really liked it.
    The recipe does not call for any liquid, but I added 1/2 cup broth. Was this necessary?

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