A few years back, in my quest to find easy-to-make, delicious meals, I happened upon a slow-cooked whole chicken recipe. I have made it dozens of times over the years, and many of those times I have only had five minutes to get the chicken in the slow-cooker, and my booty out the door. As a result, I have simplified the recipe a bit. Or perhaps a lot.
In any case, I have slow-cooked whole roasted chicken down to a science.
And I want to share it with you.
Not only does the chicken make a delicious meal that night, accompanied by roasted veggies, sautéed greens, mashed sweet potatoes, salad, or any other sides of your choice; it provides leftovers for salads and homemade soup for the rest of the week.
Slow-cooked whole roasted chicken is on my menu rotation at least twice a month, but sometimes, weekly, depending on what I have going on.
Following is the super-easy recipe:
- 1 whole young chicken (4-5 pounds), with neck and giblets removed.
- (optional) herbs, spices, and sea salt. When I have time, I pick fresh herbs from my garden: rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and basil. When I am rushed I use: 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon ground sage, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
- Remove chicken from packaging and rinse carefully (if desired).
- Place in slow cooker with the breast side facing down.
- Top with seasonings (optional).
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8-10 hours.
When serving, do NOT attempt to lift the chicken out of the slow cooker, because it will fall apart! Instead, serve each plate straight from the slow cooker. This is not like oven roasted chicken that you can serve on a platter. Nu uh. This is different. The meat will literally be falling off the bones when you cut into it.
Bonus Recipe: Chicken Stock
Once you are done and you have packaged up all of the leftover meat for the week, leave the carcass in the slow cooker. Add water to cover and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and cook on low for another 24 hours and you have chicken stock. Voila’! Skim off the fat and then pour into mason jars or other glass containers to save for your next soup recipe. I usually freeze the stock, but I always put it in the fridge first so that the stock can finish cooling and the glass jars don’t shatter.