We will share our easy, comforting slow cooker whole chicken recipe, an absolute game-changer for hectic days! Set it up and leave it to cook whilst you get on with your day.
Made with everyday ingredients, this comforting dish is a breeze to prepare. Follow our step-by-step instructions and get ready for a mouthwatering experience like no other!
We've got tips on alternative seasonings, how to crisp the chicken, and how to create an absolutely delicious gravy from the cooking juices.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Video
Check out our video showing you how to prepare the chicken for the slow cooker and how to make the gravy.
Our step-by-step slideshow will guide you through each step of the process. You'll serve a tender chicken dinner that your family will adore.
Use the above link to get started on this easy recipe for slow cooker whole chicken, or read on for more information on the ingredients and equipment.
We've kept the ingredients simple, ensuring you can find everything at your local supermarket.
The star of our slow cooker recipe is a whole chicken. Choose a chicken that will suit the size of your family and fit into your slow cooker crock pot!
Here's a handy guide to help you choose the right size chicken to fit your slow cooker.
|Chicken Size||Serves||Recommended Crock Pot Size|
|1 - 1.5 kg||3 - 4||4 Litre +|
|1.6 - 2 kg||4 - 5||5 Litre +|
|2.1 - 2.5 kg||5 - 6||6 Litre +|
Our recommended sizes are for oval-shaped slow cookers; a round slow cooker might not have enough space to fit a whole chicken comfortably.
Olive oil is used to mix with the seasoning and rub over the chicken to add flavour to the skin and meat.
Feel free to use other oils or melted butter. Or skip the oil altogether.
We have used an all-purpose seasoning to add flavour to the chicken. Feel free to substitute with your favourite seasonings.
Or keep it simple with just oil, salt and black pepper—the perfect seasoning for slow cooker roast chicken.
We suggest sticking with dried herbs and seasonings when slow cooking; fresh herbs can be used to season after cooking.
We use vegetables to raise the chicken of the base, adding flavour to the gravy and serving with the chicken. If you don't want to use vegetables, use a small metal rack or create foil balls to place chicken on top of.
In this example, we've used carrots and onions. But there are other fantastic vegetables you can try, like leeks, parsnips, swede, baby potatoes, red potatoes, or sweet potatoes.
These root vegetables not only boost the nutritional value of the gravy but also add a delightful sweetness. They can also be served as a side dish with the chicken.
During cooking, the chicken will release a natural stock, which the vegetables cook in. Do not waste this delicious liquid. Use it to create a gravy.
You may have enough stock created from cooking the slow cooker chicken to use as the base for the gravy. If not, top it up using chicken stock or chicken broth.
Used to thicken the stock into a gravy and give it a smooth, velvety texture.
If you don't have cornstarch, you can use flour instead, but cook it with some melted butter first to remove any raw flour taste.
If you want to change things up, here are some alternative seasonings that work great with this recipe:
- Lemon Herb - Use olive oil, lemon juice and zest with dried thyme or rosemary.
- Mexican Spice - Add cumin, chilli powder, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Garlic Butter - Use dried parsley, crushed garlic cloves and black pepper mixed into butter to rub into the chicken.
- Honey Mustard - Mix Dijon mustard with honey and brush over the cooked chicken before browning in the oven.
- BBQ - Brush the slow cooker chicken with your favourite BBQ sauce before finishing in the oven.
You will need to have these basic kitchen tools on hand.
- Slow cooker - Preferably 6.5 litres Slow Cooker or above.
- Cutting board, chef's knife and carving fork
- Large Pan & Whisk- To make the gravy.
- Sieve - Used to remove bits from the stock before making gravy.
Let's get this whole chicken slow cooker recipe started.
First, grab that whole chicken from your fridge and remove the packaging. Give it a good pat-down with some kitchen paper towel, and let it chill out on your counter for about an hour.
We want it to reach room temperature for the best evenly cooked results.
Meanwhile, let's prep our veggies. Chop four small carrots into large, rustic chunks and quarter one onion. These vegetables are going to be at the bottom of your slow cooker.
Not only do they keep the whole chicken elevated (no one likes a soggy bottom), but they also add a ton of flavour to the juices. And trust us, you'll want those flavorful juices for later – hello, homemade gravy!
Next, mix one tablespoon of all-purpose seasoning with one tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl. If you're feeling adventurous, check out other seasoning ideas above.
Slather the chicken with the seasoning mix. Don't be shy. Give it a good rubdown. Get into those nooks and crannies - the breast, legs, wings, and base. Yes, it's a bit messy, but that's half the fun, right?
Place your seasoned chicken in the slow cooker on top of the bed of veggies.
A little tip from us: tie the chicken legs together to stop them from touching the sides.
Finally, pop the lid on your slow cooker and read below for cooking times.
Cooking time will depend on what size chicken you are slow cooking and what heat setting you use.
Use our table to help work out the cooking time. If you have the time, I would always recommend the low setting to cook a whole chicken over the high setting.
|Size of Chicken||Low||High|
|Small Chicken ~ 1kg - 1.5kg||4 Hours||3 Hours|
|Small chicken ~ 1kg - 1.5kg||5 Hours||3½ Hours|
|Medium chicken ~ 1.6kg - 1.9kg||6 Hours||4 Hours|
Let the magic happen. Your delicious, homemade, slow-cooked chicken is now in the making.
How to Check the Chicken is Cooked?
The easiest way to check if your slow cooker whole chicken is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken breasts should be 75°C (165°F).
If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can use a knife to cut into the chicken breast meat (the thickest part). Ensure the juices run clear, and there should be no signs of raw meat.
Now, as can be seen in these pictures, the slow cooker whole chicken is cooked, but it lacks the colour and crispy skin that you would get from a normal oven-roast or rotisserie chicken.
This is fine if you don't eat the skin. Just discard the chicken skin, and the juicy chicken meat will be perfectly cooked and ready to eat.
Be careful when removing the hot chicken from the slow cooker. It will be very tender and will fall apart easily.
How to Crisp up Slow Cooker Chicken Skin
If you prefer crispy skin on your slow cooker whole chicken, you'll need to transfer it to an oven-roasting tray, and we also like to add the vegetables around it along with a few splashes of the stock.
Cook chicken and vegetables for 10 minutes in the oven at 200 °C fan / 220 °C /425 °F/ Gas Mark 7.
Resting your chicken is a step that should not be overlooked. This process allows the juices which have been driven to the centre of the bird during cooking to redistribute themselves throughout the meat.
If you carve your chicken immediately after cooking, these precious juices will flow onto the chopping board, resulting in a drier texture.
However, by waiting at least 20 minutes, you allow the juices to settle and the meat fibres to relax, which means your chicken will be moist and tasty when served.
Making Gravy from Chicken Stock
Wondering what to do with leftover chicken juices? I've got one word for you: gravy. Let's transform that flavorful liquid into something even more amazing!
Grab a large frying pan and strain those leftover juices through a sieve into the pan. Say goodbye to unwanted bits and hello to delicious chicken stock.
Next, it's time to bring the secret weapon to thicken this gravy: cornflour. Mix one tablespoon of cornflour with an equal amount of water.
Pour this magic mix into your pan, whisking as you go. This is going to give our gravy that silky texture we all love.
If there is not enough stock for your liking, you can dissolve one stock cube in 200 ml of boiling water and add it to the gravy pan.
Bring it all to a boil to thicken and look more like the mouthwatering gravy you dream about.
Don't forget to season! A good pinch of salt and black pepper should do the trick. The gravy will thicken some more as it cools.
If you find your gravy is still too thin, no worries! Add more cornflour mixed with water and bring it back to a boil until it thickens to your liking.
You've just made homemade gravy from scratch. Easy, right? Now, go and pour it on everything!
We usually carve at the table so everyone can pick their favourite bits. Here's a short, friendly guide to get you cutting slow cooker chicken like a pro.
Secure your cooked chicken on a clean cutting board (one with grooves is handy for catching juices).
For the breast, cut diagonally down the carcass to get those perfect slices. Cut as thin or thick as you like.
To detach the legs and wings, gently separate them from the carcass. When slow-cooked, they should effortlessly come off without the need of cutting.
Serve the slow-cooker roast chicken with all the trimmings you usually serve with roast dinners, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.
We served ours with crispy, fluffy roasted potatoes seasoned with fresh rosemary, honey parsnips and peas for a healthy touch. Try our classic yorkshire puddings, indulgent cauliflower cheese for a creamy twist, and homemade stuffing balls with your chicken.
Don't forget to drizzle everything generously with your homemade gravy. Enjoy!
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- 2 kg Whole Chicken
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon All Purpose Seasoning Can substitute for other seasonings see notes.
- 4 Carrots
- 1 Onion
Gravy using cooked chicken juices
- 1 Stock Cube
- 200 ml Boiling Water
- 1 tablespoon Cornflour mixed with equal amount of water
- Remove 2 kg Whole Chicken from the fridge pat dry with kitchen paper towel. Cover and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
- Cut 4 Carrots into large chunks and 1 Onion into quarters. Place them down on the base of the slow cooker.These help keep the base of the chicken base out of the juices and also add flavour to the juices, which will help create a delicious gravy later.
- Mix 1 tablespoon All Purpose Seasoning together with 1 tablespoon Olive Oil.See the notes for more seasoning ideas
- Rub the mixture all over the chicken, breast, legs, wings and base. We find it easiest to use your hands!
- Add the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- We like to tie the legs together to stop them touching the sides.
- Pop the lid on and cook in the slow cooker.These times listed are for a large chicken - 2 kgRecommended - Low - 6 HoursQuicker Option - High - 4 HoursSee the notes section for cooking times of other-size chickens.
- 10 minutes before cooking time has ended. Preheat the oven to 200 °C fan / 220 °C /425 °F/ Gas Mark 7 After the allocated time, lift the chicken out of the slow cooker pot using two forks and tip it up to allow juices to drip out of the cavity. Place on a baking tray.
- Add the carrots and onions to the roasting tin around the slow cooked chicken. Baste the chicken using some of the stock in the slow cooker.
- Cook in the preheated oven ( 200°C fan / 220°C /425°F/ Gas Mark 7 ) for 10-15 minutes to allow the skin to brown and crisp.Or, you could perform this step in an air fryer at 200℃ for 5-10 minutes.To check doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken (usually the thigh or the breast) has reached 75°C/165°F.
Make gravy using leftover chicken cooking juices
- Pour the leftover cooked chicken juices through a sieve into a large frying pan.
- Mix 1 tablespoon Cornflour with an equal amount of water and pour into pan whilst whisking.
- Boil to thicken.
- Optional* If extra gravy is needed, mix 1 Stock Cube with 200 ml Boiling Water and add to the gravy pan.
- Season with salt and pepper
- If the gravy is too thin, add more cornflour with water and bring it back to a boil until thickened.
- Serve the slow cooker roast chicken with the vegetables and other roast dinner side dishes.
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container or wrap tightly in foil. Refrigerate within two hours of cooking and use it within three to four days.
For longer storage, you can freeze the chicken for up to four months. Thaw frozen leftovers safely in the refrigerator before reheating. Read more about chicken storage advice.
Yes, root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions can be added around the chicken. They'll cook in the chicken's juices and become deliciously tender.
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with your favourite flavours. Dried herbs and seasonings are best for slow cooker recipes rosemary, thyme, cumin, and curry powder all work well.
No, you don't! One of the beautiful things about cooking chicken in the slow cooker is that it generates delicious juices as it cooks. So, there's no need to add any extra liquid.
More Chicken Recipes
Leftover Chicken Recipe Ideas
Don't worry if you have some leftover chicken! We have some fantastic and easy recipes just for you.
One great idea is to use the leftover chicken in our pathia curry sauce. It's a delicious and comforting meal that everyone will enjoy.
Another option is to give your leftovers an Asian twist. Try using the cooked chicken in our Singapore rice noodle recipe. It's equally delicious and a perfect way to use up those leftovers.