Crock Pot Chicken

Wow…nothing could be easier.  This was my first attempt at cooking a whole chicken in a crock pot.  I put it in this morning at 9:00 am and at 5:00 pm it was ready.  In fact it all fell off the bone and was so tender and juicy.  There was loads of juice that made tons of gravy!  Perfect for a cold night after a busy day!

First combine spices in a bowl for the rub.

  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Clean your chicken and remove giblets and neck.  Rub spice mixture all over the chicken.  At this point you can seal it in a bag and let marinate over night.  But if you don’t have the time you can skip this. Dice up 1/2 onion and put at the bottom of the crock pot.  Place spiced chicken on top of onions.  There is no need to add any liquid.  As your chicken slow cooks you will be amazed on how much juice you will end up with.

Slow cook on low for about 8 hrs.  You can use a thermometer to check to see if your chicken is done.  It should read 180 deg.  Or even simpler, wiggle a leg and if it’s loose, it’s done!

Serve with your choice of vegetables and mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

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204 responses

  1. with the new crock pot liners you could do all the prep the night before, let it marinate in the frig and in the morning take it out, set it in the crockpot and turn it on. thie would make for easy cleanup as well.

  2. Donna, I was referring to the new crockpot “bag” liners you can buy. Their like a bag you can set into the “crock” part that lifts out for cleaning. The bag liners even help more with cleanup….hope this helps! I am trying this chicken today 🙂

  3. Did you cook the chicken standing up (not laying down in the crockpot)? I am not sure my cockpot would be tall enough to do so. I have also heard of crumbling balls of foil in the bottom of the crockpot and setting the chicken on top so it doesn’t sit in it’s juices.

    • I actually cooked it standing up because my crock pot was not wide enough to lay it down. I have a new pot now and the next time will lay it down. I will probably try placing it breast side down like I cook my turkeys so the juices end up on the breasts to make it moister!

    • The point of a crock pot is to allow the goodies to cook in the seasonings and liquid. When you cook in a crock pot and do not have adequate liquid the meat turns out VERY dry, stringy and tough. The liquid is how you can cook something for so long and have it turn out how you like it. You wouldn’t bake a turkey in the oven without basting it.

      • We never baste turkey. When you cook it in a cooking bag in the oven, it cooks in its own juices. That is what the top on a crock pot is for. You should not check the chicken until the 8hrs is up. Opening and closing a crock-pot adds 20 min cooking time, each time you do it. I have never had a dried out chicken in a crock-pot. It is the simplest way to cook and they come out moist everytime. (Even without adding liquid.)

      • If you brine the meats, you don’t need to baste anything at all, see for instance Alton Brown’s recipe for Thanksgiving turkey…yummy AND moist!

      • I make a chicken in my crock almost every week. I add NO liquid. It turns out moist and delicious each time. I have used this recipe as well as others with great results. I am thinking your position on this would be revised if you tried it. I encourage anybody with little time and a desire to cook good, wholesome food for their family to try this. They will not be disappointed.

      • While this recipe will taste great either way, raising the chicken up off of the bottom and out of the broth would NOT cause the chicken to be dry in a crock pot as it might in an oven. The way a crock pot traps in the steam and uses the curved lid to force the steam back down into the pot will keep the environment of the pot wet no matter what. Just like when you steam things. Steamed veggies don’t dry out just because they’re not down inside the liquid.
        There are a LOT of crockpot recipes out there that branch out and away from the stewed everything-dumped-in-together concept of the average crockpot recipes we’ve all grown up with. Heck, you can even bake potatoes or a cake in a crockpot!

      • In an oven roasting bag, you don’t have to baste it. I put butter with garlic between the skin and the flesh, and rub the same mix on the outside of the turkey. add sea salt and pepper. no hassle. great bird.

  4. I have made this once and planning on it again. It is very delicious. Loved the broth that it makes too. I cooled the broth in the fridge and took the fat off and used the rest for a broth/gravy base. Could have used a straw on the stuff! I cooked it breast down on the onion and ended up with very moist chicken. I like this even better than store bought rotissere chicken.

    • Have cooked whole chicken in the crock pot for a long time, but never breast side down or on top of onions, both of which I will try the next time I fix a whole chicken. Our chickens have always come out incredibly moist, but I’ve heard it’s even better “upside down”. Thanks for the hints.

  5. Serve this chicken with 1 c brown basmati rice
    2 c chicken broth
    1 stick butter
    1 t salt
    1 t thyme
    1 t marjoram
    1 t chopped rosemary
    You won’t believe how wonderful it taste and how wonderful your house smells!

      • I know this is a bit delayed, but I make roast in my crockpot all the time and always throw in raw carrots and potatoes. They cook all day long and they are absolutely delish! The only difference is that I do actually use water and seasonings with my roast, however this chicken recipe doesn’t call for any liquid to be added. Then again, the chicken produces it’s own liquid so I figure it’ll be worth a try. 🙂 Definitely making this later on in the week!

      • I agree with Meghan…add them at the beginning. Cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot is no different than cooking a pot roast in which you cook the veggies together with the meat for the whole 8-10hrs.

  6. I do this too but then I debone the meat to use on recipes that call for shredded chicken. Then throw the bones back in the crockpot, cover with water, cook on low over night and have some amazing broth in the morning to store in the freezer for later. I use it in soups, rice, and anything else you use broth for. So much more flavorful & better for you than store bought. It tends to be more concentrated so you can thin it put if necessary.

  7. Pingback: Flipping Easy — A Bird in a Crock Pot « Practice What You Pinterest

    • I should have added that the time you cook your chicken can vary from crock pot to crock pot. I used an older pot so it took longer. The best way to know if it’s done is to use a thermometer until the chicken reaches 180 degrees!

  8. I found this through Pinterest and I made this last night. I was out of onion, so did not use that. My crock pot has a keep warm feature, so it cooked on low for 8 hrs and then went to keep warm for another 10.

    I was expecting when I walked in the house to have a really delicious smell like I get when I bake chicken, but the smell had a funky edge to it that wasn’t all that appetizing. Maybe the onion would have cut that? I might try adding a lemon cut into wedges to add a lemony flavor.

    The result was more like a stewed chicken than a baked chicken. Everything fell apart when I took it out of the slow cooker.

    The chicken tasted pretty good, but not amazing. Because it sat in all the grease and juice, it was extremely moist.

    I agree with poster above who said she uses this to make shredded chicken for recipes. It seems like a very simple way to prepare that sort of chicken and it would be a good start for chicken pot pie or other recipes with cut or shredded chicken. I’m not sure I’d make it again for a main course.

  9. Made this tonight for dinner. I forgot to lay my chicken out to thaw so I put it in crockpot frozen. It turned out FABULOUS! Delicious and very tasty. If you haven’t tried, a definite must!

      • I ended up cooking my chicken on high for times sake, and it cooked in 4 1/2 hours and was wonderful….it had the self timer button on it so I definitely knew it was done too. 🙂 I made a wonderful homeade gravy with all the juices from the chicken too…and no hot house. Love this.

    • wow, I’ve been searching for a good dumplings recipe!!! Would you mind sharing the one you use? Sounds like perfect comfort food for a cold day! 🙂

      • I use Jiffy baking mix. Use 2 and 1/2 cups of mix, salt pepper, garlic powder, parsley and parmesian cheese,your choice of strenght. I fork stir all together at the sink and gradually add drops of water, a good splash at a time. Do not overmix. Have your soup or stew cooking at moderate heat with a lid. Drop mixture by large spoonfulls into pot to fill circumferance. Put lid on and do not open for about 12 minutes. I always check one for doneness. These dumplings will triple in size and be breadlike in the middle. Ladle out your soup and plop a big dumpling on top.

  10. I have cooked a similar version of this many times before. I add a cut up onion, but also an apple that has been cored and wedged. I put pieces of both inside the chicken and the rest under it and around it. The apple adds even more juiciness and wonderful flavor. You can add additional vegetables near the end of the cooking, too. I serve it with potatoes or rice or even noodles. The meat will simply fall off the bones. I usually have to scoop out the chicken. Enjoy!

    • This is an excellent article on newer vs older slow-cookers. One thing I noticed in the article was the following:

      “Many people cook frozen foods in the crockpot. And others like to reheat foods in the crockpot. Most food experts do not recommend these practices, as foods need to reach a temperature of 140 degrees within 1-1/2 hours to prevent bacteria growth.”

      This recommendation is something one should really keep in mind. Just thought I would post this information since I noticed a number of people indicating that they started with or were considering starting with a frozen chicken…I don’t want my internet friends getting sick.

  11. I love this and will try today! I get chickens when on sale, clean the birds, stuff an onion and celery or lemon. Ease bird into a gallon freezer bag. When ready to cook, peel bag off and place chicken on top of some sliced onions in slow cooker. Cooks in about 10 hours. I am going to try this lovely rub on one!

  12. I am going to try this chicken receipe this week. 🙂 I have one question, I but all my meats in bulk and my chicken is frozen. Should I thaw it first? Or is frozen ok?

  13. Marinading this tonight to cook for dinner tomorrow. Can someone tell me how to use the juices to make a gravy. I have only ever made white gravy!

    • There should be a ton of great flavored juices when your done. You need to first separate the fat. There are so many ways to do this. I have used a gravy separater that works well. I find the easiest and quickest is to pour all the juices in a big measuring cup. I throw a handful of ice cubes in it and let it sit for a while. All the fat sticks to the ice and you just remove the ice cubes. To make the gravy I start with a butter and flour roux then add the juices and some chicken broth until I get the thickness I want. Hope that helps!

    • Just mix a couple Tblsp of corn starch into 1/2 cool water and poor into juice and stir. You can do this right in crock pot and cover and let thicken or do it on the stove top in a sauce pan.

  14. Is there another way to make this?? My crock pot is too small… And my husband loves a crispy skin… But I love juicy chicken is there for me to have both??

    • If you want crispy skin you need to roast your chicken. I rub my chicken down with olive oil and butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. I put fresh garlic cloves under the skin and stuff it with onions, carrots and celery. I add about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and roast at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the size of the chicken. I also baste my chicken about every 15 minutes. Turns out perfect every time!!!

      • You can join by clicking on “follow blog” should be on the top right side of my blog.

        And yes I have a lot of recipes. You can click on the individual months. I’ve lacked on posting blogs lately but will be blogging more soon!

        Thanks for your interest!!!

        Sent from my iPad

      • Oh god yes I love this site… I have found this on Pinterest and I want to joint…
        Is there a app for this or should I save this website…
        And yes my husband loved the chicken so I was very happy wit this site
        And take it from me I can cook some things awesom like roast and porkchops but other then that I suck at cooking

      • I hope you don’t think I am asking way too may question but what is the main web address I just have this chicken address

  15. I made this last night, and holy moly, was it amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe! I even used the quick gravy recipe and it was delish, too! Found you on pinterest. Using the leftover chicken for Alfredo pasta tonight, and making stock, too. Love whole chickens! 🙂

    • You’ll probably be ok.. Do you have any onion powder or dried onion flakes? You could rub that on your chicken. I’ve never done this but maybe onion soup mix mixed with water and pour over the chicken before cooking.. I bet that would be great too!!

  16. I have cooked many chickens this way. I actually cook on low for 5 hours so it doesn’t”t get the stewed taste someone mentioned. Then I transfer it to the oven at 350 for about 15 -20 minutes. to crispen the outside. Though it is not healthy, I set my chicken on precut carrots for the whole time and they are delish!

  17. Pingback: Crock Pot Chicken « Do It And How

  18. This chk is great. I was concerned my 7 yr old wouldn’t eat it for the spices but it doesn’t taste spicy. He loved it! The only thing I did different, was after 8 hrs in the crockpot, I put it in the oven for 45 mins to get it nice and brown.

  19. It looks Great! Was the skin crispy? I’m cooked my turkey in a electric roaster an love it that way. It leaves the oven open to cook other dishes.But I dont know how I can get the skin crispy? Any ideas?

    • I suggest if you want a crispy skin to roast your chicken. Although there’s a earlier comment below suggesting to transfer your chicken to the oven the last 20 minutes to crisp it up. I’ve never tried that but would think it should work.

  20. Made this tonight. Followed the recipe exactly and it really is the best and easiest chicken I’ve ever made. The chicken literally fell apart when I attempted to lift it out of the crock pot. I will certainly make this recipe a keeper!

  21. Just bought the Ninja 3-in-1 cooking appliance, which allows you to brown meat first in the same pan that you slow-cook it in. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  22. To Donna Lafollette – There was a Suzanne (Sept 18) a while back in your comments that mentioned she cooked the chicken for 8 hours and then left it on warm for 10 MORE hours and wondered why it didn’t smell so good by the time she finally took it out 18 hours later. Someone commented on the long span of time she left it in, but I think you thought they were talking about your comments.

    It should be mentioned that you should not leave any meat in the crock pot for that long – could become a health concern.

    I will try your recipe for the designated amount of time you suggest – sure it tastes great!

  23. I have two small cornish hens that are 1.5 lbs each (so 3 lbs). Do I still need to cook for the full 8 hrs? And could you add potatoes and carrots around the chicken and cook them all together?

    • Hi Marie.. The alternative to crock pot is roasting your chicken. I roast in a oven proof pot all the time in my oven. Roast at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours for a 4 to 5 lb chicken. You’ll end up with a crispier chicken.

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  26. tried it it is delicous but try putting some of the rub int o the chest cavity so the drippings help put it into the breast meat along with some onion also.

  27. Wish there was a way to print this recipe without wasting a lot of paper. When I tried to print it I got the recipe and 25 more pages which I didn’t need.

  28. Made this last night. So good! I cooked it the entire 8 hours in my newer crock pot. I didn’t have an onion so I just skipped it. It was like a stewed chicken but amazing flavor. The rub is outstanding. Next time I’ll be sure to use an onion for extra flavor and I’ll try checking it earlier. My son loved it and ate half the chicken himself.
    Might try cooking carrots and potatoes in there with the bird and then making mashed potatoes out of the potatoes. I bet that would be yummy.

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  30. Since the first time I tried this recipe, we’ve had it once a week- and it gives us a few meals, as there are just two of us. I’ve served it for company and taken it to a potluck… & I’ve lost count of the requests for the recipe. I love that it’s so simple and easy and doesn’t require lots of processed additives. It’s AMAZING! Thanks so much! 🙂

  31. I have to say that when I first saw this on pinterest I could have sworn this picture was mine. I think we must have the exact same crockpot. The only reason I knew this was not my post is because your counter top is so much nicer. 🙂

    I do my chicken then exact same way with breast down- always. And I never use liquid.

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  33. Love, love LOVE this recipe! We’ve had it at least once a week since I first saw it on Pinterest. I’ve taken it to potlucks and everyone raves about it. I love that it doesn’t include processed ingredients. Thanks SO much!

  34. I am making this tonight! I put potatoes and onions wedged underneath the chicken then stuffed the cavity with onions 1/2 lemon and some cloves of garlic so excited to try it!

  35. Fabulous recipe! I used this yesterday to make my first whole chicken ever, and it was great. The meat just fell off the bone, and it was so juicy. With loaded mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, my boyfriend was a happy camper. Thanks for sharing!

  36. One thing I do when I cook a chicken in the crockpot – I make a sling out of foil to set in the pot so that when it’s done, I can lift out the whole chicken, place it on a cookie sheet or baking pan and brown it in the oven for 15 minutes or so to ‘brown’ the top!

  37. I found this a bit spicy for my family’s tastes ( I love spicy but I’m afraid I’m the only one!) I made a chicken in the crock pot tonight using the same methods I used 3tsp salt 1tsp pepper 1tsp garlic powder 2tsp onion powder and 1tsp seasoning salt. It tasted wonderful!

  38. Since my family does not care for dark meat, bone-in split chicken breasts are what I opt for. A Crock Pot is an essential kitchen appliance for a working mom.

  39. Pingback: easy crock pot recipes

  40. I’m assuming that alot of you girls are knitters and crocheters.This is the onlyspot I could find that when knitting or crocheting a large piece put a towel under the piece and you will get the idea when you try it how much easier this is than it slipping out from under you’/

  41. This was WONDERFUL! I had a little fryer chicken that I put in my crockpot. I personally left it sitting in the juices because we dont like onions and I wasnt sure about the aluminum foil trick. At any rate, the meat literally fell off of the bone, I could barely get the chicken out of the crock pot in one piece!

  42. I always cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker. It is really tasty if you put thyme and garlic under the skin before placing in the slow cooker. Adds a wonderful flavor. I also love to use my Romertopf clay baker in the cooler months. Another fabulous way to roast chicken with veggies.

  43. Any crockpot instructions will tell you to always add adequate liquid to prevent crockpot breakage. I would never put a chicken in a crockpot without adding liquid.

    • Your correct about adding liquid to crock pots. But for a whole chicken there is so much natural juices that develop that if you add any liquid I personally think there would end up being too much.

  44. Has anyone tried this with freshly butchered chicken? We raise our own chicken and I have a few ready to butcher but they are older than usual butcher age so they will be very tough unless cooked slowly or put in a soup. I’m wondering if this would be a good option to try.

  45. Pingback: Fail: Crock Pot Chicken « Pinterest Fail

  46. This was AMAZING! Soo good! We buttered up 2 birds, applied the rub and crammed them both into the same crockpot….they fit super snug with just enough room for the lid. We put the crock pot on high and cooked for 6 hours. Didn’t need the butter, I bet. Old habits die hard. The rub recipe was delicious (made a double batch)….a bit spicy, but we liked it! Will try this again soon! Used some of the juices to make couscous…soo easy! Thanks!!!

  47. This was the best chicken. I prepared the chicken the night before put carrots onion and some cut up potatoes put the chicken breast side down and let the slow cooker do its cooking

  48. There are websites that focus only on Paleo recipes
    but there are also personal blogs and websites that have homemade
    Paleo diet recipes with the personal touch of the person that
    has cooked them. (If you don’t believe in your product or service, what are you doing trying to sell it.
    How about blending cucumber and dill for dipping vegetables.

  49. Positively awesome and so easy! I didn’t have the 8 hours to slow cook this, prepped as directed, placed breast side down in my crockpot for 5 hours on high, fell off the bones, moist, delicious!

  50. I have been making chickens, roasted and in the crock pot for about a year now. I really like this rub. It definitely would have more flavor if you put it under the skin with butter and rubbed it on top, but most days I do not defrost my chicken. I put it in the crock pot on high for about 2 hours breast side up with about 1/2-1 cup of water poured in. Then I rub the spices on it, flip it over and rub the spices on the other side (now its breast side down). Cook for the rest of the day on low. I check it when its done, I take it out. A good tip I learned in cutting was to not slice it like a turkey. Cut off the whole breast then slice the breast like bread, it works great. I use the broth that is on the bottom and sprinkle it back over my chicken once its cut, that adds a lot of flavor. When I am done, I break the bones with a pair of pliers or similar tool, throw back in the crock pot with any left over veggies I have laying around. I throw bits of meat in there and leave the skin in there too. Fill the crock pot up with water and cook all night. The next day I have an awesome bone broth. You can cool and put in freezer bags for future soups or I have been canning the broth so I don’t have to defrost. My crock pot makes about 5 pints of broth. So many parts of the chicken have been used and its not hard. You can eat it straight up or shred it and freeze in 2 cup baggies. Then you have already made chicken for taco’s, soup (you can use the broth you made too), creamy chicken over mashed potatoes, rice or biscuits. We love it!

  51. Pingback: Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner(s) | The Experimental Housewife

  52. You can also wrap potatoes in foil and put them in the bottom of the crock pot, very tasty as some of the juice from the chicken will seep into the foil.

  53. Didn’t have all the right ingredients available, so I improvised! I am on the Gulf Coast where we tend to enjoy food with a robust flavor (not always spicy hot, just more flavor than some other portions of the country would care for). Didn’t have a whole chicken, just thighs. Doubled up on the seasoning mixture (except salt), after deboning the chicken, seasoned heavily and browned in med-high oil.

    Having worked in the food industry, I have experienced food poisoning first hand from (raw) food not reaching proper temps in a crock pot fast enough to kill off bacteria. Placed red potatoes across bottom of crock pot with sliced onions. Placed brown chicken on top with 1 cup of water that cooked off the fron on the bottom of the skillet used to brown the chicken. I will let this cook over night while I sleep. Will have hot lunches next week courtesy of Donna! Thank you for a great recipe. Will let you know how it turns out.

    P.S. Seasoning mixture would make GREAT fried chicken! I had to stop eating the chicken or I wouldn’t have enough for the crock pot.

      • Donna,
        Pulled the lid off after cooking overnite to this awesome aroma! Chicken was moist, tender and had a great flavor. Red potatoes had absorbed some of the liquid and had a nice flavor as well. Next time, I will work at thickening the liquid (if time allows)after the cooking cycle, letting the chicken marinade in the spices before frying it and having it over Basmati Rice. Nice flavor overall. I would recommend this!

  54. I am making this recipe given to me by my daughter. It was so delicious that I had to make it again this week. Thank you..

  55. Oh my word..this was SO good!! And SO easy!! Just..wow! My hubby and I had a hard time stopping from eating the whole thing (I had planned on using the leftovers for 2 more meals but I think I maybe have enough left for one). This meal will be repeated often!!

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  58. This is brilliant. We’re making this right now, we’re just waiting for the rice to finish up. We didn’t use the seasonings listed here, we just used our favorite seasonings and we have a considerable amount of broth we’ll be using later. My mom is also gonna try one of the idea’s mentioned above of tossing the bones back in and leaving it over night for broth. Since it’s getting warmer it won’t heat up our house as much. So excited to try it!

  59. Sorry for the double comment just wanted to pop back in to say we LOVED it like this. We did follow the tip from above about making broth with the bones, we left the excess chicken liquid in tossed in the bones, skin and other parts that would just break down more over time and left it over night. It’s still tormenting me with it’s scent. Wonderful will be adding this to our menu roster permanently.

    • Do you strain broth to remove bones & stuff before freezing? I want to try this! We but pricy organic chicken so I would like to use every last piece I can!

      • Sorry for the late reply, yeah, we remove the bones and stuff. We strain it with a handheld pasta strainer (it has very fine holes so only the liquid comes out) It’s SO good this way. We’re actually doing this again tomorrow to serve along with homemade mashed potatoes, cornbread muffins, and cherry cobbler. This is one of my FAVORITE ways to cook chicken now and I literally dream about it because of how good it is.

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  61. My family LOVES this so much that I make it at least twice a month and there aren’t ever any leftovers. After the chicken is done in the crokpot, I make a gravy out of the juice to pour on baked potatoes. Sometimes, I add extra paprika for a little more kick.

  62. Pingback: Crock Pot Chicken | Diane's Thoughts and Things

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