Last Updated on October 5, 2021 by Anne-Marie
This rotisserie-style whole chicken in a crockpot recipe is a super easy dinner option. And the leftover chicken can be used in countless other dishes!
Why this recipe works
You'll love this whole chicken recipe for crock-pot so much that it'll soon become a dinner time classic at your house!
You're going to ask yourself, why didn't I crock pot a whole chicken sooner?
And you can use the leftovers in so many other recipes from soups and casseroles to salads.
How to cook a whole chicken in a crock-pot
Cooking whole chicken in a crockpot isn't that hard to do with a little planning. Here's how:
1. Prepare the crockpot insert For easy cleanup, line the crockpot insert with a slow cooker liner. Or spray the sides and bottom of the slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Prep the vegetables Cut vegetables and add to crockpot with fresh herbs.
3. Prepare the chicken Remove chicken from the wrapping, remove giblets, liver, and neck. Pat dry with paper towels.
4. Oil the chicken and apply the seasoning rub Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and rub it over the skin.
Sprinkle the seasoning rub over the chicken.
5. Slow cook the chicken Place the whole chicken in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F.
6. Remove the whole chicken from the slow cooker and serve You're going to want to do this very carefully or the chicken may fall apart before you have a chance to put it on a nice platter.
Then spoon the cooked vegetables around the slow cooker whole chicken for a nice presentation.
If you're more of a pressure cooker person, try making this Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe.
How long does it take to cook a whole chicken in a crock-pot?
Slow cooking whole chicken will depend on the size of your chicken. (This recipe calls for a 4-5 pound whole chicken.)
However, cook time on Low is usually around 7 to 8 hours.
On High, to slow cook a chicken takes about 3 to 4 hours.
Either way, super easy and quick!
Don't wash your chicken before cooking
No matter how many times you see this in older recipes – and no matter what your mom used to do – there’s NO NEED TO WASH poultry before making slow cooker whole chicken.
In fact, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, you shouldn't wash raw chicken before cooking.
Bacteria in raw poultry can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.
Washing just splashes the bacteria around your sink and countertops. And you and your clothing. YUCK!!
Tips when cooking a whole chicken in a crockpot
No fresh herbs? If they run out of fresh herbs at the store, use this dried herb substitution guide when making crockpot whole chicken recipes :
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary for 1 sprig fresh
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme for 1 sprig fresh
No red onion? You can use yellow onion or white onion. No problem.
Whoops, I'm out of onion! Did you know that celery is an acceptable substitute for an onion? (I use celery instead of onion all the time, since too much onion gives me a bad tummy sometimes.)
So go ahead and add more celery to this whole chicken in slow cooker recipe (and a little onion powder) if you’re out of onion and don’t want to rush to the store.
How to make a quick chicken soup
Save the leftover over liquid from making this crock-pot recipe for whole chicken and any tasty bits like the onions, celery, and herbs.
Then place more chopped vegetables, leftover pieces of chicken, salt and pepper to taste, and some water to cover in a pot.
Cook on the stovetop until you have a nice warm soup. Fantastic!
How to get crispy rotisserie-style chicken skin
The nice thing about this slow cooker whole chicken recipe is that you get super moist chicken. However, the skin isn't as crispy as you the rotisserie chicken you get at the store.
So here are three tricks to get that awesome browned, crispy skin everyone loves.
1. Don’t use olive oil on the crock-pot whole chicken. Just use the spice rub.
2. You can rub the raw chicken with a teaspoon of salt. Then leave it uncovered overnight in the refrigerator. This causes the skin to dry up and get crisp in the crockpot.
3. After the whole chicken is cooked, place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put it under the oven broiler for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown to get that crispy rotisserie chicken skin. (Be careful not to burn the slow cook whole chicken!)
How to make slow-cooked chicken gravy
Gravy isn’t just for special occasions. You can make it any time with a little planning.
1. To make the gravy, ladle the liquid from cooking the chicken in the slow cooker into a medium-sized saucepan.
You’ll want to strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any little bits of herbs, vegetables, or chicken.
2. Heat the liquid in the saucepan over medium-high heat.
3. While it heats, in a small bowl, make a slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.
4. Add the slurry to the saucepan when it starts to boil.
5. Heat until the liquid thickens, occasionally stirring. (If the gravy gets too thick, add some water or chicken stock.)
How to make slow cooker chicken stock
Take that leftover carcass from chicken in the crockpot and turn it into an easy to make chicken broth to use in everyday recipes or nutritious soups.
1. Place the cooked leftover chicken carcass in a large crock-pot. (First, line it with slow cooker liners for easy cleanup.)
2. Add chopped celery, carrots, onions, and any other vegetables like squash and parsnips you may have on hand. (This is a terrific way to use up leftovers from other recipes.)
Don't worry too much about amounts, though I'd lean more towards celery, carrots, and onion over squash, for example.
3. Add a few cloves of garlic and any leftover herbs (like thyme, parsley, or sage) from making crockpot whole chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. If you saved the chicken giblets and neck add it to the slow cooker.
You can also add any cooked chicken skin that you may have pulled off the chicken meat before serving. (I know you’re trying to be a healthy person and not to eat all the fatty, yummy stuff – ha!)
All that leftover stuff – bones, chicken meat, skin, innards, herbs, and even vegetable peels (as long as everything is clean and fresh) is terrific to use when making chicken stock.
5. Add enough water to cover. Cover and cook on low for a total time of 8 hours or so.
7. If you want, you can pour some stock into a couple of ice cube trays. Freeze and store cubes in Ziploc bags to use when you just need a little stock in your cooking.
Ways to use chicken crockpot recipes
Cooking whole chicken recipes in a crockpot isn't just for dinner. You can use this slow cooker whole chicken recipe in other chicken recipes such as:
- 4.5-pound chicken
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Line the crockpot insert with a slow cooker liner. Or spray the sides and bottom of the slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cut vegetables and add to crockpot with fresh herbs.
- Remove chicken from the wrapping, remove giblets, liver, and neck. Pat dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine seasoning.
- Drizzle chicken with olive oil and rub into skin.
- Sprinkle evenly with seasoning.
- Place chicken on top of vegetables.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
- Remove to a cutting board and let rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- Cut and serve immediately with vegetables.
Serving Size:3/4 pound of chicken
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 748Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 320mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 82g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.