Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Cooking a whole 3-5Lb chicken will feed a family of four, provide some leftovers for lunch, and leave delicious bones for soup. Cooking a whole chicken in a crock-pot makes it so easy!

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken (serves 4-6)

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)


Thaw your chicken completely – either overnight in the refrigerator or in a sink of cold water.  In a small bowl, combine the paprika, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, dried thyme, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper. Set aside.

Place the onion pieces in the bottom of your slow cooker to keep the chicken lifted out of the juices that will form.

Our chickens usually come with the neck attached – you can remove it if you prefer, but I usually leave it to cook with the rest of the bird.  Stuff the chicken with rosemary, garlic and lemon wedges (or whatever herbs and aromatics you like).Rub the outside of the chicken with the spice mixture..

Place the spice rubbed chicken, breast side down and wings tucked under, on top of the onion pieces and cover the slow cooker. You won't need to add any extra liquid.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours, or until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone. Remove from the slow cooker and serve. (Note: cooking time will vary depending on weight of the bird.)

Use the juice from the crock-pot to make delicious gravy, or save it to start chicken broth for soup made from the leftovers. Instead of onions, cut up 2 carrots, a stick of celery, or even apple quarters and place on the bottom of the pan. The spice rub helps the skin to crisp up a little. If you prefer a roasted skin, you can remove the cooked chicken from the crock-pot to a shallow pan and place it under the broiler for 4-5 minutes.