Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken

by Amy on 18 September 2013

Slow-Cooker Roast ChickenIt may surprise you to learn that I’ve yet to master a perfect oven-roasted chicken. The last time I tried to make one, I used an awesome-sounding recipe that called for slathering the chicken in a homemade herb butter before roasting it. I got it all prepped, popped it in the oven, + as it cooked, butter splattered all over the inside of the oven. Butter splatters in the oven = tons of smoke = fire alarm going off + an icky-smoke + ash-flavored chicken. Not good. So, when I stumbled across a recipe for a roast chicken cooked in a crock-pot? I was intrigued to say the least. I’m a huge fan of slow-cooker recipes + was super excited to give this a try.

So, how did it turn out? Delicious! It was super simple to prep, coming together in just a few minutes. Then, I popped on the lid, and 6 hours later? Amazing roast chicken! I was SO pleased with the results – the chicken was moist, tender, + full of delicious, lemony-herby flavor. It’s still hot in Nashville, so I was thrilled that the slow-cooker kept me from having to turn on the oven + heat up the kitchen. The only potential downside to this recipe is that the skin doesn’t get crispy, like it does in the oven. I rarely eat the skin anyway, so this was no biggie for me, but if you’re a skin-lover, it might be a deal-breaker for you. I do know that slow-cooker roast chicken will definitely be a new staple on our dinner menu – I’m hoping to try a barbeque version + an indian-spiced version soon, too. The possibilities are endless!

Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken

Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken

serves 4, adapted from No. 2 Pencil + Emeril Lagasse


3 lemons, each cut into 4 flat slices
2 heads of garlic, cut in half
1 whole chicken – 4 to 5 pounds
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh oregano
seasoned salt
old bay seasoning
freshly cracked black pepper
optional: 4 teaspoons cornstarch (if you want to make a gravy)


Lay 2 of the cut lemons + garlic on the bottom of the slow-cooker. Top with 1/3 of the fresh rosemary, thyme, + oregano.

Remove the giblets + neck from the chicken. Rinse the chicken both inside + out under cool running water. Pat dry. Season the chicken liberally both inside + out with seasoned salt, old bay seasoning, + black pepper. Stuff the chicken with another 1/3 of the fresh herbs.

Lay chicken on top of the garlic, lemon + herbs in the slow-cooker. Top with the remaining 1/3 of the herbs + remaining sliced lemon. Cover + cook on HIGH for 2 hours, then on LOW for 4 more hours, until chicken is fully cooked.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, allow to rest if/while you make a quick gravy (optional). To do this, pour the accumulated juices into a 2-cup heatproof container. Skim the fat from the top + transfer the liquid to a small saucepan. Dissolve the cornstarch in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons of water + whisk to form a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the juices + bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until thickened, season with salt + pepper, + continue to cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve, with the gravy ladled over the top.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amy September 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

That is a fantastic tip, Sue – thank you SO much. I’ll definitely try that technique next time!

2 danielle September 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

A good roasted chicken is one of my all time favorite dishes. I love that this was done in the slow cooker. It sounds great!

3 Leah | So, How's It Taste? September 18, 2013 at 9:25 am

That looks gorgeous! I had no idea you could do this in the slow cooker. I’m not a skin fan, so I’m definitely up for trying this!

4 dixya| food, pleasure, and health September 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

I had the butter splash + almost fire episode last week..I dont care about the skin either so this is right up my alley :)

5 alicia nicole September 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

I found this recipe on
This is also a good one plus it show’s you how to achieve the crispy skin.

Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker
Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 min
It’s incredibly simple and the chicken goes into the crockpot in minutes.

Rub Ingredients
4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs roasting or fryer chicken
1 cup chopped onion, approx 1 medium to large onion
4-5 carrots, scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds
4 celery stalks, cut in thirds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 lemon quartered

Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl.

Remove chicken from packaging and remove neck and pouch with organs. Discard or reserve for later use in another recipe. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

Rub garlic all over outside of the chicken. Put garlic inside the chicken. Rub the rub all over the outside and inside the chicken. Add quartered lemon to the inside of the chicken.

Place onions, carrots and celery inside the slow cooker. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover slow cooker and cook chicken on low for 4-8 hours. (When I used a 4 lb chicken, it took about 6 hours. The time will depend on the size of the chicken and your slow cooker.) Cook until the internal temperature of the leg is at 160 degrees F or use a pop-up thermometer as the original recipe calls for.

Remove chicken and place in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Allow chicken to rest after removing it from the broiler for 5-10 minutes.

Modified and adapted from

6 amy September 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

That is an awesome tip for when I do want the crispy skin. Thanks for sharing for me + my readers, Alicia!

7 Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry September 18, 2013 at 10:53 am

Crispy skin isn’t a deal breaker for me so this recipe is a must make!

8 Emily @ Life on Food September 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

This going to happen this winter. I am so intrigued. Yours looks amazing!

9 Tiffany September 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

What a great idea! And no, I didn’t know. I was just thinking yesterday that my poor crock pot hasn’t been used in over a year… now I know what to do to get it back into the kitchen routine!

10 amy September 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

OOh, what a great way to start using your crock-pot again. HOpe you love it!

11 Nik@ABrownTable September 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Oh wow, what a great way to cook a whole chicken, I had no idea, this could be done! It looks beautiful.

12 Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl September 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I’m a crock pot addict so I need to try throwing a whole chicken in there! Thanks for this idea!

13 Tracey September 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I love doing whole chickens in the slow cooker – so easy and they turn out perfectly juicy! I am a crispy skin lover but it’s worth the sacrifice for the ease of doing it in the slow cooker :)

14 Kristen @ notsodomesticated September 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Love this idea!! I like the crispy skin, but I don’t have to have it. And like someone else said, it’s worth the sacrifice for the ease of using the slow cooker!

15 Adri September 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Oh my! This looks beautiful. I have a slow cooker, and this looks lke something I must try. My husband always loves to have sme left over chicken fo rlunch – so this is perfect.

I too have had some giant , I mean epic, roasting messes. Nothing beats the time I roasted a chicken at 500 degrees F. and LEFT THE CONVECTION FAN ON. You have never seen such a hideous mess. The fan splattered the grease and fat from the chicken everywhere in my oven. The real bummer was, of course, this was several years ago, and was THE FIRST THING I EVER PUT IN THAT OVEN. Now I can laugh about it.

Best to you!

16 amy September 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I am so glad I’m not alone in my roasting messes – apparently it happens to the best of us!

17 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking September 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Get outta town! I heard you could do a slow cooker roasted chicken, but I never knew it could look THIS good! Sooo mouthwatering, Amy.

18 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl September 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I LOVE making roasted chicken in the crock pot – yours turned out SO pretty, Amy! This recipe looks great – thanks for sharing!

19 Anne ~ Uni Homemaker September 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I’m with you on the splattering in the oven! I hate having to clean my oven and having my smoke alarm go off. I do love the idea of slow cooker roast chicken. And the clean-up, I’m sure is a breeze. More so than oven roasting. Plus, it looks GORGEOUS! :) Thanks for sharing this technique and recipe Amy!

20 amy September 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

The clean-up is SUCH a cinch. I think you’re going to love this when you try it!

21 natalie@thesweetslife September 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm

i’ll take ease of prep over crispy skin every day! i’ve been meaning to try a slow cooker chicken recipe and must try this soon!

22 Sue September 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I’ve been making whole chicken in the slow cooker for a few years now and have found that the way to crispy skin is to lightly coat the entire bird with olive oil before adding whatever herbs, etc. you like.

How easy is it to take this wonderful, moist chicken and make chicken barbeque or shredded chicken tacos with the leftovers.

Your recipe looks delicious, Amy, and i’ll definitely try this mixture on my next slow cooker chicken.

23 Luv What You Do September 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I’ve never made a big whole chicken before. That looks so easy and delicious. Bookmarking this NOW!

24 Karen (Back Road Journal) September 19, 2013 at 7:36 am

I would never have thought of using a slow cooker for a roasted chicken. Perfect for a busy day…thanks for the suggestion. :)

25 Beth September 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

I love roast chicken, but I’ve never thought of cooking it in a slow-cooker. The flavors sound great!

26 Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction September 19, 2013 at 8:43 am

I love making whole chickens in the slow cooker! Perfect for leftovers throughout the week!

27 Shashi September 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

I have never roasted a whole chicken in a slow cooker before – amazing!

28 Amy (Savory Moments) September 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Wow – this is such a great idea! I don’t really eat the skin either (unless we’re talking about fried chicken!), so this would totally work for me!

29 amy September 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Agreed, with fried chicken, eating the skin is a MUST!

30 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef September 21, 2013 at 9:37 pm

love making whole roast chicken, but i never do it in my crockpot. will have to give it a shot soon :)

31 ashley@BakerbyNature September 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Oh my gosh, Amy! That is one beautiful bird! I love this recipe SO much :)

32 Kirsten | FarmFreshFeasts September 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Many years ago, when crock pots were originally introduced, my mom was a demonstrator. She used her home ec/county agent skills to come up with all sorts of recipes, and I really only remember one epic fail.

Crock pot fried chicken. Talk about a gummy mess? Oy!

But your roast chicken–this I could have gotten behind as a little kid and can definitely get on my plate as an adult.


33 amy September 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm

OOh, I can see how crock-pot fried chicken would be a tough one to pull off. How cool that you mom was a demonstrator! I bet that means you got to sample lots of delicious crock-pot successes, too. =) Yum!

34 Monet September 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I never would have guessed this was made in a slow cooker. It looks so lovely! Much better than the roasted chickens I like to make over the winter. I can’t wait to try it!

35 Kumar's Kitchen September 24, 2013 at 1:36 am

wow…you have roasted chicken like a pro…looks gorgeous and we are absolutely sure it will be tasting juicy and perfectly seasoned :-)

36 Sarah | The Sugar Hit September 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum.
I love roast chicken.

37 Tiffany September 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Gonna do it today, I think. If not today, tomorrow. Thanks, Friend!

38 Lisa October 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

What a gorgeous picture!

I love roasting chickens or game hens. It’s just such a feel-good, warm winter meal.

39 Sue October 27, 2013 at 4:38 am

Brilliant, looks lovely, I am new to slow cooking so am looking desperately for new recipes. Will give this one a go today! :)

40 michelle January 4, 2014 at 11:23 am

I live in beautiful tzaneen in the northern province in south-africa. I try not to cook during summer, because it gets scorching hot… I will definitely try your recipe Amy. Thanks!!

41 amy January 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm

It sounds like you live somewhere beautiful, Michelle! Hope you love this recipe when you try it — and it keeps your kitchen cool during the hot weather!

42 Janice June 11, 2015 at 12:04 am

Hi Amy
wow it so happened that I’m currently roasting whole chicken in my slow cooker. I was just wanna make sure if my size 20 chicken will be definitely cooks in high for 4 hours just like I read in some blogs. Thanks to this site. After 4 hours it’s been on high I definitely turns it in low. I don’t have temperature to use to check if my chicken is ready I just rely on the cooking time. It looks like my chicken is very tender and juicy now and no more blood coming out from it. Definitely looks delicious ☺. I’m just waiting for my hubby so it’s good to be on low until I take it off from my slow cooker. Thanks for the gravy idea as well:)

43 Amy June 11, 2015 at 7:13 am

I hope it turned out wonderful, Janice!

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