Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

how to cook whole chicken in the slow cooker, whole chicken in the slow cooker, roast chicken

I have to admit, while I love my slow cooker, I’ve been apprehensive about cooking a whole chicken in it. I really adore roast chicken, especially when the skin gets nice and crispy. “Slow cooker” to me doesn’t scream beautiful, crispy skin. Rather, I picture rubbery, inedible skin. I mean really, is there anything more unappetizing than rubbery chicken skin? Blech.

So, with hesitation, I decided to give the 100 Days of Real Food recipe for Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot a whirl.

I adjusted the seasonings slightly based on what I already had in my pantry: dried parsley, garlic salt, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

whole chicken in the slow cooker

And I took Lisa’s advice of rubbing the seasoning under the skin in addition to coating the outside, because if the gummy skin’s being peeled off afterwards, I was gonna want the meat itself to be seasoned. Right? Right.

whole chicken in the slow cooker

And then, just like she writes, I placed it atop one chunky cut onion, set the cook time to 5 hours on high, and forgot about all day Saturday.

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And you know what? The skin wasn’t gummy at ALL. The fat rendered out (note all the lovely juices in the bottom), and the skin turned paper thin. Not crispy, but it was totally edible.

The meat literally fell off the bone. You can even see in the photo how relaxed it looks. I’m surprised it didn’t give in all together without my help!

whole chicken in the slow cooker

Make no mistake. This is not a substitution for regular oven roasted chicken. The meat texture is different, almost mushy. “Mushy” isn’t the best adjective when describing food, I get that, but I’m not sure how else to describe it. Not exactly like pulled chicken, but closer to that, I suppose, than a roast chicken texture. Point is, it’s good.

I’m going to try this again with the slow cooker on low, and instead for 8-10 hours. We’ll see what that does to the texture!

PS: Make sure to save the bones, juices and cooked onions in the slow cooker to make overnight stock!

Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
 
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Closely adapted from the recipe for "The Best Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot" recipe at 100daysofrealfood.com
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 3.5-pound whole organic chicken
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
Instructions
  1. Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Mix the garlic salt, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and parsley together. Rub the spice mixture under the breast skin and all over the outside of the chicken (underneath too!). Place the seasoned chicken on top of the onions, breast-side up.
  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours, or until the skin has turned golden and the meat falls off the bones.
  4. Save the carcass, juices and cooked onions to make overnight chicken stock in the same slow cooker!

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