Once you try cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker, you’ll never want to roast it the old way again. In the slow cooker you’ll get the moistest, most fool-proof, and hands-off whole chicken that you’ll ever make. Today’s recipe is for a Garlic-Rosemary Slow Cooker Whole Chicken and Vegetables. This recipe uses generous amounts of rosemary and garlic that not only infuse into the chicken, but also season the potatoes that cook underneath the chicken for a savory one-pot meal.
I developed this recipe as part of the Allrecipes Allstars Tastemakers program. Rate, review, and photograph my recipe for Garlic-Rosemary Slow Cooker Whole Chicken on Allrecipes here, see the full recipe along with some of my tips for cooking a whole chicken in a crock pot below, or Jump to Recipe directly. If you have time, you’ll also want to click here for more of my favorite, tried-and-true slow cooker recipes.
Cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker
First thing’s first, place some chopped potatoes in the bottom of your slow cooker. This will create a base for your chicken to sit on (keeping the chicken from sitting in its own juices, which could make it too moist that it would fall apart). It will also allow your vegetables to cook with the chicken juices dripping down onto them, infusing your veggies with chickeny, garlic-rosemary goodness.
Add chunks of chopped onion over the top of the potatoes.
Next, prepare your whole chicken by removing the chicken parts from inside the cavity and patting the outside of the chicken dry. Cut 6 garlic cloves in half lengthwise (so they become thick slivers), then slice deep, garlic clove-width slits into your chicken with a knife. Make 4 cuts on each side of the chicken (breast and thigh sides), and 1 in each of the drumsticks (10 total slits).
Stick a sliver of garlic deep into each cut.
Make sure the garlic is deep in there so it doesn’t pop out while the chicken cooks in your slow cooker.
Don’t forget to garlic-up those meaty drumsticks! After stuffing garlic into the 10 slits, place the remaining chunks of garlic into the chicken’s cavity.
Starting on the back/thigh side of the chicken, season generously with about 1/2 of the rosemary and fresh cracked salt and pepper. Add some seasoning inside the chicken’s cavity as well, then flip the chicken and place it breast side up in the slow cooker on top of the potatoes and onions. Season the top of the chicken generously with the remaining rosemary and more cracked salt and pepper.
Cook on Low until the chicken is cooked through completely and the juices run clear when the chicken is cut. This will take 8 to 10 hours, depending on the size of your bird (you can also cook the chicken on High for 4 to 5 hours if you’re short on time).
Here’s what the slow cooker whole chicken looks like right after cooking. If you like your whole chicken to have crispy skin, carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker (it might be so tender that it falls off the bone, so lift it carefully) and place it into a roasting pan or baking dish. Put it under a pre-heated broiler for a few minutes, until you reach the desired color and crispiness.
Serve your slow cooker whole chicken with the potatoes and onions from the pot. If desired, you can present your chicken on a platter with the vegetables and some fresh rosemary sprigs. Otherwise, carve it up and serve it however you like. It won’t be difficult to carve – it will come out so tender from the slow cooker that it will practically fall off the bone and shred with your fingers.
Because it’s so tender and shreddy, whole chickens cooked in the crock pot are great for topping salads, on pizzas, in tacos or enchiladas, for making chicken salad, and more.
OK, hopefully by this point I’ve sold you on cooking whole chicken in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and feel free to experiment with your own seasonings using the same method next time!