How to Slow Cook a Whole Chicken and 20 Recipes That Use Cooked Chicken

How to Slow Cook a Whole Chicken

I remember the first time I cooked a whole chicken. I was totally intimidated.

Newly engaged, I decided to take a cooking class through the Parks and Recreation department in our town.

Up to this point, I had only cooked tenders or breasts. I hadn’t even branched out into thighs and drumsticks.

Organic Whole Chicken

A whole chicken just looked so big and complicated.

Not to mention it looks like a chicken! None of that sterile parts on a styrofoam tray stuff.

I quickly learned it is not hard at all. And it’s one of the most economical ways to buy chicken. You pay far less per pound than you do the individual parts.

The main objection most people have is dealing with the insides. While not my favorite part, it’s just a matter of removing them. Quick and easy.

Once they are out, you need to rinse your chicken well and pat it dry. It’s then ready for you to smooth on all the spices.

Chicken ready for basting

This slow cooker recipe really does make cooking a whole chicken easy. All you need is the chicken, a lemon, olive oil and some spices.

You don’t even need to add liquid to the slow cooker!

The meat will turn out fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy every single time with very little effort on your part.

How to Slow Cook a Whole Chicken


  • 4 to 5 pound organic whole roasting chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced


  1. Remove the giblets packet from the chicken cavity.
  2. Rinse and drain chicken, pat dry.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper into cavity of chicken. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze juice into chicken cavity then stuff lemon halves into cavity.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Rub mixture all over chicken.
  5. Place chicken in 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Chicken is fully cooked when meat thermometer stuck in leg reaches 160 degrees.
  6. Allow to cool. Remove chicken from bones and chop.

When you follow this recipe to slow cook a whole chicken, you will end up with about 4 1/2 cups of moist, juicy and flavorful cooked chicken.

Use your cooked chicken to jump start your meal plan for the week. Having cooked chicken ready to go means you can have a meal on the table in a minimal amount of time!

20 Recipes That Use Cooked Chicken

Chicken Fried Rice
Pumpkin Black Bean Chicken Chili
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas
Chicken Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
Easy Chicken Salad
Skillet White Chicken Chili Dip
Chicken Pot Pie
Green Chile Chicken Casserole
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Pineapple and Basil Chicken Salad
Chef’s Salad
Thai Chicken Soup
Olive Garden Style Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
Easy Homemade Chicken Alfredo Sauce
Cuban Chicken Tacos
Real Food Chicken Soup
Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

Have a recipe that uses cooked chicken? Leave a link in the comments!

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