Crockpot Whole Chicken
Today was The Littlest Apple’s third day of preschool and he’s home sick. Already. And if I’m being completely honest, I was disappointed because today was the first meeting of the mom’s group at my church. The group I’ve been looking forward to all summer long, and I didn’t get to go. I’m hoping we can get back on track tomorrow…we’ve got more firsts on the calendar tomorrow that I don’t want to miss: my first bible study meeting for the fall and The Littlest Apple’s first soccer practice (ever).
Today would be the perfect day for a big steaming bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup or a cheesy chicken casserole. Something comforting. And this roast chicken would be a great to use in a dish like that. I’m a big fan of roasting my own chicken instead of buying rotisserie at the store. In the past, I’ve usually cooked my whole chickens in the oven. Roasting chicken in the oven gets the skin nice and crispy, but sometimes I overcooked my chicken and it was too dry. And you have to rub butter under the skin and stuff the chicken, which can be a pain.
But did you know that you can also roast a whole chicken in the crockpot? This method is super easy, and yields chicken that is falling-off-the-bone tender and extra juicy. The skin won’t get crispy this way, nor will it win any photo contests, but you’ll get some delicious chicken with the ease of your crockpot. The recipe couldn’t be simpler….put some chopped onion in your crockpot, plop the chicken on top, sprinkle with spices.** That’s it! No extra liquid needed. (You’ll be amazed at how much liquid is created as the onion and chicken cook!) No rubbing butter under the chicken skin (which I know grosses some of you out). This recipe is virtually foolproof (assuming you remember to turn on your crockpot)!
** A note about the spices: The recipe below includes a homemade spice mixture, but this would also work with practically any seasoning mix: fajita seasoning, grill seasoning, italian seasoning or any other spice mixture you can purchase.
Crockpot Whole Chicken
adapted from food.com
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 large roasting chicken (Picky Apple note: mine was about 3.5 pounds)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- Other optional add ins: lemon juice, garlic, potatoes, carrots and other veggies
In a small bowl, combine the spices. Clean the chicken and remove the giblets. Put chopped onion in bottom of crockpot. Add the chicken. Sprinkle the spices on top of the chicken. (Picky Apple note: I don’t always use all of the spice, depending on the size of the chicken. If you’ve got some leftover, save it for next time!) Throw in potatoes and veggies, if using. Cook on low for 4-8 hours, depending on your crockpot. (Mine takes 5-6 hours)
**Edited 9/16/11: Many food safety sites recommend cooking raw chicken on high for the first hour in the crockpot to bring the crockpot up to a “safe” temperature. Then you can switch it back down to low for the remainder of the cook time. I’ve done it both ways and my chicken has been fine (but then again my crockpot is particularly hot). Just wanted to give you a heads up. Safe cooking everyone!