Slow-Cooked Whole Chicken

I made this dish with trepidation having pulled a whole chicken from my freezer a week earlier, allowing it to thaw in the fridge. I was a little nervous that because I hadn’t cooked it immediately I would get food poisoning. And though usually I have a stomach of steel, there are times when I definitely don’t. (Note: I didn’t start immediately retching after eating the chicken. So that seemed like a good sign.)

This is probably the easiest recipe for cooking chicken you’ll ever find. Simply pat the chicken with salt and pepper and throw it in the slow cooker. Four to six hours later you have a moist whole cooked chicken. Serve with your favorite vegetables, some risotto or anything else you would normally serve with chicken. Simple and delicious.


  • 1 whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 1 T. coarse salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 whole carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)


  1. The night before cooking, remove the innards (save the neck for stock). Mix the salt and pepper together and rub all over the outside of the chicken and in the cavity. If using carrots, lay them in one layer on the bottom of the cooker. Place the seasoned chicken in the slow cooker, breast side up. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, cook your chicken on low 4 to 6 hours, until a thermometer placed low and at the front of the breast registers 160 degrees and the thigh registers 175 degrees. If you want to crisp the skin a bit and make your chicken more presentable, remove the lid and the bowl with the chicken and place under your oven broiler for 5 to 7 minutes, until the skin top is golden brown.
  3. Remove chicken to cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Save the accumulated juices in the slow cooker bowl for making stock.

Recipe rating: 

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