Sometimes there’s nothing better than a baked chicken dinner. But then life can get in the way and I get home too late in the afternoon to stick one in the oven. Or maybe I’m just feeling lazy (likely story). In any case, once in a while I “bake” it in the slow cooker. Simple and comforting. An added bonus? It releases and cooks in its own juices which means you also get homemade broth without any added effort. Simply add a bit of water after dinner, add the bones back into the slow cooker and let it do its thing while you sleep. Pretty snazzy.
You can season it however you like. I don’t add much beyond some onions, carrots, celery and a few seasonings. You really can’t mess it up. However, since all slow cookers differ a bit, adjust the cook time to suit your cooker. I cook mine 4 hours on high which yields a darn good chicken. Cook it too long and, like many meat-based slow cooker recipes, you’ll end up with a dry and mealy dish.
Last night we enjoyed it with asparagus, a simple salad, and corn on the cob. Nothing fancy. Just a little comfort.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- 4 lb whole chicken (I prefer organic)
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion (or half a large onion), halved and sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp. thyme
- half a lemon (I use Meyer)
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken. Place half the carrots, celery and onion slices in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place chicken in slow cooker. Salt the inside and outside of chicken. Grind pepper all over chicken as well (to taste–we like a lot of pepper). Sprinkle thyme all over chicken. Place remaining carrots, celery, and onion slice over chicken. Squeeze lemon over chicken. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from cooker and let sit for a few minutes before slicing/cutting and serving. Top servings with some of chicken’s broth.
*Bonus: Since the chicken produces its own broth as it cooks, I add the bones back to the slow cooker after our meal. I add a bit of water and set the slow cooker on low for 10 hours to create even more broth. Mm!