Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

April 21, 2015   23 Comments

There seem to be a never-ending source of recipes that use “cooked chicken”.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

I am not a fan of buying rotisserie chicken (post to come about my reservations) so I cook my own. I have tried numerous recipes in the oven to get a perfect roast chicken. Many home chefs spend a lot of time on the quest for the best roast chicken (me included).

Slow cooker roast chicken is not perfect (you can forget it) – BUT – it is incredibly convenient and tastes pretty good. My biggest issue with the results of the slow cooker is that the chicken skin doesn’t get crisp like it does in the oven. I don’t eat the skin much anyway so it isn’t that big of a deal.

I served this with roast asparagus (spring!) and my family enjoyed it. I had some fresh thyme in the house so I used it (and it was amazing). Don’t worry if you don’t have it.

The carrots and onion in this dish are for flavor not and will be quite soggy. I love the simplicity of this dish and the tastiness of the chicken. I make a chicken for the week and then we have chicken salad, chicken on salad, and easy leftovers for the lunchbox.

How do you cook chicken for easy recipes?

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

1.6 from 24 reviews

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2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds


Place carrots and onion in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Mix garlic, thyme and salt in a small bowl. Rinse chicken, pat dry, and rub garlic mixture over bird.

Place chicken, breast side up, in slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or until the thigh meat reads 160 F.

Nutrition Facts

For three ounces chicken breast (no skin) = 140 calories, 3.0 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 27.3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 200 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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I love whole chicken in the crockpot! Yum!

The onions and carrot also keep it up off the bottom as well.

I do a similar recipe with 6-8 hours on low and it works out fine. The goal is to have the meat coming off the bone.

Yes Lisa, whole chickens cooked in a crock taste fine, but look SO lacking.

Quick story -- back in the early 1970's when crock pots were fairly new to the market, my mother thought they were wonderful; every week at least one pallid bird was fished out. I was engaged to marry a guy in the restaurant business, and he once commented at our house that "the wedding would be

off" if we received one of these pots as a gift. (I called it off, anyway!) I wish my mother had lived long enough to experience some of the wonderful dishes that have evolved in crock cooking!

To get a product closer to rotisserie style place the whole chicken on top of a ring of crumpled aluminum foil. The foil keeps the chicken off the drippings. You can pour off the drippings place in the fridge & later scrape off the fat which rises to the top. I use it for soup or gravy.

Question for Snack Girl.

I usually take the easy way out and get a roasted chicken at Costco. Is there any reason that your chicken recipe would be healthier? Of course, they don't list the calorie count on deli food, so I wonder if that deliciousness is caused by something unhealthy?And how much $$$$ would I save by crockpotting my own chicken?

PS I hate/despise/dislike/cannotbebothered cooking. I even posted a warning on my dating site profile: WARNING: DOES NOT LIKE TO COOK. I haven't learned to cook yet, and I'm 'of a mature age', so I don't plan to learn now. But I'm a psychotherapist who works with people with weight issues, so I do try to stay on top of the health issues. And throwing a chicken in a crockpot is not exactly 'cooking'

i love the posts with no animals being used. this post is hard to see and read. since there is no good reason to buy, cook or eat animals, could you not be so blatant (cant' think of a better word, but not wanting to be mean) about it?

also adding comments at the end of a post, for putting in animals and their byproducts could be on the bottom instead of in being in the post would be appreciated.

it is much easier, cheaper and healthier to not have the unnecessary extras, we all get more than we need in quality and quantity by just doing the basics; basics being veges, beans, herbs, spices & the like.


I have read that washing chicken simply spreads salmonila etc. We are better off just patting it dry. Opinions anyone?

Thanks, Lisa. I appreciate your posts. In regards to the person who does not like to eat animals.......just read the vegan posts. Please be respectful of the Snack Girl and all of us who do eat animals.

I am a fan of the Zuni Chicken recipe method for a quick weeknight method - small chicken, high heat, - done in about an hour or so served with a salad. If you have a little more time Thomas Keller's version from AdHoc is good with veggies and has pan drippings for a jus or makings for a pan sauce.

Could I use a Cornish hen for this recipe instead of a whole chicken? Single life over here

Yes I am all about my crock pot! That's great. Rhonda that is great that you choose to not eat animals, but A LOT of us here do and we are all here for recipes and not for the soap box speech. If you don't like meat then SIMPLY LEAVE IT OUT! We don't need your Nose drip commentary on it. It is not required nor desired.

Amanda M., I've never cooked Cornish hens, but I regularly pull the meat off of cooked chickens to freeze in smaller portions for soups, casseroles, salads, etc. I also use the rest to make broth/ stock which I also freeze in small portions for recipes. Maybe that would work for you.

If I want a tasty roasted chicken I'll just roast one in the oven - so easy, or, even easier for clean-up, throw it on the grill with a touch of seasoning salt and italian seasonings mix. I find in the crock pot it turns out more like a stewed chicken - not as tasty as higher heat, but fine for soups.

How long to cook in the oven? I am in AZ and it's hot here already to turn the oven on. I have done a chicken in the crockpot and it was good but I would like to try it in the oven now and get the skin crispy. I just need to know how long to roast and what temp.

Rhonda: if I don't like a program, I just switch channels. So easy! I look forward to receiving Snack Girl posts. I like its contents / its formatting / her style of writing. Thanks for making my day as always, Lisa ^_^

Rhonda, I am a long time vegetarian and I understand your sensitivity. But nowhere on here does it claim to be a vegetarian blog. If that is what you want there are plenty out there that will only show the beans and veggies you mentioned. I look to this to read about and get recipes for healthy eating. Not everyone in my family is a vegetarian!

I love this idea to roast the chicken in the crockpot. I don't own a crockpot yet but this is another reason to get one. I think I would use this chicken for salads, sandwiches, soups; so many uses and so easy to make. I agree with others who have said to Rhonda that if she doesn't eat meat then skip this post, no reason to be rude on the site.


How about re-posting the information about Wonderbag? @ Renee, I don't know how long I cook it - till it's done! I usually do pieces - maybe about 45 minutes at 350 or 375. But I did look up Zuni Chicken that another commenter mentioned; it looks great!

Agree with "ring of foil" post above. Except I use 4 little balls of foil under the chicken instead.

Also, you don't really want to eat the carrots/onions/whatever, but you can use them again with the chicken carcass to make Crockpot broth. My Crockpot chickens get the meat harvested, then the rest goes right back into the Crockpot for 12 hours with whatever vegetable detritus I have saved up in my freezer (onion skins, carrot/celery ends, etc.), a splash of vinegar, and enough water to cover it all. Skim the fat and strain and you have a very healthy bone broth that has so many uses and you can freeze for later.

Whoa - thanks for the bone broth idea, Inaya! I do all the things previous people mentioned when I roast a whole chicken: chop the surplus cooked meat to freeze for later, make tons of broth, and re-use the vegetables. I've been intrigued by bone broth lately but did not know how (exactly) I was going to make it. You've totally made my day. I'll get out the crockpot. Thanks! Thank you too, Snack Girl. You're great.

Just made this recipe in a crock pot received for Christmas and was disappointed because I ended up having to finish the chicken in the oven. Great tasting, but 4 hours on low was not long enough to cook the chicken. Has anyone else experience this situation?????

Mel, how big was your chicken? I'm cooking an 8lber right now and will cook it on low for about 7 hrs.

I think seasoning it, trussing it, and throwing it in the oven on a sheet pan at 400 for an hour is the best way if you're going to eat it plain. Oven roasting imparts the best flavor. Spatchcocking (cutting out the spine) or splaying the thighs will allow it to cook a lot faster. It also makes a better-tasting broth.

Slow cooking is great for convenience and for making "cooked chicken" for a recipe. But the meat isn't as tasty. And I think you have to be careful not to over cook it. It gets mushy and mealy-textured. Adding some fat under the skin on the breast (butter or infused evoo) helps keep it moist and less mushy.

Because the slow cooker basically steams the meat anyway, sometimes I just kill 2 birds with 1 stone and fill the crock pot with H2O while cooking the chicken and make chicken broth and cooked chicken at the same time. Or just boil it on the stove.

If you want super chicken broth, boil your bird in chicken broth. The resulting broth is AWESOME.

@Kimm - my chicken was about 4.5 pounds. Thanks for your question and comment!

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