Slow Cook Chicken

roasted chicken and vegetables paleo primal recipe

One of my favorite ways to prepare chicken is to to slow cook a chicken in the crock pot. If you haven’t roasted a chicken in your crock-pot yet… try it!

Not only is slow cook chicken the easiest and least expensive way I’ve found to prepare it, but you get a couple quarts of chicken broth from it too! It is great on a busy day (every day) and an easy dinner meal.

Ingredients and Tools

  • A whole chicken (Usually available for under a reasonable price for even organic)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Favorite herbs and spices (I add 1 tsp garlic granules or powder, 1 tsp sea salt, and about 1/2 tsp each of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.)
  • Crock Pot (here’s the one I have)
roasted chicken and vegetables paleo primal recipe

2 votes


Slow Cook a Whole Chicken




Yield 4 +


  • A whole chicken (Usually available for under a reasonable price for even organic)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Favorite herbs and spices (I add 1 tsp garlic granules or powder, 1 tsp sea salt, and about 1/2 tsp each of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.)


  1. Rinse chicken and make sure innards are removed.
  2. Put butter in bottom or crock pot and turn on low (butter is to prevent sticking, can use coconut oil).
  3. Once butter melts, put chicken in crock pot (putting breast-down will make it cook faster).
  4. Sprinkle with desired spices. (I've also heard of stuffing the chicken with an onion, apple or orange for more moistness and great flavor).
  5. Put lid on and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until well cooked.

The chicken goes great with roasted brussel sprouts!

How to Make Broth

  1. Remove chicken and pull meat off the bones but leave all the juices in the crock pot.
  2. Put the bones back in the crock pot and add 1 small chopped onion, 2 ribs of celery, 1 chopped carrot and a little more sea salt.
  3. Add 2-3 quarts of water (depending on what your’s will hold).
  4. Cook on low overnight.
  5. Strain bones and vegetables out.
  6. Use within 3 days or freeze for later use.

Note: This makes a thick broth which can be frozen in ice cube trays for “instant” chicken broth when needed in recipes. Also, view my in-depth broth tutorial here.

Some other ideas for using your whole roasted chicken:

  • Put a small colander on top of the chicken when almost done cooking and fill with veggies. It will steam them so you have the whole meal ready to serve.
  • For the last few hours, put some medium sized sweet potatoes on top of the chicken and put the lid back on. Both will be ready for dinner.
  • After making the broth, remove the bones, add some chicken back in along with a few cups of favorite veggies and you have an easy chicken soup (with tons of nutrients)

How do you cook a chicken? Do you make broth too? What’s your secret? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. This is perfect timing! I just bought ten whole chickens for my freezer from a local farmer, and I kept one out to fix this week. I can’t wait to have some slow-cooked chicken for dinner!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for this! I will probably be trying all the variations that you suggested!

  3. As much as I have used my crock pot, I have never cooked a whole chicken in it. You give me a reason to try it now. Great pictures and I really like your extra bits of advice that you throw in for free too.

  4. I do it much the way you do, except in Nourishing Traditions fashion I add a splash of vinegar (to help leach calcium out of the bones) and cook the stock for at least 2 days.

    • Cathy I am trying to do the same receipe as you are talking about I could not afford the book Nourishing Traditions and was wondering if you could help me on how to make this broth. I have been sick for 34 years and I have read to heal my leaky gut I need to have lots of chicken soup and chicken stock. My name is also Kathy. God bless and thanks again.

  5. H’mm . I will have to try that.

  6. Thanks for the tip.  I have tried cooking the chicken in the crock pot but breast side up.  It looked very white and not as pretty as the one in your photo.  Is that because yours is breast side down?  I am currently making chicken stock in the crock pot as I am writing this in the usual fashion.  But I do follow the Nourishing Traditions recipe also of adding 1/2 cup of vinegar and letting that sit for an hour to help extract as much calcium from the bones.
    thanks for sharing.  I love your recipes.  I am going on a grain free trial.  It has been day 3 and amazingly, I have had a burst of energy today.  I sure hope it continues.

    • when the chicken is done pop it under the grill for 10mins each side. I do this to mine and it looks like the one in the photo!

  7. I am addicted to bone broth! I save all my bones, skin and meat scraps and veggie scraps (mostly onion,carrot and celery) in the freezer and when I have a crockpot full I throw it all together and let it cook on low for a day or so (depends on how big the bones are) This is really economical, since it’s all stuff that would have ended up in the trash anyway, not to mention it saves us (body  and wallet!) from buying “chicken flavored soy water.”

  8. Can I do two chickens (I have 6 kids) on one large pot, or should I use two crock pots?

    • If you have it, I’d use two, but you might be able to fit both in a really big pot…

  9. Do you add water to the chicken while it is cooking?

    • You actually don’t need it but can if you aren’t comfortable using the crock pot with dry heat.

      • If I were to add water how much should I add? Should it be just enough to cover the bottom of the crock pot or more?

        • It’s really up to you. You’ll just have a more dilute stock. You could start with just enough to cover the bottom, and add more if you wish. Let us know how it turns out!

  10. Hello! Great post.
    I’m new to slow cooking and I had a question about this- can you put a frozen chicken in there? Or should I thaw the chicken first and then slow cook?

    • You could use a whole chicken, just will take a couple hours longer, and you’d definitely need it on the lowest setting…

  11. Could you use a pressure cooker?

    • I haven’t tried honestly but I think there are recipes online for how to do it.

    • I cook chicken in the pressure pot often. It’s my favorite way, even if it is a lot of work. I do cut up the chicken first, though (and remove the skin except for the wings). I cook the chicken, de-bone it, and make chicken vegetable soup. Then I put it in freezer-safe, pint Ball wide mouth canning jars for healthy meals later. I’m single so this is a good way to have healthy food in the freezer for times I don’t want to really cook, which is a lot. I especially enjoy these if I get the flu or something and need some home made chicken soup.

      I also make a home made soup with ground beef, but I don’t usually use the pressure cooker for that. I use the crock pot for that. I brown the meat in the skillet before making the soup in the crock pot. I try to always have a few of those in the freezer, too.

  12. I am cooking my first chicken in the crock pot right now and my kitchen smells so wonderful!! I cant wait to make my first batch of bone broth tonight!! Thank yo so much for sharing this!!

  13. I forgot to fill my propane tank before it ran dry, so I’m on day 3 of having no heat other than a couple space heaters. I planned on roasting 2 chickens today but cannot use my gas oven, so I wondered if someone had a good recipe for a slow cooker chicken. Yours sounded the best so I tried it. I used herbs I had on hand- thyme, oregano, and rosemary, sprinkled salt and pepper on top, used a little coconut oil on the bottom of pot but ended up adding a half cup of chicken stock since there was some in the fridge. I chopped up some carrots and onions that I had, threw in 2 whole jalapenos, and stuffed the cavity with some onion, thyme and a half of a lemon. Cooked it on low for 8 hours. I decided just to turn it into a soup and it rocks!!! Thanks so much for this great recipe !

  14. Should we remove the skin as I heard toxins are stored in fat and skin of the chicken

  15. Wow, I can’t believe you can buy a whole organic chicken for that price!!!! Here in the UK a medium sized organic chicken (1.5kg-ish) cost about £15 which is roughly $24… So in my family roast chicken is a treat!

    • I’ve never heard of that before. I’ve been cooking whole chicken in the crock pot for 20 years and never had any problems. I cook beef roasts, deer meat, chicken breasts, all kinds of stuff and everything is fine. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  16. Just found your chicken crock pot recipe online. I’m eager to try it tomorrow.

  17. I just found this recipe and can’t wait to try it. We have a gas stove and I hate using it in the summer. So any recipe in the crock pot I love. Really looking forward to trying this today. Hope it turns out as good as yours.

  18. No water is needed? I’ve always assumed with a crockpot a chicken would need to be submerged, but shows my lack of understanding of proper use of a slow cooker. The main reason I’m making this is for bone soup. It may not sound tasty, but making it for my joints. Leftover chicken is a bonus by-product to be split between myself and my dog.

  19. Trying slow cooked chicken for the very first time. After tasting the one my sister in law made, I just had to try it for myself. So many fantastic variations I would love to try and most certainly will eventually. That’s extremely cheap for a chicken, here in Australia you’d be lucky to get a decent sized chook for under $15. Can I add the veggies and water while the chicken is cooking or is that more for the flavour of the broth.
    Thanks in advance 🙂 x

    • Darlin I get cooked ones for $9 and to buy a whole chicken 2.5 kg I got mine for $6.50 at Coles not reduced to clear or anything that’s the everyday price chickens cheap as here, I’m in Thornton, nsw, Australia
      I love making everything chicken in the slow cooker never dry always so yummy and moist
      Keep the gorgeous recipes coming wellness Mama ????

      Take care Melody

  20. Hi there, making this for this first time right now! I am wondering what size chicken you used? I bought a local, organic one and it is on the small side… I believe 5 or 6 pounds without the innards. Thanks, this is an awesome healthy recipe! Can’t wait to freeze the broth! I’d also love to know what size tour crockpot is, just for reference.

    • I think it is a 6 quart crock pot. I’ve cooked chickens of all sizes, but just check sooner for smaller ones 🙂

  21. Can you add celery and potatoes while chicken is cooking.? Do have to add water? If tou do how much do you use? Thanks Nadine

  22. My chicken was on the smaller side so I started checking it earlier. It was perfectly done at 6 hours :). My bone broth is simmering away now. Thanks for this recipe!

  23. Hello Katie, can you please recommend a good and healthy crock-pot?
    Thanks in advance.

  24. My I suggest to people at a high altitude to use the HIGH option on the crockpot when cooking chicken. It takes almost twice as long for a crockpot and chicken to heat up. Otherwise, the chicken is sitting at room temperature for hours.

  25. I have a 4 quart pot. What size chicken should I use?

  26. Hi,

    I love the slow cooker and look forward to making stock in it next time. I was always under the impression that once stock is removed from heat it should sit in refrigerator overnight and fat skimmed off before consuming. It is an extra step and I will continue doing it if there is a benefit or need. Do you have any thoughts?

  27. I bought a 3.5 – 4 pound whole chicken and had the butcher cut it up. The skin is still on it. Will I have to remove the skin before I cook it in the crock pot or leave it on there? I plan to shred the chicken when it is done for use if casseroles.

  28. I tried this last night. have yet to try the stock with it. I didnt look at your more detailed stock instructions till later though, and you had extra steps and suggested 2 chicken carcasses in that one, whereas no mention to that in this recipe. Im hoping my stock still comes out pretty flavorful since I only used one!!! I’ll give it a 4 star because the chicken came out tasting pretty good!!!

    • My crock pot instructions mention the ability to use frozen chicken/meat, but it is necessary to add more liquid at least 1 to 2 cups for starters. I have done this with good results. I usually have vegies under and around the chicken and have wished for even more liquid in the end to make it like stew!

  29. Is it possible to cook it on high? I put my chicken in late so I have it on high. Not sure how long to keep it in for.

  30. What if i put the crock pot on high how long should i cook it for?

  31. Katy! Love your recipes! Just bought an instant pot and really wish I could search your recipes that way. Any chance you could make that happen? I’d be grateful!