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My Favorite Easy Slow Cooked Chicken

October 13, 2017 • 0 comments

My Favorite Easy Slow Cooked Chicken
I know whole/half chickens can be overwhelming for some of you, but I promise it’s easier than you think! Plus, when you get a whole chicken (as opposed to just breasts or other parts) there are more parts for you to use, which equals more value for your family. It’s a win-win! This is my all-time favorite way to cook a whole chicken. I always think I should be expanding my recipe selection, but inevitably I return to this one because my whole family just loves it. It can be done in the slow cooker on high or low or in the oven at 225°F or 300°F. I’m excited to share this recipe with you!



RECIPE TIP: Keep in mind that this recipe is incredibly versatile. I’ve cooked it many different ways with many different spices. The key element is a chicken rubbed with spices and slowly simmered on top of an onion. If you have a problem with any of the spices I’ve listed here, you can easily substitute, adjust amounts or completely change them all together for a different flavor profile (curried chicken, italian chicken, mexican chicken and more!). Have fun! 


Slow cooker OR an oven and heavy metal roasting pot w/ lid


1 whole chicken, 3-5 pounds (OPTIONAL: increase or decrease spices a bit for larger or smaller chickens)
1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder (optional)
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and sliced into wedges or ½” chunks
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)
2 lemon wedges (optional)
4 cloves garlic (optional) 


  1. Thaw chicken in the fridge or in warm (not hot) water. (Actually I’ve put a frozen chicken straight in the slow cooker when I’m crunched for time and it’s fine, just don’t tell any cooking gurus!)
  2. If you’re cooking in the oven: turn it on to 200°F for 7 hours on low or 225°F for 4 hours on high.
  3. Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken if they’re there. These can be cooked in the slow cooker alongside the chicken, then added to the bone broth you’ll make later for extra nutrients.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper. Mix with butter or coconut oil. Set aside.
  5. Rub the outside of the chicken with the spice mixture. OPTIONAL: Stuff the chicken with rosemary, lemon, garlic and any other aromatics you like.
  6. Place the onions in the slow cooker or heavy pot and put the chicken breast-side down on top of the onions. For Stewing Hens: add enough liquid to cover about half the bird. Water is fine for the liquid. Mix in some wine, whiskey or beer for added flavor and tenderness. Put on the lid and place in the oven or slow cooker.
  7. Cook for 7 hours on low or 4 hours on high, or until the meat is falling off the bones. A stewing hen takes 6-8 hours on high and 10-12 hours on low.
  8. Either carve the chicken and serve, or de-bone and use the meat for sandwiches, soups, etc.

OPTIONAL but highly recommended for making bone-broth: place the bones in a pot with 4 quarts of water, salt and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon. Simmer on low for 24-48 hours to make bone-broth! Replenish the water as needed to end up with about 1 gallon of broth for the best and most nutritious broth you’ve ever had! Use broth in soups and stews, for cooking grains and beans, or just for drinking as is.

Recipe adapted from: