Slow cookers are wonderful for making meals while I sew, stamp, or play with my glue gun. I’ve been using it more in summer than I used to, as it doesn’t heat up the kitchen the way the oven does. Recently, reader Deb contacted me to ask what size slow cooker I was using in my recipes, lamenting that many recipe authors don’t give the sizes used for the recipe. Actually that thought never occurred to me to say, as I figured any size would work with my recipes. But I saw her point, and went to look at mine to add that information. Well, it didn’t say how big it was, and I no longer had the box or the booklet. So, I did a search on the internet to look for a listing containing the size, and found out that my slow cooker had been recalled! Well, that was a great excuse to buy another, better slow cooker than the cheap one I had been using. The old one would get too hot, even on the low setting, boiling the food instead of holding the low temperature it should have. For a pork shoulder this wouldn’t matter so much, but for something more delicate like a white meat chicken or an egg dish, it wouldn’t work.
I looked at countless reviews and one kept coming up over and over. A bit more expensive than I have ever spent before (but not nearly as much as others), but I have to say now that I have been using it, it is worth it. It is a Kitchen Aid 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker, with digital controls. I ordered mine from Amazon, and linked for you to find it easily with my affiliate link. It is also the least expensive listing I found. The wonderful thing is that it holds the temperature set and will turn itself down to a hold/keep warm setting at the end of the cooking time. No more overcooked food! How many times have you set your slow cooker, for a recipe that called for 8 hours and then left it for 10 hours, going to work and doing errands on the way home? I know I did. Some foods do better with just six hours, an impossible thing if you work. Or if you tend to lose track of time while sewing, LOL!! Anyway, I sprayed the inside with no-stick spray to start assembling the meal.
I sliced an onion, smashed some garlic, and got out some spices for the chicken. The onion and garlic are placed in the cooker first to give the chicken a base to rest on.
Add the chicken, then sprinkle with herbs and spices. I put in 2 cups of water to get the crock to the minimum fill line.
I set the cooker for 8 hours on low. The display counts down as the cooking time goes.
At the end of the cooking time, it automatically shifts over to ‘keep warm’ and the counter goes up so you know how long it has been on that setting.
The chicken was beautifully done, with a lot of broth.
The chicken was so tender, it fell apart while I was trying to move it to the platter.
Moist and tender, just know that the skin won’t be crispy like baked chicken.
But the extra treat is the broth! I put it into a container to chill.
Chilling leaves the aspic clear, and makes the fat easy to lift off and discard.
I put it in a blender to incorporate the onion and garlic into the broth.
After eating the chicken for supper and sandwiches for a couple of days, the remainder was chopped for the soup.
Bringing the broth and chicken to a boil, I added biscuits cut in half for dumplings, then put the lid on so they could cook.
Yum, chicken and dumplings. Wonderful on a cool rainy day.
I’ll be experimenting with different combinations of spices and herbs, as DH didn’t particularly like this one. The best thing is, there really is no recipe, or right things to use, it is up to your taste. I do think that next time, I’ll cook the chicken on high for 2 hours, then low for four more, to see if that gets the chicken up to temperature faster and keeps the white meat more moist. The dark meat can take the long cooking time better than the breast meat. Even though it is a large cooker, the minimum fill line is pretty low on the crock, so making meals for two is possible. Yet, the large oval will accommodate things like a whole chicken, or a corned beef brisket without cutting and stacking.
I found several new-to-me cookbooks for slow cookers at Amazon, links below. The first two are going on my wish list as I love America’s Test Kitchen recipes.
The Complete Slow Cooker: From Appetizers to Desserts
Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen
Fix and Forget Cooking Light for Slow Cookers
Do you use your slow cooker in summer?
15 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Whole Chicken”
What a way to start the day!! I’ll be thinking of chicken and delicious chicken broth. Thanks for the link and recommendation on the crockpot. I believe I will be in the market for one very soon. Oh, and I use those liners by Reynold’s (I think) and they work great for quick, easy cleanup. Happy Wednesday! ~smile~ Roseanne
I read somewhere that, if you cook your chicken breast-side down, the breast meat is much more moist. Since you’re not trying to brown the skin anyway, perhaps this would work in your slow cooker?
I love my slow cooker(s) and I love my pressure cooker…both are amazing in their own way for preparing meals.
I have 3 slow cookers and two are very old and will be needing replacing very soon. I appreciate your checking out the market these days….and I love Kitchen Aid appliances.
I am always a sucker for air fryers, smokers, or anything that promises to provide healthier cooking…but I also have deep fryers too, so go figure!
Thanks for providing your recipe too.
I love chicken cooked in the slow cooker. I found a recipe on Pinterest for rotisserie chicken that I often use. The leftover chicken and broth freezes well which I use for soups, salads etc. Thank you for sharing your research on a new slow cooker!
Sounds like a great recipe,Thanks.For the soup, only broth & chicken, & dumplings??
I agree about using the slow cooker in the summer to keep the kitchen cooler. I may have to try this soon. I actually have two slow cookers, one rather small one that works very well for up to 4 chicken breasts or a small roast (I use the small one most often) and one 6 quart one. Thanks for sharing about your very nifty one!
Nice post, enjoyed all of the photos. I have been wanting to do a post about slow cookers and crock pots-so you reminded me of that lol I just posted
Hello Carole; Yummy! Your chicken looks delicious. We really like to experiment with spices when we are just per say “cooking” a chicken. LOL. I like the way that you put the onions and garlic on the bottom of your crockpot for the chicken to rest on. That is something I will have to try! We use our Slow Cooker all of the time. Your new one is fantastic, I will have to ask for one for Christmas. Thank you for sharing and have a fabulous day!
Love to use my slow cooker!! Keeps my kitchen cool and frees up my time for quilting and tending my flowers. A win win situation for me.
I use mine for corn silverside ,so easy. Add onions, carrots ,kumara , parsnip, brown sugar and a dash of vinegar. I must try the whole chicken way too, so easy, and your photos tell us the whole story, beautifully.
I’ve been thinking about a new slow-cooker for a couple of months. I used your affiliate link and ordered the exact same one you wrote about! I appreciate the ease in ordering and I am looking forward to cooking with the KitchenAid. It was about $35 more than the last one I had bought…but it had seen better days and I loved the “go to warm” setting on yours. Thanks for posting. Timing is everything!
Thank you so very much!! I hope you like it as much as I do!!
Thanks for the chicken recipe, found another one for Slow cooker bourbon chicken with mushrooms that I’m so anxious to make. Love the slow cooker, use it a lot in the summer time. Like to use the little Cornish hens for just myself so have to adjust the recipes but try to leave the sauces a gravies at the regular ingredients so I have some extra for the mashed potatoes or rices . Will probably make 2 cornish hens and freeze on for another couple of meals with my son.
Have been real busy working on my projects, slowly getting them done. Back is doing well now that I have been going to the chiropractor.
Have to go and get my slow cooker meal going so have a happy day and remember to smile.
I’m not a real fan of whole chickens or dark meat or chicken skin, BUT this would work wonderfully with the chicken breasts I buy from Zaycon. I can most of it (or a friend does, and we split), but saving some for the freezer – huge as they are a couple would fill this nicely, I think. I have a slow cooker that is a replacement for the one we got when we were married almost 50 years ago. The replacement is more than a dozen years old. I think I could probably get a new one, and Kitchen Aid is a great product, so thanks for the link. If I buy one, I’ll use that link.
Good morning Carole,
Just now found this recipe I hadn’t copied so go it this morning.
My grandmother Abbott use to make the best chicken and dumplings and I so looked forward to them when we would go to Seneca, S.C.My cousin and I both have tried to make her milk gravy and dunplings but neither of us has been able to duplicate them. I remember how she would roll out the dough and let me cut the strips for the dumplings what fun in grandma kitchen. I’m thinking of making buttermilk gravy and dumplings with this and perhaps a splash of white wine, even while making it to enjoy! Thanks for the recipe.
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