Thursday, February 19, 2009

Whole Chicken in the CrockPot

I love my CrockPot. I don't know about you, but I simply a~d~o~r~e that thing. It's so nice to have it slaving away all day while I am off doing my own thing. During football season, it's truly a godsend. We get home late in the evening from practice or an out-of-town game, walk in to an aroma-filled house and a dinner that's ready & waiting for us. Oh yes. Love my Crock.

Back in November we received a turkey from hubby's work and I decided I wanted to give it a try in the Crock Pot. I found a really good recipe with easy-to-follow instructions here. I altered that recipe slightly but found it worked beautifully just the same.

Since then, I've done several birds in the Crock. I've probably been doing about one every other week since November. Yep, that's how much we enjoy this recipe! For the most part I do them all the same way, but with slight variations. Here is my basic recipe for doing a whole chicken in the crockpot.


Whole chicken (I prefer mine without the neck & whatnot, but that's up to you)
A small amount of olive oil (maybe 1/8 cup?)
2 Tbs. butter or margarine, cubed
1 small apple
1 slice onion (sorry, forgot to include it in the photo)
Mrs. Dash (whatever is your favorite blend. Ours is Garlic & Herb)

I took a closer shot of the label on my chicken because I wanted you to see how economical this meal is. I always buy the largest hen my grocery store has, and it's never yet been 6lbs. I always spend less than $6. This chicken feeds my family of 4 for dinner and lunch the next day.

Rinse off your chicken well, just like you do with a turkey. Pat it dry inside and out, just like you do with a turkey.

You want to core your apple. Slice it also. It is stuffed inside your chicken along with the cubed butter. The reason you want these sliced & cubed is because it can be a pretty tight fit. The type of apple does not matter as far as I know. Use whatever you like. If all your apple slices will not fit, take those left over slices and eat them. Go ahead. They're good for you. :-)

Using a basting brush, spread olive oil all over your chicken. Then sprinkle with the Mrs. Dash.

Flip her over and do the same thing on the other side. If you enlarge the above photo and look closely, you can see the green apple barely peeking out of her backside.

Place her in the crockpot. I've done them right side up and upside down. It does not matter. The whole chicken comes out equally juicy no matter what position you put her.

Place your onion slices on top. Set the crockpot to HIGH.

I leave my crockpot on HIGH for 2 hours. Then I switch it to Low for another 6 hours. If you work outside the home, perhaps you could put it on high in the morning while you're getting ready for work. Then switch it to Low right before you walk out the door. Maybe? In any case, mine cooks a total of 8 hours. (If you looked at that Turkey CrockPot link earlier, you noticed she cooked hers for 5 hours on HIGH the whole time). Both ways seem to work fine.

On this particular day I added 4 cups of water because I wanted additional broth for cooking the veggies and stuffing for the meal. I have also done this when I've known I'd be making chicken noodle soup out of the leftovers and wanted that extra broth. But let me tell you, you do NOT need to add any water at all. Your chicken will make LOTS of juicey broth all by herself. Only add water if you are wanting broth for another purpose.

This was Sportster's plate, all dished up and ready to go. The corn, green beans and stuffing had all been cooked using that extra broth I mentioned before. No additional flavoring or seasoning was needed; they were scrumptious just as they were.
The crockpot makes it so easy. I just went into the kitchen a half hour before mealtime, scooped out a bunch of the broth with a ladle and used it to fix the veggies and stuffing. And *bam* a delicious home-cooked meal for my hubby to come home to....with plenty of left-overs for his lunch the next day. (Actually, truth be told, this time around there was even enough left over to feed his partner lunch as well)

Here are some variations I've done with this recipe and have had success with them all:

Don't use an apple at all
Put the onion inside instead of on top (this is when I don't use an apple)
Use a Red Delicious apple instead of Granny Smith
Use minced onion instead of a real fresh one
Sprinkle the top of the chicken with minced garlic

One thing you need to know about this recipe: If you're looking for a beautifully browned, perfectly proportioned chicken for display in the center of your dining room table, this recipe is NOT for you. If that's what you need, then you should probably follow the instructions on that link about cooking on HIGH for 5 hours and then transferring to an oven for browning.

You'll notice I did not post any such pictures. There's a reason. I have not yet been able to get my chicken out of my crockpot in one piece. It all falls right off the bone. Which is a good thing. That's actually what I want, for the meat to be that done.

ALL the meat is incredibly juicy, even the white meat. I no longer have kiddos turning up their noses to dry white meat. And it all falls apart so easily, making the job of separating the meat for future soups or burritos or whatever SUPER easy.


Betty Jo said...

I would never have considered cooking a turkey in the crock pot! What an incredible idea! Thanks too for the whole chicken recipe and photos. Think I'll do this and package the meat into salad portions and freeze since there is only one in my household now.

I love your blog Kim! ♥

Anonymous said...

I am very excited to try this out. As a 23 year old graduate student living opposite schedules as my boyfriend I find it hard to come up with yummy and easy recipes that will feed us both which is why i bought my crock pot. Thanks for all of the pictures and advice. I think this will be a bit hit for the boy, our wallets and our schedules!!

oh and one more thing!! as a child playing "restaurant" I always named my place Kim's cozy cottage kitchen!


Anonymous said...

OMG!! I feel like I'm writing a fan letter! LOL You're recipes are SO helpful! I bought my crock pot over a year ago and have only used it once before seeing your recipe for a whole chicken (which I've had in my freezer for 2 months trying to figure out what to with it). THANK YOU!!! I am always looking for new things I can teach my newlywed daughter (she can make a box of mac n cheese, yay) to cook since I have a VERY limited recipe box that I have mastered.
Again... THANK YOU!!

Michele said...

Thanks so much for the recipe. It's sounds delicious and extremely easy. I'm trying it out right now. Normally I don't mess with the whole chickens, but I couldn't pass up the sale! Thanks for making this experience easy peasy.

jennifer borrell anderson and hello prints! said...

I found your blog yesterday and cooked my chicken today, it turned out great! I stuffed mine with sweet potato cubes, butter, poblano peppers and seasoned with salt, pepper and some honey. It turned out great, I was so happy to find your site!

Stacy said...

Can I cook it for say, 10 hours, all on low? I'm gone for a long time while at work.

Kim's Cottage said...

Stacy, yes, that should work fine. It will definitely be falling off the bone by that time. Yum Yum!


Rebecca Allred said...

Thank you thank you! I've had a chicken in my freezer for weeks, since I started back at school I haven't had time to cook it in the oven. So I threw this together last Sunday and we had a wonderful meal waiting for us after church; it is my family's new favorite Sunday meal!

You wrote this up very well, all the pictures were helpful, thanks for sharing :D

Jamie Willow said...

I googled and found your blog. I am cooking my chicken as instructed right now! smells good...I am looking forward to dinner :) thanks!


Candle Anne said...

I decided to cook my chicken in a crock pot for the first time and I was wondering how much liquid, what to put in with it, etc. You've answered all my questions and given me the confidence to just try using whatever ingredients I happen to have. Thanks!

Ariesrose said...

My boyfriend and I decided we wanted to try to cook a chicken in our crock pot so I did a google search and found your blog. Your recipe and pictures were a great help! The chicken is in the crock now...I am sure it will turn out great. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! I have my chicken in my crock right now, can't wait for dinner. You mentioned in your recipe about adding additional water for use in other recipes, I am hoping to make some soup with the leftovers. Is there an easy recipe you can suggest for a chicken noodle or checken and rice soup?

Anonymous said...

Single full time dad, It rocks! Larry and Brayden, Thanx

Paul T. said...

got it in the crock pot now.

I added a layer of Lentils in the bottom with 2 cups of water. Experimenting a bit for a side dish.

I'll let you know how it turns out....

Anonymous said...

Wow! This chicken was ABSOLUTELY delicious and probably the juiciest I've EVER had! I didn't have Mrs. Dash so I made my own since I have most of the ingredients for it. And I love spciy so I added just a little extra cayenne pepper, and it was just supurb, thank you so much for posting :)

Tanya @ The Domestic Contessa said...

Great tutorial - thanks so much for sharing! I've been cooking our chickens in the crockpot for quite a while now... it is SO easy and the meat comes out so tender!

I like to take my chicken and put it in the oven for the last half hour or so to help crispen up the skin. This is a bit of a challenge, though, as your bird will want to fall apart - keep that in mind and don't burn yourself! You can also take the chicken pieces and lay them, skin-side up, in a 9 x 13 to make the skin crispier...

Chicken in the crockpot is on my menu plan for this week so I'm linking to you for the tutorial!

The Domestic Contessa's latest blog: Some Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Winnahboo said...

The chicken recipe was great!!! I love using my crock pot. I divide between my crock pot and my grill 2-3 times a week (each)all year long. Take-out and/or leftovers the other nights.
Aaannywaaay....the new chicken recipe w/the apple was just great! I always like to try something new and exciting. I brushed it with the seasoning mixed w/white wine and olive oil. I put a few garlic cloves in w/the apple.
My 3 kids ate more than expected. Even the baby. I can't wait to make this for my Mom! Her compliment means everything =)
Thank you again!!!

Sarah said...

We got a crock pot for Christmas and I have been trying to cook everything possible in it. Thank you so much for your recipe!

I put a little chicken broth in the bottom with potatos, onions, and carrots and poured/rubbed a curry sauce over the chicken that was left over from a previous dinner (coconut milk, a little vinegar, and yellow curry powder).

It was soooo good. Thank you for your help!!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious - what is the purpose of the oil? Usually it's browning the chicken when it's done in the oven...

Thanks for the directions! I've tried chicken in the crock pot one other time and I bought a chicken today just for this purpose. Just hope my little 4 pounder won't be over cooked after 10 hours on low.

Nay said...

My, oh, my!!! This was absolutely delicious! I was in the mood for chicken, but not for all the work. This was easy, and fell off the bone, just like you said. It's a new family favorite. And the gravy I made with the juices was the best gravy I have ever made from scratch! Thanks for sharing!!

msdisarray said...

I also found this by searching about putting a whole chicken in the crock pot. My husband and I purchased one at a yard sale and wanted to experiment with it - and the whole chicken seemed like something interesting to try! I was a little nervous until I read this blog. I added about 2.5 cups of water and in the last couple hours added a package of creamy chicken rice to the broth. It came out AMAZING!! Thank you so much. I am so inspired to use it now... I have a pork loin in there now for dinner!

Kelley said...

hi there - i buy small chickens from the farmers market and mine is only about 3 lbs. does that mean i cook it for 1/2 the time of your 6 lb bird? looking forward to trying this out.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this and thought I'd give it a try. I needed to add some "machismo," though, so I added a half cup of whiskey and spice it with Caribbean jerk seasoning. It turned out great.


Lea =) said...

Hmmm... Never thought of putting an apple in the chicken before... Im going to try that out and see how it works. does it smell good when it starts cooking? I JUST prepared a chicken and this will be my first time using a crockpot to cook a whole chicken (first time as well) im going to use a red apple. =)
WISH ME LUCK!!!!! and thank you SOOOOOO much for the helpful recipe.
In my chicken I used celery, onion, cilantro, tomato, carrots, white wine, italian dressing, some chicken bouillon (powder) fresh garlic, garlic salt, lawrys seasoning salt, orageno, pepper, lemon, and some oil.
I know this may sound like a handful, but TRUST ME. Its the best!
now im going to throw in an apple too?!?! IM CRAZY AND CREATIVE! LOL

I blended all these ingrediants with the Magic Bullet and put it under the skin, on top and injected the white wine into the breast wings and legs.
Ill let you know how it turns out. =)

Jessica said...

Thanks! I will put this together tonight.

M said...

Thanks so much for the recipe and photos. I'm anxious to try this out tomorrow! I'm sure it will be very tasty! Thanks!

Typegeek said...

My wife has gone on an emergency winter coat shopping trip for our 1 year old, so I found this recipe on the laptop and I'll get it started before she comes home. Looks like a well designed chicken recipe! Can't wait to taste it.

Deborah said...

Do we eat the apples that were inside? we are due to eat in an hour..

Deborah said...

oh yea, it smells delicious !!!! can't wait to eat this

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! I am going to use this method for my chicken and dumplings! After I remove the chicken, I am transferring the broth to a large pot before putting the dumplings in--they need more room than what is available in the crock pot. After boning and shredding the chicken, it, too, will go back in the broth (before the dumplings). I am adding a cup of milk and cornstarch to thicken. I also added a steamed bag of mixed vegetables.

Jen said...

As a single woman on a budget, who owns a crockpot, I'm excited to try this recipe today. I don't have an onion, but have the garlic seasoning, and I also added some pepper seasoning that I love. And of course the stick of butter. This meal will definitely get me through the week. I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out!

George Butler said...

This is very similar to what my mother taught me, except we load the chicken up with Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, and include carrots and celery with the onions. I like the subtle flavor these additions give to the chicken, and the heartier broth they create. Both are certainly easy and tasty recipes.