Slow Cooker Whole Chicken is not quite a roast chicken and not quite a boiled chicken, but it's a quick way to cook a whole chicken with little effort, ready to eat when you get home.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
This is a one-step slow cooker recipe, like all of them this month, where you put the ingredients in the cooker in the morning and leave to cook all day. There is no browning or preparation, apart from a bit of cutting up.
The beauty of cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker is that it's so easy. An onion and a lemon, with as much garlic as you like, provide the flavour. Cutting slits in the chicken and tucking the garlic in, means that you get a mild garlicky flavour through the meat - and you can't really tell when you eat the pieces of garlic. They sort of melt into the meat.
Slow Cooker liners
After my daughter told me that she'd bought a slow cooker I was browsing on Amazon, as you do, and saw some slow cooker liners. I thought they would be helpful - and probably time-saving - by reducing the washing up. Apparently not. Her cooker pot is so easy to clean that a liner is unnecessary. Having borrowed her cooker, I agree. I guess it depends on your pot. My old ceramic one is much harder to clean than my new non-stick, metal pot.
So the liners stayed in the cupboard until I made this Slow Cooker Whole Chicken. The chicken becomes so tender that it will fall apart when you try to lift it from the dish unless you put a couple of wide strips of foil in the pot so that you can lift it out. Or you can use a liner. How easy is that? You just put the liner in, then the chicken, with embedded garlic, then onion and lemon. Finally hot stock and seasoning.
Prepare the night before
If you're going to be short of time in the morning, you could get the garlic into the chicken and cut up the onions the night before. In the morning you just put those into the pot, heat up the stock - or boil the kettle for a stock cube - cut and squeeze the lemon and you're done.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken can be served with vegetables. Again, I prepare them the night before and then put them in the steamer when I get home. You could put carrots and other root vegetables in the cooker with the chicken if you really don't want to do anything in the evening. Or you could strip the chicken from the bone and use it in a stir-fry or risottos, or a chicken salad, which is yummy in the summer.
Slow Cooker – obviously that’s pretty helpful here. I looked at slow cookers for ages before buying a digital Morphy Richards 3.5l version. If you're buying a slow cooker, read my tips for Buying a Slow Cooker.
Slow Cooker Liner – not essential, but keeps the cooker clean.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- 250 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1.5 kg chicken
- 1 medium onion
- 1 lemon
- Bay leaf
- Put the stock on to heat
- Put the liner in the cooker or place a wide strip of foil in so that you will be able to lift the chicken out
- Turn the cooker onto HIGH
- Peel the cloves of garlic and cut each into 3-4 slivers
- Pierce the chicken with a sharp knife and slide each piece of garlic in
- Put the chicken in the cooker
- Peel the onion and cut into 8 pieces. Place around the chicken
- Cut the lemon into 8. Squeeze each piece over the chicken and put the pieces around the chicken
- Pour the stock over the chicken
- Season with salt and pepper and tuck the bay leaf in
- Cover the chicken breast with a butter paper (or buttered baking parchment or foil) to keep it moist
- Put the lid on the cooker and turn to LOW for 8-10 hours, or leave on HIGH for 5-6 hours