Slow Cooker Whole Chicken & Gravy! A complete Sunday meal made easy in the crockpot. While it takes only minutes of prep, this tender, juicy crock pot chicken & gravy tastes like you’ve been in the kitchen all day.
This makes the perfect easy weeknight meal served alongside Garlic Ranch Mashed Potatoes and our favorite Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole! Your whole family is going to love this easy slow cooker whole chicken & gravy!
If you’ve never cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker before, you are going to LOVE this recipe! I wish I could tell you in words how amazing this chicken is! It’s literally minutes of prep for a meal that tastes like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all day long!
Chicken is my dinner time go-to… we love it grilled, baked and stuffed with cheese or even shredded for tacos but I have to admit, this whole chicken in the crockpot is one of my Sunday supper favorites! It is a perfect family dinner served with mashed potatoes and veggies but it’s also a great way to effortlessly cook a chicken in place of rotisserie chicken!
How to Cook a Whole Chicken a Slow Cooker
A quick homemade rub is added to a chicken which then cooks up tender and juicy in the slow cooker.
I prepare this in a 4QT slow cooker and I add balled up foil to slightly lift the chicken off the bottom of the pan but if you have a little rack that fits in your slow cooker you can certainly use that too! Adding a few onions and some celery to the bottom of the crockpot along with the foil makes the most flavorful and fabulous gravy!
If you like a crispy skin, broil it about 6″ from the broiler for a few minutes before serving.
Most of the time the chicken produces plenty of drippings for gravy but if you want extra, just add in some chicken broth. Mixing together a quick slurry of cornstarch and adding it to the slow cooker while the chicken rests creates a rich flavorful gravy. I sometimes add a can of mushrooms to the gravy (or add fresh mushrooms to the slow cooker before cooking).
You may be wondering if it is safe to cook a whole chicken in your crock pot and the answer is yes, it’s safe as the crockpot is intended to cook meat low and slow. Ensure your lid is on well to keep the heat in. I would definitely NOT recommend using frozen chicken in the slow cooker, if using whole chicken you’ll want to make sure it’s thawed.
As with all slow cookers, cooking times can vary slightly, you’ll want to make sure your chicken reaches 165 degrees in the thigh.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken & Gravy
- 1 small chicken about 4lbs
- 2 slices onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- chicken broth (optional)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- Combine all seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.
- Brush chicken with olive oil and rub seasoning into chicken.
- Roll up balls of foil and place in the bottom of the slow cooker with 2 thick slices of onion. Place chicken on foil, breast side up so it is slightly lifted off the bottom of the slow cooker. (You can use onion and carrot chunks instead if you prefer).
- Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. (165 degrees)
- Remove chicken and place on a small pan. Broil 3-4 minutes to crisp skin (optional). Rest 10 minutes before slicing.
- Remove foil and onion from slow cooker and turn onto high. If required, add broth to create about 2 cups of liquid.
- In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water to create a slurry.
- Whisk about ⅔ of the cornstarch into the drippings/broth and let cook on high. Depending on the amount of liquid you may need to add more of the cornstarch slurry to reach desired consistency. Let cook at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Taste and season with salt & pepper.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I made this tonight. The chicken is superb. Very good. The gravy I ended up putting into a pot an cooked on the stove. Very good.
I open the skin to rub seasonings underneath and inside the cavity, so if you dont like to eat the skin, the chicken still has flavor. Also I put baby carrots one onion chunked and celery to the bottom and season them before adding the chicken on top. It is a tight fit so I pushed the veggies to the edges and breast end underneath.
I’ve done this crockpot chicken twice and it’s so juicy and tender, instead of foil in crockpot, I put baby carrots, mini potatoes, red onions and celery and set the chicken on it. So delicious your recipe is! Thanks for sharing
You’re welcome Janet! Sounds great!
The chicken literally fell off the bone. Lifted it so I could make the gravy and just went to pieces. (Good thing to me). Made gravy and added chicken to the gravy to cook in juices.
Flavors are there needed more salt to bring all together.
Great recipe, so easy, so selfish!
I meant so delish!!
Can I use butter instead of oil to brush on chicken before spices?
Sure you can!
Really convenient and tasty, but slightly dry.
This is my go to recipe for cooking chicken in the crockpot. It always comes out so good. I have made it several times and it is so juicy and tender. Have one cooking now for dinner tonight
Success! Loved the idea of putting onion (and celery) in the bottom of the crock pot to make a gravy. Though the gravy didn’t have the depth of flavor I was hoping for, I was still happy to have something to pour over the chicken and sides. This is now my go to recipe. I did have a recipe in which the chicken is roasted low and slow in the oven, sometimes this method was hit or miss – I couldn’t get the rotisserie result consistently. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I have a smaller Cornish hen to try in this recipe. Would you adjust the cooking time at all and by how much? Thanks!
Cornish hens will need to cook about 6-7 hours on low.
I was just tagged in your chicken crock pot recipe by a friend! I started looking at your recipes & I’m hooked! I love that they are easy, simple ingredients & affordable! YAYNESS!! Thank you!
So happy you found my site Fonda!!
Perfect. I used a silicone oval roasting rack (Amazon) that elevated my chicken one inch from the bottom of the cooker. Rolled up foil too messy and wasteful for me.
I’m going to try this tomorrow night! I’ll let you know how it turns out!!!!
Sounds good, Deborah, I hope you love it!
Made it again today. I added a tablespoon of olive oil to the dried spices to make a paste. Then I used a spoon to put the paste under the skin. It permeated they whole bird. Then I followed the rest of the instructions and placed it under the broiler. Crispy, tasty skin! I used the drippings as au jus over the sliced chicken and sweet potato. Everyone is satisfied!
Oh boy Aneela! That sounds so yummy!
I’ve made this a number of times. It is delicious and easy to prepare.
I can’t wait to try !!!
I’m cooking this, as I type. What I will definitely do, once the chicken is cooked is take the skin off and place all the bits on a baking pan with parchment, another parchment paper on top and then another baking pan to weight it down a bit. In the oven to make some crispy chicken skin.
frozen whole chicken i did on high and was done in 5 hours. juices was so great to make the gravy right in the slowcooker after taking meat out,
it all fell apart trying to take it out, but was perfect for my hot chicken dinners with mash n gravy YUMMMMMMMM
It was delicious.
We just made this for our Christmas dinner for two! I happened to have a bottle of Asian spice mix that was gathering dust so I used that instead of making a rub from scratch. I followed the method, cooking it on High for (oops) six hours. Although the meat was falling off the bone, my husband managed to get the chicken onto a serving platter in one piece.
It was unbelievably tender and juicy! The chicken practically melted in your mouth. My husband actually stood there picking off pieces and raving how good it was! That inspired him to make the gravy which was delicious as well.
We’re going to try slow cooking pork and beef roasts using this method and we anticipate the same yummy results!
I’m so glad you loved it!! Merry Christmas Kelly!