Whole chicken slow cooker recipes start with cooking the chicken itself. I like to do this in the slow cooker on a vegetable trivet. The trivet keeps the chicken out of its juices, while the vegetables cook beautifully in the juice.
This trivet is made from carrot, parsnip and potato with a chopped onion in there for flavour, and works for all slow cooker roast recipes.
Alternatively, a short metal or ceramic trivet about one inch, (25mm.) high can be used for a slow cooker whole chicken recipe.
30 minutes, mostly skinning the chicken.
Whole Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes: Cooking Method
Most of the fat from a chicken is removed by removing the skin, which doesn't cook well in a slow cooker in any case. The removed skin can be used for stock or gravy. More on skinning a chicken below.
There's not much more to say about this whole chicken slow cooker recipe. Just put the chicken on top of the vegetables and cook on low for eight hours, or on high for four hours. Don't add water, the chicken will produce enough juice on its own.
As you can see from this photograph of a slow cooker roast chicken, an oval slow cooker is an advantage. Roast potatoes and additional vegetables are best cooked normally.
To test if the chicken is cooked, use a knife and if the juices run clear, it's ready.
This Crockpot Lemon Chicken Recipe immerses the chicken in its juices and uses them to flavour the risotto rice it's served with.
Whole Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes: Skinning a Chicken
To skin a chicken, place it breast down and make a cut through the skin along the backbone.
Next, remove the wing end at the elbow and cut through the skin around the ankles.
Starting from the cut at the backbone, pull and peel away the skin. Where the skin is firmly attached, pull with one hand and pare using a knife with the other hand. A paper towel helps to grip the greasy skin.
Some things are better demonstrated than described, so here's a short video of a chicken being skinned.
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Chicken thighs are the best value chicken ingredients for cooking in a slow cooker.
Fresh chicken should be refrigerated at or below 40 degrees F. or 5 degrees C. as soon as possible.
Use fresh chicken within two days. If freezing, do that straight away and the chicken will keep for up to two months.
Never cook chicken from frozen, the slow heat build up will encourage the growth of bacteria. Always defrost first.
Chicken can be de-frosted in the refrigerator, by microwave, or in cold water.
Don't start cooking chicken, (or browning), and then re-refrigerate to continue cooking at a later time.
Warming it up without finishing the cooking process starts bacteria growing which will not be killed in the refrigerator.
Never add salt if you're using stock cubes for the stock. They are already salty. Taste before serving.