This is my fool-proof method for cooking a delicious whole roast chicken in a slow cooker/Crock-Pot. You’ll make a wonderful Paleo gravy, too!

A shot of a chicken leg covered with gravy on a bed of mashed cauliflower and kale.

In the past, I’ve always had terrible results when I’ve tried to cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker or Crock-pot. The bird would always be overcooked, stringy, mushy, and dry. Super icky. Last night, I cooked a whole chicken in my slow cooker and it was AMAZING! I‘ll never prepare a whole chicken any other way again. Yes, that was a hyperbolic statement but I’m sticking with it.

The method I followed was a mash-up between Sarah Fragoso’s Spice Rub Crock Pot Chicken and the chicken in a pot recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution.  I heart both, so how could I fail?

(Update: I rarely use a slow cooker these days. Instead I make this recipe in my Instant Pot!)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 onions, chopped medium (or 2 cups of your favorite alliums)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste (you can use up to a tablespoon to add more umami)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup white wine (replace with ¼ cup extra chicken stock if on Whole30)
  • 1 (4-pound) organic chicken
  • 1 tablespoon Sunny Paris seasoning (or your favorite herb blend)

Equipment:

Here’s what you do:

Melt the ghee in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and gather your chopped veggies.

A plate of chopped onions, whole garlic cloves, and tomato paste.

When the ghee is shimmering, add the onions and garlic (I threw in some scallions, too)…

Sauteeing onions and leeks in a skillet.

…and the tomato paste.

A closeup of a spoonful of tomato paste.

The aromatics should be softened and lightly browned after 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

A closeup of sautéed alliums tossed with tomato paste.

Then, deglaze the pan with the wine and/or chicken stock, and transfer everything to your slow cooker. Dry off the bird and season it well – inside and out – with salt, pepper, and your favorite salt-free herb blend. (I like Sunny Paris seasoning from Penzeys Spices.)

A whole raw chicken covered with seasoning blend.

Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker, put on the cover, and set it to cook on low for 4-6 hours.

A seasoned raw whole chicken is breast-side down in a slow cooker.

This bird was close to 4 pounds, so I aimed for about 4.5 hours of simmering.

When the chicken is done cooking…

A shot of Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy ready to be taken out of a slow cooker

…take it out of the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken resting in a white platter.

De-fat the braising sauce (if desired)…

A large metal spoon defatting the gravy in a slow cooker.

…check for seasoning, and blend it with an immersion blender…

An immersion blender in a slow cooker is blending up the gravy.

… to make a delicious gravy.

An overhead shot of a white bowl filled with gravy.

This gravy is amazing and makes great leftovers!

Rip up the chicken up with your hands like a true cavegirl or caveguy…

Breaking up Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with hands.

…and serve it with the gravy.

Another shot of the leftover gravy from Slow Cooker Chicken and Gravy.

My favorite thing about this recipe is the breast stays moist! Love it! Don’t ever cook chicken longer than 6 hours on low!

And DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THE GRAVY! It’s pretty much incredible on everything. I freeze the extra gravy in these silicone ice molds.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy

4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 hours
Total Time5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
This is my fool-proof method for cooking a delicious whole roast chicken in a slow cooker. You'll make a wonderful Paleo gravy, too!

Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 onions chopped medium (or 2 cups of your favorite alliums)
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste you can use up to a tablespoon to add more umami
  • Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup white wine replace with ¼ cup extra chicken stock if on Whole30
  • 1 4-pound organic chicken
  • 1 tablespoon Sunny Paris Seasoning or your favorite herb blend

Instructions 

  • Melt the ghee in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and gather your chopped veggies.
  • When the ghee is shimmering, add the onions, garlic, and the tomato paste. Sauté, stirring occasionally. The aromatics should be softened and lightly browned after 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  • Then, deglaze the pan with the wine and/or chicken stock, and transfer everything to your slow cooker. Dry off the bird and season it well – inside and out – with salt, pepper, and your favorite salt-free poultry seasoning. (I like Sunny Paris seasoning from Penzeys Spices.)
  • Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker, put on the cover, and set it to cook on low for 4-6 hours. (Check a 4-pound bird at the 4 hour mark to see if it's done. Continue cooking if necessary.)
  • When the chicken’s finished cooking, take it out of the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • De-fat the braising sauce (if desired), check for seasoning, and blend it with an immersion blender to make a delicious gravy.
  • Serve the chicken and the gravy! 

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 36g | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This was a terrific – and easy! – Whole30 dinner that everyone at our house loved. Looking forward to checking out more of your yummy recipes. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for several years now, I’ve lost count of just how many. It’s a family favorite. I use my own spice blend to season the bird since it’s hard to get Sunny Paris here, & I remove the skin before cooking as we aren’t soggy chicken skin fans, but follow everything else to a “T”. The bird just falls apart when it’s done. Perfection!

  3. This has been a staple for me since you first printed it years ago! Making it right now with ten chicken thighs and it’s just as brilliant. Thank you.