Here Are 6 Different Ways To Slow Cook A Whole Chicken

April 17th, 2018

Are you looking to make a delicious chicken dinner for the family? As far as lean proteins go, chicken tends to be a favorite that shows up in many different dishes (and many different homes). You can sear some chicken breasts or you can cube your chicken and cook it into a stir-fry. Still more ambitious, you can also buy an entire bird to create a feast that will last your family a little longer than usual. But sometimes cooking an entire chicken can be a little intimidating.

Fortunately, we have a solution: you can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker. Though there’s virtually no end to what we can do with a slow cooker, not everyone knows just how easy it is to cook chicken in one of these things! But we’ll get right to business.

With no further ado, here are six delicious ways to prepare a whole chicken in a slow cooker.

1. Chinese Chicken

If you’re looking for a flavor that might not be what you’re used to, you should definitely give this Asian-inspired recipe a try. The result is a zesty and delicious blend of flavors that will have your mouth watering.

Here’s what you need:

  • whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 knob of sliced ginger
  • star anise pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark
  • pinch of dried chili

Here’s what you do:

1. After all your ingredients are prepared (namely, the ginger is sliced—everything is ready to go), combine all your sauces and add-ins in a bowl or a measuring cup and give it a good stir. Make sure your chicken has also had the insides removed and has been cleaned!

2. For added flavor, put your chicken in a Ziploc bag with the marinade and let it marinate overnight in the fridge (though this is optional). When you’re ready to cook, simply place your chicken in the slow cooker and set it on low for eight hours. Once the time’s up, your chicken should be ready to eat. At the very end, strain your marinade and reduce it on the stove top to make a sweet sauce to drip over the chicken as well.

2. Thai Chicken

For another delicious and potentially unusual twist, why not try making a Thai-style chicken? If you’re not used to Thai food, these recipes often use a combination of coconut-milk based flavors along with spices for a complex mixture of sweet and savory.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro)
  • 4 tablespoons of Thai curry paste
  • 2 chicken
  • 1 can of coconut cream (400ml)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 chicken stock gel pots (Knorr Homestyle works well)

Here’s what you do:

1. First off, get a bowl and combine your curry paste and chicken stock gel. Slice up your chili and fully zest the outside of your limes and combine that into the bowl as well. Pour in your can of coconut cream. After that, you can finely chop your bunch of coriander and throw it into the bowl as well. Once it’s all combined, gently mix the ingredients together.

2. Next, roughly chop your onions and throw them in the bottom of your slow cooker. After your chicken has been prepared, place it carefully on top of the onions. Cut your limes into quarters and stuff the inside of the chicken with them. Finally, pour the sauce all over the chicken and move the bird around to make sure it’s evenly coated. Set the cooker on low for six to eight hours and at the end, you’re ready to eat!

3. Beer Can Chicken

You’ve probably heard of “beer can chicken” before, and for good reason—it’s delicious! If you’re unfamiliar, these recipes typically use the rich flavor of beer to cook chicken from the inside out. This recipe is a slight twist on that but still delicious all the same.

Here’s what you need:

  • whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 1 24-oz can of Guinness beer
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of paprika
  • 1/4 cup of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup of ground thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
  • barbecue sauce
  • aluminum foil

Here’s what you do:

1. First, prepare your dry rub by mixing all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and lightly mixing them to combine. Once you’ve finished the dry rub, take your time applying it liberally and evenly all around the chicken. After that, get your aluminum foil and make four balls out of it to place in the bottom of the slow cooker—these will lift your chicken up during the cooking process and let the beer steam it from beneath.

2. Once the aluminum balls are in the bottom, pour in your can of Guinness (though you can use whatever dark beer you prefer here). Once it’s in, set the chicken carefully on top of the four balls, cover the lid and let it all cook for six to eight hours on low. Once the time is up, you can also brush the chicken with barbecue sauce for extra flavor!

3. For even more punch, transfer the chicken to the oven in a baking dish and set it on broil. Leave it in for only two to four minutes for a crispy exterior and enjoy!

4. Honey Garlic Chicken

Garlic always goes well with chicken, but adding a honey glaze on top of it adds a completely new level of taste and flavor. This is a popular combination that doesn’t over-season the bird but still results in a tasty and tangy meal.

Here’s what you need:

  • whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic

Here’s what you do:

1. First, get a bowl and stir together your broth, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil and minced garlic. Next, make sure your chicken is prepared and patted dry before putting it in the slow cooker.

2. Next, pour the sauce all over your chicken and cover it. Set the slow cooker on low for eight hours. Once it’s all done, take your chicken out and enjoy!

5. Herb Seasoned Chicken

An herb-seasoned chicken is also a basic and relatively healthy way to prepare delicious chicken for the family. If you’re looking for a recipe that’s relatively no-fuss, this one might be the winner.

Here’s what you need:

  • whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion

Here’s what you do:

1. First, get a bowl and mix together all of your dry ingredients to make a nice dry rub. Once that’s all together, make sure your chicken is prepared and set it in the slow cooker. Be sure to pat your chicken dry as well at this stage.

2. After that, pour some olive oil over your chicken and use your hand to coat it evenly. Once it’s well-covered, pour your dry rub on top and work it all around so the chicken is evenly covered once again. Finally, get your onion, chop it into quarters and arrange the sections around your chicken. When you’re ready to go, cook it for eight hours on low. Once it’s done, you’ll be ready to eat.

6. Lemon Herb Chicken

Last but not least, this lemon herb flavored chicken is a great option if you want your chicken to have a lighter, zestier flavor than some of the other herb-based recipes listed here. Once again, this one keeps things on the leaner side as well!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 whole chicken (4 lbs)
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 whole head of garlic (plus 4-5 cloves)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary or sage)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter

Here’s what you do:

1. First, mince your four to five cloves of garlic and zest two of your lemons. Combine the results in a small bowl and add in your two tablespoons of chopped herbs, your olive oil or butter and your salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all together and set it aside. Take your head of garlic, slice it in half horizontally and put it in the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. After that, chop the ends off two or three of your lemons and cut them in half. Put four to six lemon halves in the bottom of the slow cooker with the garlic, making it all lay flat. Add half of your fresh herb sprigs as well.

3. Prepare the chicken by removing anything from the inside and thoroughly patting it dry. Lightly season the bird with salt and pepper on both the inside and the outside. Now, use your mix you made and rub it all over the bird, including on top of and under the skin as well as into the cavity. Finally, throw the chicken in the slow cooker (and tie the legs, if you wish).

4. Slice up the rest of your lemon and cover the chicken with your slices and the rest of your fresh herb sprigs. Finally, cook your chicken for about six to eight hours on low. Let it sit for 15 minutes when it’s done and throw it in the broiler for about four minutes to crisp it up at the end if you like! You can also strain and reduce the leftover juice from the slow cooker as a sauce. Bon appétit!

As you can see, there are many ways to cook a whole chicken in your slow cooker, each with its own unique flavor profile. As always, have fun with these recipes and feel free to tweak the seasonings to your own preferences. These recipes should keep you busy for a while!

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Source: Cooktop Cove