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Whether you fancy a traditional family Sunday lunch or want to make the most of a versatile and cost-effective whole bird, this Slow Cooker Roast Chicken is the way to cook your meat. So convenient, very little faff, just succulent and flavour-filled results.

Slow cooker roast chicken with lemon and herbs, cooked and ready to serve.

If you’re someone who regularly buys a whole chicken to either make a roast dinner or/and use up the leftovers, THIS is the recipe for you. 

My Slow Cooker Roast Chicken is made with a delicious and quick lemon and herb butter for maximum flavour, while – as always – we’re keeping to a minimum on effort. 

Technically this isn’t ‘roasting’ a chicken at all as we’re not using the oven, but trust me when I say the benefits and results of making this a slow cooker chicken recipe are worth it!

Now it doesn’t come out looking like the prettiest of whole chickens because the skin doesn’t get seared in a slow cooker as it does in an oven, but this is an easy hurdle to overcome.

Either remove the skin before serving, or pop it all under the grill for about 15 minutes to get that golden finish.

Just like my Slow Cooker Beef Joint, my Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder and my Slow Cooker Ham, making a joint like this has lots of benefits, AND you can even do it on a busy day and strip the bird once it’s cool, leaving you with loads of tender meat to use in other meals throughout the week. Winner all round!


Why you’ll love this Slow Cooker Roast Chicken recipe

⭐️ A foolproof method of getting succulent chicken

⭐️ Ideal for busy days with quick prep and leave

⭐️ Creates its own gravy too


Whole chicken roasted in a slow cooker, ready to eat.

Why use a slow cooker to cook a whole chicken?

Saves electricity: These devices are so energy efficient compared to ovens or hobs, using only about 1.3kWh for 8 hours cooking time. The Energy Saving Trust say they use about the same amount of electricity as a standard light bulb.

Depth of flavour: Cooking a joint of meat long and slow creates a delicious depth of flavour, and that applies to whole chicken too.

Convenience: There is just something so lifesaving about being able to put everything in and know a meal is going to be ready later, when time might be tighter. Yes it requires a bit of thinking ahead, but the rewards are great. 

More room in the oven: If you are making this as part of a bigger roast dinner, using a slow cooker means you’ve got plenty of room left in the oven for everything else!


Ingredients for making a Slow Cooker Roast Chicken: Notes

  • Whole chicken – I use a 1.5kg free range
  • For added flavour – Onion and lemons
  • For the herb butter: Butter (I use salted) and herbs (fresh if possible)

How to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker

  1. Mix the herb butter together.
  2. Pop the onion chunks into the slow cooker and set the chicken on top.
  3. Spread the butter over the top and sides of the chicken. 
  4. Slice half a lemon around the edges of the bird and add 100 ml of boiling water. 
  5. Cook on LOW for 5 hours. Either remove the skin or grill for 15 minutes until golden.
Whole chicken in slow cooker raw with herb butter and lemons.

Use leftovers in…

Storing

In the fridge You can keep the cooked chicken in the fridge for 3 days and enjoy it cold in sandwiches, salads or any of the above recipes.

In the freezer Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reusing and be very careful if reheating (it must be piping hot).

Top tips

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with crispy skin

The chicken won’t get that crispy or golden skin we associate with a roast, but simply cutting it off after cooking is fine – it’s still delicious. However, if you DO want a crispy skin, just pop it under the grill for about 10-15 minutes until it crisps up and turns colour. 

This gives us the best of both worlds – tender meat and crispy skin!

Making gravy

If you want to serve gravy with your roast chicken, once you remove the chicken from the cooker, blend the onions into the liquid (if you have a blender. If not, leave them in whole or remove with a slotted spoon if you prefer your gravy smooth).

Put 2 tbsp of cornflour into a small mug and add enough of the chicken juices to make a smooth paste.

Put the chicken juices over a medium heat on the hob (in the slow cooker pan if it’s heatproof and suitable for use on the hob, or in a small saucepan if not). Add in enough of the cornflour mixture, a little at a time, whisking as you go to thicken the liquid.

You may not need to use all of the cornflour mixture, depending on how much liquid your chicken has released as it cooked.

Herbs

When making up butter spread, you can use dried herbs if you prefer and/or it’s all you have, BUT in this case I do feel like fresh herbs do work best as they have a more aromatic, softer quality.

Butter

I use salted butter but if you only had unsalted butter, you could add extra salt. The butter should be soft, but not melted. If it’s hard, just pop into the microwave for a few seconds.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken FAQs

How long to cook a chicken in the slow cooker?

I find that when cooking it on low, about 5 hours should do the trick. You know it’s cooked when the leg bone feels very loose when you wiggle it.

Should water cover chicken in a slow cooker?

When it comes to making a roast chicken, there are plenty of its own juices that stop it from drying out. So just using about 100ml in the bottom of the cooker is sufficient.

Can you recommend a good slow cooker?

The Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker is my all-time favourite because you can use it for initial browning on the hob and it’s really light. For induction hobs, I recommend the Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker instead.

What should I serve with Slow Cooker Roast Chicken?

Serve it with some hearty sides, such as Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese or Yorkshire Puddings. Any vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes or Colcannon would also work.

Often if I do a midweek roast, I won’t do all the trimmings. Instead, I’ll just do some simple cooked vegetables and mash or sautéed potatoes.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.91 from 22 votes

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken {with Lemon & Herb Butter}

This Slow Cooker Roast Chicken recipe makes a brilliant alternative to cooking it in the oven. So simple, succulent, convenient and tasty. Put this on your menu for next Sunday or an easy midweek meal!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 kg Free range whole chicken
  • 1 Onion, Peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 Whole lemons

For the herb butter:

  • 3 tbsp Butter, See notes
  • 1 tbsp Fresh thyme, Leaves only, stalks removed
  • 1 tbsp Fresh sage, Finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Mix the herb butter ingredients together.
  • Pop the onion chunks into the bottom of the slow cooker and set the chicken on top. (I like to cut off and remove and string holding the bird. I think this makes it cook more evenly.)
  • Spread the herb butter over the top and sides of the chicken.
  • Slice one of the lemons in half and push in around the edges of the bird. Add 100ml of boiling water. Pop the lid on and cook for about 5 hours on LOW.
  • The chicken is cooked when if you wiggle a leg bone, it feels very loose. You can now serve (I tend to remove the skin and portion up if serving like this as the skin doesn't look/taste very good.) OR if you'd prefer to serve as a regular whole bird roast:

To brown the chicken:

  • Pop the whole chicken under a very hot grill for about 15 minutes until the skin is crunchy and crisp. Add more lemon slices and fresh herbs to serve if you'd like to.

Notes

Butter: I use salted butter, if you only had unsalted, you could add extra salt. The butter should be soft, but not melted. If it’s hard, just pop into the microwave for a few seconds
Herbs: You can use dried herbs if you prefer and/or it’s all you have, BUT in this case I do feel like fresh herbs do work best as they have a more aromatic, softer quality
To get a crispy skin: The chicken won’t get that crispy or golden skin we associate with a roast, but simply cutting it off after cooking is fine – it’s still delicious. However, if you DO want a crispy skin, just pop it under the grill for about 10-15 minutes until it crisps up and turns colour
Water: When it comes to making a roast chicken, there are plenty of its own juices that stop it from drying out. So just using about 100ml in the bottom of the cooker is sufficient
Make a gravy:
  1. Once you remove the chicken from the cooker, blend the onions into the liquid (if you have a blender. If not, leave them in whole or remove with a slotted spoon if you prefer your gravy smooth).
  2. Put 2 tbsp of cornflour into a small mug and add enough of the chicken juices to make a smooth paste.
  3. Put the chicken juices over a medium heat on the hob (in the slow cooker pan if it’s heatproof and suitable for use on the hob, or in a small saucepan if not).
  4.  Add in enough of the cornflour mixture, a little at a time, whisking as you go to thicken the liquid.

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 47gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 203mgSodium: 226mgPotassium: 506mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 580IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 3mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We tried this tonight it was delicious. My husband managed this (I’ve broken my wrist) so he’s on a steep learning curve!!!!!!
    Sorry didn’t take a photo. We’ll definitely be having this again. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    Ideal, great recipe. We are undergoing a renovation so I’m working my way through Taming Twins’ slow cooker recipes! This chicken lasted a couple of meals.

    1. Ahh good luck with the renovation Alex, I know how that feels! Hope you like the recipes and they help! x