A long, low cook time makes the meat ultra tender, and a few minutes under the broiler crisps the skin. A glorious rub made with olive oil, salt, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne pepper injects this chicken with so much flavor on the outside and under the skin before going into the slow cooker. We stuff the cavity with lemon, garlic, and onion quarters to ensure a juicy flavor from the inside out. Propping the chicken up on two small inverted ramekins is important to getting a thorough, even cooking. This slow-cooked chicken make a delicious base for countless weeknight meals, including three brand-new recipes we paired perfectly with this slow-cooker chicken. Try out our Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Mushrooms, our Spicy Red Curry with Chicken, or our Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches. (Our personal favorite might have to be those sweet-hot pickle-topped biscuits, we have to say!) You can’t go wrong with whipping up this easy slow-cooker chicken recipe for a flavorful starting point for any family recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (4 1⁄2-lb.) whole chicken
1 lemon, halved
4 garlic cloves
4 small yellow onions (about 1 lb.), quartered
2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
How to Make It
Combine first 6 ingredients. Rub mixture on outside and under skin of chicken. Stuff cavity with lemon, garlic, and 4 onion quarters.
Place 2 inverted shallow ramekins in a 6-quart slow cooker. Place carrots, celery, and remaining onion quarters around ramekins; add water. Place chicken, breast side up, on ramekins. Cover; cook on HIGH until a thermometer inserted into the breast registers 165°F, 3 1/2 hours. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; let rest 15 minutes.
Preheat broiler to HIGH with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Remove ramekins. Pour stock mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Reserve stock for later use. Cut chicken into 6 pieces. Place, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until skin is golden and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes.