The slow cooker version of this whole chicken recipe results in moist, super flavorful meat and delicious pan juices for making a 5-minute gravy. This is one of our family’s favorite dinners, especially when served over mashed potatoes.
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For the chicken:If necessary, remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken (save them to make chicken stock, if you’d like). Pat the chicken dry and rub the butter all over the outside. Season the chicken generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic, and onion into the cavity. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked. (The chicken is done when it registers 165°F near the inner thigh, between the leg and breast.)
Position the top oven rack about 8 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler.
Transfer the chicken to a baking dish, breast side up. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until crispy and golden brown, keeping a close eye on the chicken so it doesn’t burn. Tent with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes.
For the gravy: While the chicken rests, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Increase the heat to medium-high. While whisking, use a ladle or a dry measuring cup to slowly add the juices left in the slow cooker. Whisk continuously until the gravy is smooth and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (Tip: To get super-smooth gravy, you may want to strain the juices before adding them to the pot.)
Carve the chicken. Serve warm, drizzled with the gravy.
Freeze For Later:Follow step 1. Place the chicken in a gallon-size freezer bag, if it will fit (have someone help you by holding the bag open), or wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap and then a few layers of foil. Freeze.
Prepare From Frozen: Note: You will need to have butter, flour, salt, and pepper on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the chicken fully in the refrigerator for about 48 hours. Follow Steps 2-6.
Gluten-Free Version: Use 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (like Bob’s Red Mill brand) in place of the all-purpose flour.
Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves. Read my full ButcherBox review here.