How to Cook Whole Chicken & Potatoes in a Slow Cooker

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Things You'll Need

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Paper towels

  • Olive or canola oil

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Paprika

  • Cutting board

  • Knife

  • Onion

  • Small potatoes

  • Celery, carrots or turnips

  • Meat thermometer

A slow cooker cooks a whole chicken to perfection.
Image Credit: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Roasting a whole chicken in the slow cooker is a time-saver that makes life easier at the end of a busier day. The addition of tender, small potatoes adds nutrition and flavor as the potatoes absorb the rich flavor of the chicken. The dish makes a hearty, mouthwatering meal ideal for both your family or a special sit-down dinner. Serve the chicken and potatoes with a fresh salad and crusty bread for a complete meal.


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Step 1

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 2

Remove the giblets and neck from the inside of the chicken. Rinse the chicken under cool water, then pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 3

Coat the chicken lightly with olive or canola oil, then sprinkle the chicken, inside and out, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can also sprinkle the chicken with a small amount of fresh paprika.


Step 4

Slice half an onion and place the slices in the bottom of the slow cooker. The onion provides flavor and prevents the chicken from sticking. Use any type of onion, but if you prefer a mild, sweeter flavor, use a red or white onion; for a pungent flavor, use yellow onions.

Step 5

Place the chicken, breast-side down, on top of the onion.

Step 6

Cut small potatoes into chunks, then arrange the potato chunks around the chicken. Potatoes such as red or Yukon gold potatoes are best for roasting, as traditional russet potatoes don't hold their shape and are best reserved for mashing, frying or baking. You can also add the remaining onion, as well as chunks of vegetables such as celery, carrots or turnips. Cut the vegetables into uniform sizes for even cooking.


Step 7

Cover the slow cooker. Cook the chicken on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Check the progress often because cooking time varies depending on the size of the chicken.

Step 8

Test the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure the temperature is at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast or 180 F in the thickest part of the thigh. Always position the thermometer away from the bone.


Adding an onion to the bottom of the slow cooker is optional. If you prefer not to use onion, spray the inside of the slow cooker thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, place chunks of celery or carrots or even rolled-up balls of aluminum foil in the bottom of the cooker and place the chicken on top.

Thaw a frozen whole chicken in the refrigerator. Allow about 3 hours per pound.


Ensure that the chicken, including the center, is completely thawed before cooking. If the chicken is frozen in the center, it may not reach the safe temperature quickly enough, which can cause foodborne illnesses.

If you want to keep the chicken hot in the slow cooker for serving, keep the chicken at a temperature of at least 140 F. Eat the chicken immediately or store it in the refrigerator. Don't let chicken cool in the slow cooker.

Heat leftover chicken in the oven, microwave or on the stove top. Don't reheat chicken in the slow cooker.