Chicken is a staple in my house. Any time I see chicken on sale I stock up, even if I have to freeze it. It doesn’t matter if it’s wings, legs, thighs, breasts or in this case, the whole chicken, my family is all over it.
But this also means we eat a lot of the same chicken recipes over and over. A couple of weeks ago I decided to try something different and cook a whole chicken in my crockpot. Let me just say that I have never gotten a bone so clean in my entire life. Not only was the chicken moist and delicious, but it literally fell off the bone! I couldn’t even pick up the whole chicken to get it to the cutting board without it just falling apart.
Now, I know there are tips and tricks to prevent the whole chicken from falling apart when cooked in a crockpot, but I actually enjoy how moist and flavorful the chicken is when it cooks in it’s own juices. And apparently, so does my family. We ate on this whole chicken for three days (talk about affordable!), preparing the leftovers in different ways.
There’s no doubt I will be cooking whole chickens in the crockpot in the future and will be trying different seasoning variations. This time around I used fresh garlic, thyme and lemon, along with the basic salt and pepper. Delicious!
- 1 whole chicken (5-6 lbs.)
- 1 head of garlic
- 3 lemons
- 1 bundle of fresh thyme
- Rinse and slice the lemons. Set aside.
- Peel the entire head of garlic so you have individual cloves and cut each clove in half lengthwise. Set aside.
- Remove the chickens innards (usually packaged in a bag you can simply pull out) and rinse the chicken well under cold water. Pat dry.
- Season the entire chicken, inside and out, with salt and pepper to taste.
- Layer the bottom of the crockpot with slices from 1 lemon, the garlic cloves (leave about 4 cloves set aside) and a few sprigs of thyme.
- Stuff the inside of the chicken with the slices from 1 lemon, 4 cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of thyme.
- Tuck the chicken legs/thighs under and place the chicken in the crockpot.
- Top the chicken with the remaining lemon slices and thyme.
- Cook on high for 4 hours.