Slow Cooker: Roast Chicken

I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems that a lovely Roast Chicken has become our Sunday night staple.  Partly because it’s easy and I can make stock form the bones and partly because my son loves it (especially the crispy skin) and the polenta crusted roast potatoes I make on the side.

A few years ago someone ( I think it was Bells, but I’m not sure) told me about cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker.  Since then, I have adapted it slightly and made it my own.  The joy of  a chicken in the slow cooker is that it is hard to screw up (and it stops your oven getting all filthy).  So I thought I would share the process with you and perhaps, in time, it will become your Sunday night staple as well.

When preparing the chicken I usually cut off a little of the excess skin around the bottom area.  I then wash the chicken and pat dry.  Season the inside with salt and pop in a quartered lemon and some herbs (your choice).  I usually tie the legs together with some cooking string just to keep it all neat and tidy.

Chickens release quite a lot of juice.  To ensure that the chicken doesn’t drown in its own juices in the slow cooker, I place on the base of the bowl, enough halved onions (or washed potatoes) to cover the base and allow the chicken to sit on top.  This ensures the chicken is raised and the juices remain underneath the chicken (you can make a great sauce from this as well).

Pour over the chicken some extra virgin olive oil and sea salt flakes (table salt is fine – but I love sea salt flakes).  Pop on the lid and cook for 3hrs on HIGH OR 5-6hrs on LOW.  Contrary to popular belief, I do think you can ruin food in the slow cooker.  If cooked for too long, chicken can become dry and mushy.  So be careful and try to stick to the set time for cooking.

After the set time you end up with a succulent roast chicken (minus the crispy skin – which is a shame).  You do get a little colour on the skin, but nothing like you would if you were to do it in the oven.  If you can accept that – then you will enjoy this chicken.

As an absolute “must” for this dish I also make Polenta crusted roast Potatoes.  You’ll find lots of recipes online for these – but mine are as follows:

Peel your potatoes (I use whatever potatoes I have as well sweet potato) and chop them in half (or quarters if they are large).  I then par-boil them in salted water for 4 minutes (from boiling point).  Drain the potatoes and pop the lid back on, shake them around so that they get a little rough around the edges.  Coat them in polenta (by pouring over the polenta, popping on the lid and shaking them again).  Place the potatoes in the roasting dish and pour over olive oil and sea salt.  Shake them all around again so that most of the oil is covering each potato.  Cook in the oven for about 1 hour at 180C.

This meal is a real winner in our home and oh so easy.  I also cook the chicken in the oven with the potatoes often as well.  No doubt you all know how to do that – but if you want any pointers then let me know and I’ll post about that as well.

Happy long weekend and may it be filled with lots of roast meat and veges!!!  Of and perhaps a pudding too!


PS.  If you would like to use the chicken juices for a sauce then just pour the juice into a small saucepan.  Add some sea salt and a big glug of white whine.  Then boil it up and allow it to reduce and thicken slightly!!!  Fabulous!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bells
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 13:31:24

    i reckon it probably was me. Before I had an oven, slow cooker roast chook was my entry into the world of cooking with whole birds. But it’s been so long since I did it that I don’t even know what I did so I shall copy you. Nice idea to sit it on vegetables. I’ve seen Jamie Oliver do that with all sorts of meat in general roasting. Love the way the juices flow down to them.

    I would miss the cripsy skin, but I eat too much of it anyway so probably wouldn’t hurt to go without.


  2. David Hilyard
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 14:05:55

    Confused – you say”cook for 3hrs on HIGH and 5-6hrs on LOW”

    Is that AND or OR? I don’t have a slow cooker, so I’m not up to speed here. 8 – 9 hours seems a long time. But, then again, it is called a SLOW cooker …

    Sounds lovely, but


    • Delly
      Jun 09, 2011 @ 14:12:07

      Hi David – thanks for picking up the typo. I’ve changed it to OR!! It’s slow but it’s not that S L O W!!


  3. 2paw
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 19:32:42

    I’ve cooked a chicken that way, but I have to confess, since a butterflied chook will roast in 45 minutes, I’m for the fast bird!! Your slow chook looks very delectable!!


  4. JT
    Aug 13, 2012 @ 11:06:37

    I for one would like the pointers on oven cooking the chicken!


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