One of my favorite dinners is roasted chicken. As with salmon, I’m incredibly picky about how my chicken is prepared. Roasted chicken has it all- crispy skin, juicy meat, and flavorful vegetables drenched in the natural stock. However, I rarely prepare roasted chickens for dinner anymore. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but despite the fact that I cook for a living, I’m bad at planning our meals in advance. The two are probably connected. Slow cooker whole chicken is a nice alternative I’ve recently discovered.
While you lose the crispy skin (which, let’s be honest, it the best part of the roasted chicken), you get all of the wonderful juices associated with the roasting, as well as the savory, meaty vegetables. Also, I have a habit of basting roasted chickens with a lot of olive oil or butter, so this is technically a lighter alternative.
I’ve used Herbes de Provence as the spice blend here. It’s widely available in grocery stores, and it pairs very well with chicken and lemon. It’s a mix of savory, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, oregano, and lavender (not all versions contain the lavender, though. It’s subtle). Your kitchen will smell amazing while this is cooking.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch slices
- 3 large or 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed
- optional: 1 cup green beans, trimmed
- 5-6 pound whole chicken, insides removed
- 1 lemon, quartered
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence.
- Break apart the onion segments and spread them evenly on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the carrots, garlic, and green beans, if using.
- Pat the chicken dry using paper towels. Press the spice mixture evenly on all sides of the chicken, as well as sprinkling some inside the cavity. Place the lemon quarters inside the chicken.
- Place the chicken into the slow cooker. (Note: you might need to adjust the vegetables, moving some around the sides so the lid will close properly. For reference, I used a 6-quart slow cooker).
- Sprinkle the additional teaspoon of Herbes de Provence on top and close the lid. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
- When the chicken has finish cooking, it will still be in tact, but will fall apart very easily. With a large bowl directly next to the slow cooker, use tongs to transfer the chicken. It’s ok if it breaks apart; this might need to be done in stages. Separate the meat from the bones. Shred the chicken delicately using two forks.
- Serve chicken with the vegetables (discard the lemon wedges), and drizzle the liquid on top.