The Best Slow Cooker Roast Chicken Ever (in my humble opinion of course!)

A few weeks back I shared a recipe for a Roasted Butternut Squash, Blue Cheese and Farro dish that I made for my girlfriends on a night that we were all trying to detox a bit from the holidays. In that post, I also promised to share the amazing slow cooker chicken that I served with it. Well, guess what? Here it is!

That day in early January was my first attempt at cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker, and luckily, it was a HUGE success. Since then, I’ve made this recipe no less than 5 times. That means that I’ve made this at least once every 2 weeks, and believe me, that’s saying something. Sure, there are a few recipes that I enjoy making time and time again, but I don’t think I’ve ever done one quite that much!

Over those weeks, I’ve tweaked it here and there, but in the end, I’ve come back to exactly how I made it that first night. (Which – because that’s the way I roll – was already slightly tweaked from the original recipe).

A couple of things I want to stress: (1) you must use garam masala (2) you must create the “paste” as instructed and not just try to do a dry rub. The beautiful flavor that you get from the garam masala on this chicken is just incredible, and the paste under and on the skin keeps it evenly distributed and perfectly moist.

Now excuse me while I go mix up my spices to make this lovely bird yet again….



The Best Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Serves 4-6. Slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 (3.5 - 4 lbs) whole chicken, giblets discarded

1 lemon, quartered


Microwave oil, chili powder, garam masala, garlic, salt, and pepper in bowl, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute; let cool slightly.

Use your fingers to gently loosen skin covering breast and thighs of chicken; place half of paste under skin, directly on meat of breast and thighs. Gently press on skin to distribute paste over meat. Spread entire exterior surface of chicken with remaining paste and place chicken, breast side down, in slow cooker. Add quartered lemon quarters to the inside of the chicken. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low (or until breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees).

Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve chicken and serve.

6 Responses to “The Best Slow Cooker Roast Chicken”

  1. 1

    danielle — March 10, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    I’ll be trying this this week. I am always looking for a good slow cooker recipe for busy weeknights that are full of afterschool activities. This sounds great!

  2. 2

    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — March 10, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    Can’t wait to try this!

  3. 3

    Annakate — March 11, 2014 @ 9:39 am

    This looks delicious! I’ll have to try putting the rub under the skin. Bet that makes for a mighty tasty bird. Slow cookers rule!

  4. 4

    Nicole Elliott — March 11, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    So excited to try. I have a big bag of garam masala spice that I have been looking for yummy ways to use!

  5. 5

    Lori — March 22, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

    I’m wondering if the size of the crockpot effects cooking time? I’ve made this twice and each time the chicken was just under 4lbs. Both times I cooked on low for five hours and I couldn’t get the temperature past 155F. Had to put it in the oven for another 30 minutes to reach the 160 mark. My crockpot is the 6 qt size. Meat was nice and moist though!

  6. 6

    Keith Jenkins — July 1, 2016 @ 8:22 pm

    You need to cook it in the oblong slow cookers.

    You can also cut carrot and potatoes, placing them on the bottom and then the chicken on top of that. It will not only keep the bottom of the chicken from getting mushy, but give you some delicious side items to eat with them.

    If you do, then cook it for 5-6 hours on low. No water needed. Juices from the chicken will baste them all.

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