Whole Chicken and Broth from a Slow Cooker

This is our go-to whole chicken "recipe", originally from Coco, though it is so stinkin easy I feel bad even calling it a recipe. You need an onion, a chicken, and some seasonings. I even did it once without any seasonings and the chicken was still very good {though I didn't make broth that time}. 

Makes 1 chicken and 4 quarts of broth


  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped.
  • Whole chicken, 3-4 lbs

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp majoram
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Place chopped onion on the bottom of crockpot--you do not need to add any water or other liquid. 
  2. Take a 3-4 pound whole chicken and remove the giblets, neck and/or the liver from inside {if there is any present}.
  3. Rub the seasoning mix inside and out, on top of the skin and under the skin. 
    This is the most disgusting picture I have ever used, but it wasn't until recently that I learned how to rub seasoning "underneath the skin". I found that the skin seperates from the meat of the chicken, you just have to wiggle your fingers/hand in there to detach the stubborn areas. I have come a long way because, up until about a year ago, I could care less about even eating meat for dinner if it meant I had to touch it in order to prepare it. Just make sure you wash your sink really well before and after. 
  4. Place chicken on top of the onion and you're ready to turn up the heat! 
  5. Cook the chicken in the slow cooker on high for around 3 hours or on low for around 6 hours. The time may vary depending on your slow cooker. You don't want to take the lid off many times because it releases all the heat, but I prefer to take the internal temperature about an hour before I am expecting it to be done to see how close it is. Poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees fahrenheit. Several times I have followed a recipe and cooked it the full time recommended only to find that the internal temperature was well over 200 and the meat was less moist. If you have an internal themometer, use it. Ideally, you will learn your slow cooker and adjust cooks times accordingly.
    See all the liquid in the bottom of the pot just a few hours later? No need for extra water! 
  6. Carve to eat and serve with you favorite sides--hopefully a variety of vegetables! 
  7. After carving, you may easily place all the bones, skin and onion back in the slow cooker to make broth--just fill it with water and leave it to cook on low all night.
  8. The next day, strain liquid through a very fine strainer and pour into quart-size bags to freeze.

Additional notes

If you don't have all of those seasonings, no worries, just use what you have!

If it seems like my broth is really dark for the first batch, I sometimes actually make two batches of broth from the same chicken {it tends to get darker if we leave some of the meat on the bones to make broth}. After I strain it the first time, I just fill it back up with water again. The second batch isn't quite as dark and flavorful as the first, but I still think it is better than the broth in the cans at the grocery. Enjoy!

Did you try this recipe?
Did you make any substitutions or have any suggestions? 

Let me know what you thought!