Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

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I recently realized that I didn’t need a rotisserie to make this Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken. As you can tell from the title, I only needed a slow cooker!

Few things in life feel as homey and wonderful as coming home to a house that smells like dinner is ready and waiting. Better still is when it actually IS ready and waiting.

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken, shredded and displayed on a white plate, ready to enjoy as is or in any number of recipes using chicken.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved rotisserie chicken. The tenderness of the meat outdoes anything I’ve ever been able to bake in an oven or fry in a skillet. But since I don’t have a rotisserie, I’ve always purchased my birdies at Whole Foods (the only place I’ve ever been able to find a clean rotisserie chicken!).

When I wrote my first cookbook, (amazon affiliate link) I started learning a bit more about cooking meats in a slow cooker. I experimented with several and quickly realized that a rotisserie style chicken was completely doable in a slow cooker. And the best part (in my humble opinion), is that you also get some gravy and chicken stock out of the deal. Not too shabby for one little bird!

This particular clean eating slow cooker rotisserie chicken recipe is super simple. It takes about 5-10 minutes to get the bird ready, then you just plop it in the slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it for the next 8 to 10 hours. So your slow cooker will cook dinner for you all day long and provide you with a very tender bird at the end of your work day. Not a bad deal all the way around. And if you really want a complete dinner ready to go, add a few veggies to the crock. Things like carrots, onions and celery do well here.

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SLOW COOKER ROTISSERIE CHICKEN RECIPE:

Clean Eating Whole Slow Cooker Chicken

Slow Cooker Rosemary Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie chicken at home does not require and actual rotisserie. All you need is a slow cooker!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 whole chicken
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 6 lb. chicken give or take (Do NOT use a frozen chicken!)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium lemon (sliced, 1/4 inch thick slices – optional)

Instructions

  • If your chicken came with the gizzards, remove them from the cavity of the chicken. (I don’t use them, but if you do, pack them away for another use in the future).
  • Mix your spices together in a small bowl and using your hands, coat the whole outside of the chicken with your spices.
  • Slide your hand between the skin and the meat, separating the skin from the flesh. Spread any remaining spices under the skin and then slide as many lemons slices as you can under the skin as well.
  • If you have any lemon slices left over, stuff them in the cavity of the chicken.
  • Place the entire bird in a slow cooker (between 4 and 6 quarts works best). No oil or water is needed. Cook on low for 8 hours. If you want to cook some vegetables with this, simply put them in the slow cooker first and place your chicken on top of them. With veggies, you will need closer to 10 hours. Every slow cooker is different. It’s important to know how your slow cooker cooks.
  • IMPORTANT: You absolutely MUST check the temperature of your chicken before removing it from the slow cooker. It should be at least 180 F.

Notes

Nutrition data not available for this recipe and will vary based on the size chicken you buy and the servings you get from it.

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64 Comments

  1. I love BBQ (rotisserie) chicken, too! I don’t have a slow cooker, but have been thinking for awhile that I should get one…I agree…there is nothing better than coming home when dinner is cooked, ready and waiting!

  2. This sounds absolutely amazing! I have a couple chickens in the freezer. Going downstairs in 2 seconds to bring one upstairs to that. Dinner tomorrow!!! Thank you so much for the share! You rock!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Just be sure you defrost the chicken first! This won’t work with a frozen chicken.

  3. This sounds absolutely fantastic! But, how is it that the chicken cooks without liquid? I’d be afraid to leave my slow cooker on in the house all day while I was gone with a chicken without liquid. But, I’m not very experienced with the slow cooker whatsoever.

    Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Juices come out of the chicken as it cooks. My next recipe is for the gravy I made with that liquid. If you are very nervous about it, try it on a weekend day when you can be home and keep an eye on it.

  4. Nikki Harris says:

    If you really want it to be a little crispier on the outside like a true rotisserie, try balling up some aluminum foil and placing it in the bottom of your slow cooker. It will allow the drippings to run off giving the bird that perfect combination of cripy skin and juicy insides!

  5. This sounds delicious.
    About the veggies… Would you just cut up potatoes, carrots, etc and put them underneath? Will they soak up too much grease from the chicken?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      They do soak up some of the grease, yes. And yes, you would just put them under the chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker

  6. I have this cooking right now… Perfect for this 18 degree Sunday here in Chicago. Thanks for sharing. I love your website 🙂

  7. Thank you. I look forward to trying this. My slow cooker gets a lot of use during the work week and soccer practice days.

  8. Constance smith says:

    Love crock pot recipes! Can’t wait to try this one!!!! Thanks!

  9. Janeen DeGeorge says:

    Wow!! This looks good and easy. Love the little crockpot warmer o. Facebook too~

  10. Karen Pomeroy says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it out!

  11. I just tried this chicken this evening, and found my chicken breast turned out tough and skin wasn’t brown. We had a bed of veggies (which turned out great!), and had the chicken propped up on an old-tuna fish can (w/out the label). We did have it in the slow cooker for 9 hrs on low, and then I turned the slow cooker ‘off’ (didn’t unplug), and the lid off, so it could cool off.
    Any thoughts of what could be improved- w/ tender chicken breast and a more ‘golden skin’?
    I’m thinking I had it in the slow cooker too long? Perhaps my slow-cooker runs too hot?
    Does the ‘balls of foil’ work differently than the tuna can?
    Thanks for your suggestions! Oh yeah- next step- going to try the bone broth- perhaps w/ the perpetual bone broth recipe posted the other day! (looking forward to that)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I would guess you cooked it too long, although I’ve done it for 8 hours and it was just fine. How big was the chicken? I’ve also never propped up the chicken on a can. I just lay it in there. How big is your slow cooker?

      To brown the skin, you can just put the bird under a broiler for a couple of minutes. It won’t get brown or crunchy in the slow cooker. It’s too moist in there for that.

      It’s possible your slow cooker burns hot, but I would imagine it’s just how it was done. Plus, if the cooker is too big for the amount of food, that can cause issues too.

      A note on the perpetual bone broth: After day 4, it started smelling sour. Not sure what happened there, but will have to ask the person who did that post. It was very strange.

  12. silly question~would a crock pot work for this, or do you need a traditional slow cooker?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Crock-Pot® is a registered trademark. Slow cooker, is the name of the actual appliance. So you can have a Hamilton beach slow cooker, or a Crock-Pot® slow cooker. Either way, it’s a slow cooker.

  13. This is simply Amazing. I am so thankful for your recipes and ideas!
    Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs ever!

  14. I have been looking for a recipe with Rosemary. Cant wait to try it! Thx

  15. Would you have another herb you would recommend in place of rosemary?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Laurel – You can use any herbs you like. Tarragon is good on chicken, or you can just use garlic and onion powder. Some folks like to add a little paprika too. There are no hard and fast rules for this.

  16. This chicken feel apart when I tried to take it out of the slow cooker. I was thrilled with that however, it was extremely bitter tasting! What did I do wrong?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – Bitter? That’s odd. Did you change or add any spices? Was the chicken fresh? What temp did you cook at?

  17. Lori MacKenzie says:

    Wow! This was awesome… I didn’t have fresh rosemary and decided to go with Montreal Steak Spice… OMG! Hubby loved it!! And so, so easy!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lori – Fantastic!

  18. Was looking online for a lemon garlic whole chicken slow cooker recipe – going to make this in the morning. Thank you!

    Julie – I read that rosemary can turn bitter when cooked too long. I’m going to add a couple sprigs on top towards the end.

  19. Could I make this with chicken breasts?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chelsea – Sure!!

  20. Would I simply just sub the chicken breasts for the whole chicken or would I need to add some broth? How many breasts?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chelsea – How big of a slow cooker do you have? How many quarts?

  21. I’m not sure… It’s a good size.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chelsea – I would need to know how many quarts your slow cooker is to tell you exactly. But if it fits a whole chicken, I’m guessing you could go for 4-6 breasts. That’s just a guess though. Any time I put chicken breasts in a slow cooker, I use enough to make 1 layer in the bottom of the slow cooker. You might also want to add a little something to help tenderize it. The breasts don’t have fat on them like a whole chicken does. So either vinegar, lemon juice or tomato sauce of some type.

  22. I made this BEAUTIFUL chicken the other day and my kids (who hate everything it seems) LOVED IT. I used it in my clean enchilada casserole & they went bonkers. “This chicken is so good!” I was amazed. I even had plenty to share (I like to take small meals to my 80 year old grandma) and she loved it too! (she has a hard time with consistency, etc and is a picky eater) THANK YOU!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amanda C – My pleasure! 🙂

  23. I made this yesterday while I was at work, and it turned out delicious. The chicken was so juicy that it was falling off the bone. My only problem was that I ended up stuck at work for an extra two hours, overcooking the breast meat a bit. Nonetheless, it was a hit with the fiancee.

    I also made gravy and chicken stock, bonus! Thanks for the wonderful idea! Next time I’ll try it with other flavors and herbs.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Christie – So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  24. Taylor Widler says:

    Is there a way you can use the slow cooker on high for less time!!! I totally forgot to take out my bird early this morning and have it under warm water trying to defrost it as fast as possible so I can throw it in the slower cooker by 12:30, but really don’t want to have to eat so late:( Did I majorly drop the ball on this one!???

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Taylor – I wouldn’t defrost under water, especially warm water. The thawing will be too uneven. You can try cooking it on high, but I doubt you’ll shorten the time much. Sorry!

  25. hi….I think you leave out small details that new cooks might miss, such as rinsing off the chicken, raw chicken precautions, breast up or down…or perhaps these things are not important?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Laurie – I never rinse my chicken, which is why I don’t mention it. I’m not sure which raw chicken precautions you are referring to. To wash your hands after handling perhaps? As for breast up or down, it’s never mattered to me. The chicken cooks fine one way or the other.

  26. I’ve made this twice and absolutely LOVE it! Any tips for removing the chicken from the crock pot? Mine falls apart in the crock pot making it difficult to remove. Any tips/ suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – Ya, mine kinda does too. I use two very large spoons and use them like tongs. Sometimes I get the whole bird, sometimes I don’t. But either way, it’s pretty easy to scoop out with big spoons. Plus they are slotted, so I don’t have to worry about taking a ton of the liquid with it.

  27. Laurie Tsonetokoy says:

    made it once, making it again today. added more herbs this time. can’t wait to get home to a cooked bird!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Laurie – Wonderful!!! Enjoy it! 🙂

  28. Mary Pat Filer says:

    I am making this tomorrow after I come home from preschool, can’t wait to smell that delish scent in my home 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mary Pat – Fantastic! I hope you enjoy it! 😀

  29. Have chicken breasts in the crock right now – I just put some butter pieces on top of them. Smells soooooo good!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashely H – I bet!!

  30. I tend to be out of the house for ten hours with traffic and long work hours. Do you know if it would work best to use your recipe and have the slow cooker turn to warm for the extra time or would the chicken dry out?

    Thank you,
    Susan

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Susan – I think the meat would be really overdone at that point. Sorry. 🙁

  31. Denise Passero says:

    I am putting this in the crockpot right now. I will let you all know how it comes out. It looks like it is going to be amazing. Great for summer when you don’t want to turn on the oven.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Denise – Let me know how it turns out!

  32. Denise Passero says:

    I just served this chicken. It is wonderful. Simple and so worth it. I was hoping to be able to make chicken salad for lunches but my husband is on this thing like a dog on a bone. I think he ate both breasts off this chicken in one plateful. And he used the juice from the chicken as a gravy on the meat. Great recipe!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Denise – Thanks for the feedback! I’m so happy you both enjoyed it! 😀

  33. Trying this tonight!! A little nervous about starting on low, so I thought I would first start on high, then turn down. Can’t wait!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michele – You will need to shorten the cooking time then so it doesn’t dry out. Hope you enjoy it!

  34. Can the liquid that is left over be used as “chicken broth”? Maybe frozen until needed? Or is there something else that you typically need to add to make it “broth”? Thanks

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – You absolutely can. I usually strain it to get all the bits out, then put it in a pan and mix in some spices. Maybe garlic powder and onion powder. Add a little whole grain flour to thicken it up.

  35. I’m obviously a newbie when it comes to cooking so I have a question. How do you tenderize the chicken breasts with vinegar for this recipe? Do you put the vinegar in the crock pot to cook or let the breasts sit in the vinegar and then take the breasts out of the vinegar and cook them? Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Audra – If you mean what I mentioned in a different comment here, it’s something you would just add to the slow cooker for the cooking process. When you cook meats in a slow cooker, it’s best to add something acidic because that will make the meat tender. So it could be tomato sauce, vinegar or lemon juice. For this recipe I didn’t use any because I used a whole chicken which has all it’s fat. That tends to help with moisture. But if you are making just breasts, then I recommend adding something acidic to the crock. Is that what you meant?

  36. Bonnie Roth says:

    I have a problem with mixing the seasoning together. Since the rosemary is moist, when I add the garlic powder, it gets all clumpy and difficult to spread over the outside of the chicken. Any suggestions?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Bonnie – It’s okay if it does that. If it really bothers you, you can use dry rosemary. But otherwise, just “press” the herbs on, or even skip mixing them in the bowl and simply sprinkle them on individually. However, if you are referring to the herbs that go under the skin, those do get clumpy. It won’t hurt anything though. Just do your best to spread it out. Whatever works best. Let me know how it works out!

      1. Bonnie Roth says:

        I ended up putting them in the oven on low for 10-15 minutes to dry them out. They spread easily after that. I will try putting the garlic powder on first and then the rosemary separately next time. It’s in my crockpot right now. Can’t wait to get home after work and have dinner all ready.

        1. The Gracious Pantry says:

          Bonnie – Great! Let me know how it turns out! 😀

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