How to cook a Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooked Roast Chicken
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Slow Cooked Chicken is one of my favourite lazy Sunday dishes. The chicken can be put in the slow cooker in the morning (or afternoon if you have less time) and left to gently cook whilst you do something more interesting. Towards the very end of the cooking time you can give it a quick blast in the oven to crisp up for 15-20 mins and you’re done.

Some people like to use a foil sling under the chicken whilst it cooks but I never bother. I simply put the chicken into the slow cooker, add a splash of water (you could use stock or wine if you prefer).  It goes on low if I have all day and on high if I only have the afternoon. 

When it goes in the oven you could cover it in honey, or you could add a little salt, salt and freshly ground pepper

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Ingredients

  • A medium/large chicken
  • A splash of water/stock or white wine
  • Herbs or spices to taste. Rosemary and Thyme go well with chicken. If you were wanting something a little more spicy you could sprinkle the chicken with a little hot paprika before cooking instead of the herbs.
  • A little sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A splash of oil 

Method

Remove all packaging from the chicken. If you’ve bought it from a butcher check inside it to ensure that they haven’t left you a little bag with giblets in. If they have, remove and discard the giblets.

Place chicken in slow cooker. Some people like placing the chicken breast side down as they feel it helps keep it moist. Personally I don’t think it matters too much either way.

Add the liquid (some people don’t use liquid, but I would always use a splash of liquid a) as an insurance policy as I have heard (albeit rare) tales of ceramic slow cookers cracking without any liquid in them and b) because it helps to keep the meat moist. 

Sprinkle with any herbs or spices you might be using and replace the lid.

Cook on high for the afternoon or low all day. If you’re at home with the slow cooker it is worth keeping an eye on the chicken as chicken is a very soft meat and can cook quicker than you’d think. 

Towards the end of the cooking time or if it starts looking like it’s going to drop to bits take it out, transfer the chicken to an oven proof dish and cook at about Gas mark 7 (200oC) for about 20 mins until it’s golden and crispy.

Ideally you want to remove it BEFORE it starts dropping to bits. The first time I cooked one I left it in all day and spent hours trying to fish out bits of chicken, skin and bone. If this happens to you, try cooking it for one hour less next time and see if that helps. 

Each slow cooker is different and so the important thing to consider is how long your slow cooker is going to take to cook your chicken!  Always ensure it’s piping hot throughout before serving and that the juices run clear. 

 As you get to know your slow cooker you will see how long your slow cooker takes to cook the size of chicken you normally buy and be able to adjust your timings accordingly.

To Serve

Serving suggestions include homemade Yorkshire puddings and Cauliflower Cheese

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What to do with the leftovers

  • Use in sandwiches or a wrap with a little salad, salad cream or mayo for lunch the next day
  • Cook and cool some pasta twists or bows, drain carefully, add salad and a little pesto. Add some chunks of leftover chicken and stir
  • Make into chicken noodle soup 
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