slow cooker fall apart chicken

If you haven’t noticed, the amount of meat in our freezer is getting a little bit out of control.

Before we got our meat CSA, I had no idea how little meat we actually ate during the week, but it turns out our preference is to generally only eat meat once or twice a week. So with 4-5 pounds of it coming in our CSA box each week and a tiny freezer bursting at its seams, it is time to chow down something serious. Sorry vegetarians, expect to see a rampant amount of meat recipes over the next few weeks.

I think one of the things I don’t like about cooking meat (especially chicken) during the work week is how finicky it can be. You have to defrost it. Use a special cutting board. Wash your hands a million times. Make sure the temperature is right. That’s a lot of work just to have some grilled chicken. Because of my extreme meat laziness, I am (obviously) all about the quick and easy meat recipes, and boy do I have one for you today!

A typical oven-roasted chicken is a thing of beauty. Easy, delicious and totally impressive, it is one of my favorite go-to Sunday dinners. But, roasting a chicken requires an oven on full-blast for upwards of an hour and I just don’t have that kind of time after I get home for work. Plus, in the summer, leaving our oven on for that long makes our kitchen unbearably hot. Enter the working person’s favorite appliance—the slow cooker!

Did you know you can cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker? 10 minutes of prep in the morning before work and you come home to succulent, super flavorful, falling off the bone chicken. Don’t tell my oven this, but it might even be better than a roasted chicken.

There is nothing slow cooker specific about this particular recipe, you could just as easily use these flavorings in your oven. A lot of people choose to roast the chicken in the slow cooker over top of something to elevate it (crumpled up foil, potatoes, onions, etc.) but I find that it works just fine just sitting in the bowl of slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Fall Apart Chicken


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 roasting chicken, rinsed and patted dry (make sure it fits in your slow cooker!)
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Season the skin of the chicken and inside the cavity liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Inside the cavity, stuff the onion, lemon, rosemary, thyme and garlic cloves (no need to remove the papers).
  3. Place the chicken, breast-side down, in the slow cooker and cover.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on size of the bird, until meat is literally falling off the bones. It should be so soft that you can “cut” through the chicken with a spatula or spoon.


  1. says

    I don’t work outside of the home anymore, but this is one that I will try. I enjoy using my crockpot, so that when my Tommy gets home, all I have to do is a few veggies and I am done. Thanks for sharing.

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