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Herbed Butter Crockpot Whole Chicken Recipe

If you’ve ever doubted the possibility of cooking a whole chicken in a crockpot, let this recipe be the proof that it’s not only possible but incredibly delicious. With a simple herbed butter rub and minimal fuss, you can achieve tender, juicy chicken with crispy skin that falls off the bone effortlessly. Here’s how to do it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (around 4-5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Fresh herbs (optional, for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Herbed Butter:
  • In a small bowl, mix the softened butter with minced garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences. Feel free to add any other herbs or seasonings you like.
  1. Prep the Chicken:
  • Pat the whole chicken dry with paper towels. This helps the butter adhere better and ensures a crispy skin.
  • Gently loosen the skin from the meat using your fingers, being careful not to tear it. Create pockets on both sides of the breast and thighs.
  1. Apply the Herbed Butter:
  • Take half of the herbed butter mixture and spread it evenly under the skin of the chicken, pushing it into the pockets you created. Massage the skin to distribute the butter.
  • Rub the remaining herbed butter all over the outside of the chicken, ensuring it’s thoroughly coated.
  1. Season the Chicken:
  • Sprinkle onion powder, salt, and pepper all over the chicken, providing extra flavor to the skin and meat.
  1. Stuff with Lemon:
  • Place the halved lemon inside the cavity of the chicken. This adds a subtle citrus flavor and helps keep the chicken moist during cooking.
  1. Crockpot Cooking:
  • Place the prepared chicken directly into the crockpot, breast side up. No need to add any liquid or line the crockpot with foil.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for approximately 6-8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the chicken and your crockpot.
  1. Check for Doneness:
  • To ensure the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should register 165°F (75°C) in the thickest part of the breast and thigh.
  1. Serve and Enjoy:
  • Carefully transfer the cooked chicken to a serving platter or foil pan. The chicken should be so tender that it falls off the bone effortlessly.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs if desired, and serve hot with your favorite side dishes.

With this easy crockpot whole chicken recipe, you’ll achieve perfectly cooked chicken with minimal effort. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a weekend feast, this dish is sure to impress with its crispy skin, juicy meat, and flavorful herbed butter infusion. So, skip the oven and give your crockpot the spotlight for a delicious meal every time!

See also  Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

1. Can I use a different type of poultry for this recipe?

  • While this recipe is tailored for a whole chicken, you can adapt it for other poultry such as turkey breast or duck. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the size and type of meat you choose.

2. Can I use store-bought flavored butter instead of making my own herbed butter?

  • Absolutely! If you prefer convenience, you can use store-bought flavored butter or even herb-infused olive oil for a similar effect. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning to your taste.

3. Do I need to add any liquid to the crockpot?

  • No, you don’t need to add any liquid. The chicken will release its juices as it cooks, creating a flavorful broth without the need for additional liquid. Plus, the dry heat helps achieve crispy skin.

4. How do I ensure the skin gets crispy without using the oven or broiler?

  • The combination of the herbed butter and the slow cooking process helps crisp up the skin naturally. By rubbing the butter under and over the skin and cooking on low heat for an extended period, you’ll achieve crispy and golden-brown skin without the need for additional steps.

5. Can I add vegetables to the crockpot with the chicken?

  • Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, or celery to the crockpot around the chicken for a complete meal. Just keep in mind that denser vegetables may require longer cooking times, so plan accordingly.

6. How do I store leftover cooked chicken?

  • Once the chicken has cooled, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftover chicken for longer storage. Just make sure to remove the meat from the bones before freezing for easier reheating later.

7. Can I use the leftover bones to make chicken broth?

  • Absolutely! Don’t let those flavorful bones go to waste. Simply simmer them with water, vegetables, and herbs to create a delicious homemade chicken broth that you can use in soups, stews, and sauces.

8. Can I use the same method in an Instant Pot instead of a crockpot?

  • Yes, you can adapt this recipe for an Instant Pot. Follow the same steps for preparing the chicken and herbed butter, then cook on high pressure for about 6-8 minutes per pound of chicken. Allow for natural pressure release before opening the lid.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, you’ll have all the information you need to successfully prepare and enjoy this herbed butter crockpot whole chicken recipe. Happy cooking!