Did you know you could cook an entire chicken in a slow cooker? That’s right. It’s one of the Test Kitchen’s favorite methods for cooking whole chicken. Not only does it allow you to keep the oven off or free it up for making sides dishes or dessert, slow cooking chicken leaves you with a juicy, tender bird.
Slow cooker lemon thyme chicken is the perfect springtime recipe to have on hand. Make it to serve for dinner on the patio as the weather warms or for your Sunday meal prep. You could serve it for dinner on Sunday and save leftovers to toss into salads, tacos, or rice bowls throughout the week. Winner winner chicken dinner, indeed.
Lemon thyme chicken is especially delicious thanks to a homemade herb butter we put under the skin before cooking. Use a Hamilton Beach® hand mixer to whip butter until it’s light and fluffy. Add parsley, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper and beat until the herb butter is well blended. Then use your hand to spread the butter under the skin of the chicken breast. It gets a little messy but it’s totally worth the end results.
Quarter an onion and add half to the slow cooker crock and gently place the chicken on top. The onions will help lift the bird off of the bottom of the crock, so the lower half of the bird won’t cook in the juices and get soggy. Stuff the cavity with the rest of the onion, herbs, and lemon for a beautiful presentation and to add extra flavor to the meat. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
Slow cooker lemon thyme chicken puts the spring in spring chicken. Garnished with extra lemon slices and sprigs of fresh thyme, this beautiful bird will surely fly off the table. Serve with a simple spring salad or shred leftovers for meals throughout the week. No need to pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store when you can make your own whole chicken at home in your slow cooker.