Fauxtisserie Chicken

CATEGORIES: Kate, Poultry, Slow-Cooker

The public has spoken–faux rotisserie chicken it is! Don’t worry, my little pretties, we’ll have Texas Sheet Cake soon.

So I’ll admit that one of my greatest fears in life is raw poultry; it all stems back to my mom telling me not to put my toothbrush on the bathroom counter when I was little because I’d get salmonella from the pet goldfish and that raw poultry also carried salmonella, yada yada yada. I always live in fear of undercooking poultry, especially whole birds, and usually end up overcooking them, even when I use my trusty meat thermometers. Yes, I have three. Add in the fact that the more I handle dead animals when they still resemble their live animal selves, the less I like whatever it is I’m cooking.

Suffice it to say that me + a whole chicken = culinary disaster. I actually once had a real, true panic attack while skinning a whole raw chicken.
So this recipe is for me and people like me. It’s easy. You barely touch the dang thing. And after 8 hours or so in the slow cooker, it’s guaranteed to be done. Even better? It tastes just like the rotisserie chicken you get fully-cooked and fully-priced from the grocery store!
Now, you may wonder (as I have) what one does with a whole cooked chicken. Sometimes we just slice it up like you would a turkey and eat it with potatoes and a salad. Or you could make a big chef salad and toss the chicken on it. You could throw it in fried rice, chow mein, chicken noodle soup, on top of BBQ chicken pizza, or use it in any number of recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken like enchiladas, pot pie, or casseroles. Dip it in BBQ sauce, shred it for cold chicken sandwiches, or make chicken salad with it. It’s super versatile and a great thing to know how to do! And it’s way better than boiling it. Waaaaaaaaaaay better.

Fauxtisserie Chicken
Our Best Bites
1 whole chicken, small enough to fit in your slow cooker
Salt-based seasoning (Seasoning salt, Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper with salt in it, etc. Just make sure salt is one of the first ingredients on the label.)
Whole garlic cloves, peeled

Make 3 balls of aluminum foil and place them in the bottom of your slow cooker. These hold the chicken off the bottom so the hot air can circulate all around the chicken and so it’s not stewing in its own juices.

Rinse chicken, including the cavity, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on its back so the breast is facing up and the legs are on the plate. If you want (and I actually strongly recommend that you do UNLESS you’re looking for a neutral flavor), pull the skin up all around the chicken. This does involve sticking your hand between the skin and the breast. Oooh, sounds dirty. Slice a few garlic cloves in half lengthwise and stick them under the skin. You can also arrange a couple sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and/or sage under the skin. This makes a very pretty chicken when it’s all cooked and adds a lot of flavor.

Rub salt-based seasoning VERY liberally onto the skin of the chicken. Place chicken breast-up on the foil in the slow cooker, cover, turn heat to low, and leave it alone for 7-8 hours.

(And by breast side up I mean, completely opposite of the pictures shown in this post. Hey, you try photographing every step of your dinner and see if you make it all the way through without an upside-down chicken every once and a while…!)

This poor guy has no idea what’s coming…

I actually didn’t take it out of the slow cooker for the last picture because it’s so tender that the legs and wings will literally fall off when you pull it out. But that makes for some yummy chicken! Try it with steak fries or Sara’s Stuffed Bleu Cheese Potatoes.


  1. Looks yummy AND I love me a slow cooker recipe. Don’t worry Kate, you’re not the only one that’s afraid of salmonella. My daughter Kate actually got it from a babysitter when she was 10 months old. Scary! Needless to say I’m a little freaky too when it comes to poultry!

  2. Glad I’m not the only cook who is freaked out by poultry–I can never get it right. It’s such a fine line between underdone and overdone. I usually stick with the Crockpot. Thanks for this recipe! I hope my Crockpot is big enough.

  3. Oh, look at you, Jen, clever girl! If I were a copycat, I’d totally change this to “Faux-tisserie Chicken”!

  4. I tried it and it was amazing both for dinner and the next day when I used it in a salad for our play-group. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. This idea is great. The great thing is that you can change it up every time and play with different herbs and spices.

    When I make this for my hubby and two boys, I usually shred it and get 3 meals out of it. Shredded chicken goes a long way. It’s aa great way to stretch a food budget!

  6. Oh I made this yesterday and was simply amazed at how delicious and simple it was. I think you have changed my life. I made Hawaiian Haystacks with it last night, I'm making chicken salad tonight and chicken and dumplings tomorrow. This is great. I got it on a little late and cooked it on high for 5 hours. Amazing.

  7. This recipe has changed my life. Or at least the way I cook chicken. I, too, have a chicken complex. After tasting this, I will never boil or poach a chicken breast again…

    I used it for Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Salad. Both were awesome!!

  8. I just want to say thanks for your blog. I've always been a terrible cook, but everything I've made off of your blog has turned out perfectly (because you give such clear directions) and everyone who eats it always loves it! You two are teaching me how to cook…I've never been able to work with yeast until I tried your breadsticks, pastries until I tried your apple streusel bars, and the list goes on and on. I've always been intimidated by whole chickens, so this will be the next thing I try and I'm sure it will be a raving hit. Thanks again.

    Jenn…from Iowa.

  9. I have used this recipe over and over since reading it. Thanks so much! I get the bagged flavored whole fryers from our meat counter so I don't even have to season them too much. I just use some Season All on the top and it comes out so great! I tell everyone about it when recipes come up. I usually call it Fauxtisserie Chicken. I love crock pot recipes! Please share more of them.

  10. Our family doesn't eat the dark meat, so do you think you could do this with just chicken breasts, using the aluminum foil balls and all? Right now I boil my chicken for recipes calling for cooked, shredded chicken and I just really hate the results, but am not sure what else to do. Have you ever tried it with anything other than a whole chicken?

  11. Vanessa,

    Do you just not like the taste of dark meat? A good solution is to use that part in something like our Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos, where people won't even notice a difference.

    As for your question, if you use large chicken breasts on the bone and with skin, it would probably work nicely, and it won't take as long either. But I wouldn't use boneless, skinless chicken for this, that would not get the same results.

    Boiling chicken breasts usually results in rubbery, tasteless meat (probably why you don't like it!) So for recipes that call for cooked chicken, try roasting it in the oven instead. It will turn out flavorful and juicy. Use bone-in, or boneless, skinless chicken and place on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!) sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. I usually add garlic and onion as well. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until juices run clear. Boneless, skinless breasts will take less than 30 minutes usually. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it to keep it juicy. SO much better than boiling! Hope that helps!

  12. I read with interest your instructions on how to cook a whole chicken using a slow cooker. Since I just purchased a new Hamilton Beach 6 qt slow cooker with probe, I am anxious to try it out. Any idea on how large a chicken I should try?

  13. I'm so glad to find this. I was just thinking of the recipes I have requiring rotisserie chicken and wishing it were possible to not have to drive to the store to get one. I'm off to buy some whole birds to keep in my freezer!

  14. Thanks for the recipe! It was really good. Mine was a little dry, though– Any tips on making it moist? It did turn out really tender.

  15. Emily–My guess is that it probably got cooked a bit too long. It's SO hard to gauge the time because every bird and every slow cooker is a little different, so probably the best way to make sure it's super moist is to find a reliable meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the breast. When it's 160, it's done. Now…the challenge is finding a reliable meat thermometer, lol! 🙂

  16. In order to get the garlic and herbs between the breast and skin, do you have to slice the skin with a knife? Or is there some secret opening between the two that makes it easier to just slip things in there?

  17. April, you know how the skin is kind of loose around the opening? You kind of have to work your hand in there between the skin and the breast and it'll loosen right up. It's pretty gross, I won't lie, but it's the only way… 🙂

  18. Made this tonight- worked out great but it was dry. I cooked for 8 hours, will try closer to 6 next time. The chicken was beautiful when it was done and it smelled wonderful in here all day.

    I love the idea of prepping for chicken recipes this way- will definitely keep trying till I get it right.

  19. Awesome! Love this simple Fauxtisserie Chicken! This will help me out a lot and gotta love the crock pot, especially with Fall. How wonderful the house will smell when you walk in from work or errends and find this all done.

  20. You know I knew I had seen this recipe somewhere but couldn't remember where! I currently have chicken breast thawing but think I am going to have to head to the store to get a thawed chicken to make up this dish!

    I know what you mean by dealing with whole chickens… My biggest issue is remembering all that we went through when butchering them! Ugh…. But it always tastes so delicious! However we have no chickens at the no house so I don't have to think about butchering for a LONGGGGg time!!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  21. I have what might be a really dumb question…Can I put my chicken in frozen or do I need to thaw it out first? I can't wait to try this!!

  22. Ashlee–Not dumb at all!! You can totally do it frozen, just be sure to rinse it before you rub spices all over it. You also won't be able to loosen the skin, but that's totally okay. Just cook it for 1-2 hours longer and you'll be good. Hope that helps!

  23. Thank you sooooo much! I'm going to take it out tonight, and stick it in the crock pot tomorrow morning/afternoon-ish. I'm so excited! What's your favorite seasoning to use on the chicken?

  24. Wow I may actually have to try this. And Kate, it's so nice to know that I'm not the only one who has an aversion to meat on the bone in the shape it was when it was alive!

  25. So I made this tonight, and it came out dry. Any tips on what I did wrong? I made it per the recipe. It had a great flavor, just dry.

  26. Mary–It probably just cooked a little too long. Every bird and every crockpot is different, so I would probably just cook it for a little bit less time next time. You can also get meat thermometers pretty inexpensively and just insert it into the thickest part of the breast. When it reads 170, you're good.

    Hope that helps!

  27. OMG, how dumb am I? LOL. I have a meat thermometer and checked to make sure it was over 170 before pulling it out, but it never occurred to me that it might get overdone! Shaking my head at myself LOL.

    We had this with your steak fries and your worlds best rolls (half of which I turned into cinnamon rolls this a.m.). You rock! My husband told me I'm not allowed to make the cinnamon rolls very often b/c they are "too good" and he can't control himself. Thanks for replying so quickly and for just being awesome!

  28. Made this for dinner tonight, big hit with the hubby and the kids. So easy! This was very economical, it will be a regular for us.

  29. My slow cooker came with a raised rack… Can I just use that instead of the foil balls?

    Also, can I add vegetables? I wasn't sure if they would burn on the bottom if I added potatoes, carrots, etc.

    Thanks so much for the recipe! So excited to try it!

  30. I've tried this twice and the whole family loves it! I am wondering though can 2 be cooked at the same time in a larger crock pot? And if so would it still just be 7-8 hours on low? We never have leftovers so I'd like to have one for that reason!

  31. Jennifer–Yep, I'm sure if you can fit two birds in there, it would be fine! 🙂 You might need to increase the cooking time a little, but probably not by more than an hour or so.

  32. I know you have posted recipes that use fauxtisserie chicken in them (or could use it…) but I can never remember what they are. It'd be AMAZING if you had links at the end of the recipe to take you to those. It's just me and the hubby so we have leftovers!

  33. Made this for my husband last night and he LOVED it! Said it was some of the best chicken he had ever had (and he's hard to please). Thanks for the great idea! The garlic under the skin really added a lot of flavor.

  34. I want to try and make this. Can I use the oven instead of the crock pot? I do not have a normal sized crock pot. I only have a tiny tiny one.

  35. Clara–You can (which is why most people roast themi n the oven). 🙂 To achieve a similar finished product, you'd want to use a heavy cast iron pot like Le Creuset (or a cheaper knockoff). However…any of those pots will be more expensive than a large slow cooker–I have a large Hamilton Beach slow cooker that I got for less than $30, which is way better than you'd get a heavy cast iron enamel pot for. 🙂

  36. What is the reason for the salt-based rub? Want to try it but low, low sodium restriction makes this difficult. Would Mrs. Dash-like seasoning work for the rub?? I need help♪ Thanks for any ideas♪ Love your blog♥

  37. Do you know if it's safe to cook a whole chicken in a crock pot? I've read several times that it isn't safe because the temperature does not rise quickly enough. I just Googled it and found several sources saying not to cook chickens this way. I'm a salmonella basket case too. This method looks so simple and I'm dying to try it, but not if it could end up making us sick.

      1. Shiloh, thanks for the link. However, I have literally cooked HUNDREDS of chickens this way and no one has ever been sick. I also worked in a restaurant that cooked whole turkeys similarly, and they served thousands of guests a day, and there were never any kind of violations or complaints of illness. If you’re concerned about safety, try cooking a smaller chicken, don’t cook it from frozen, use a thermometer to check on the temp, and cook it on the high setting, but I promise, it’s safe. 🙂

        1. Kate, thank you for the kind reply 🙂 After I posted I was afraid it was rude of me to bring it up in the comments instead of just trying to e-mail you. I trust your judgment and am excited to try cooking a chicken this way soon!

          1. I know this is like a year later, but just a heads up for anyone concerned about the safety… I checked out the government site that the HEB link said the info was from, and it does not actually say that you should not cook whole chickens. It does say to check your crockpot manual for the recommended sizes of meat for your particular crockpot. I know my crockpot manual has recipes for cooking whole chickens. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FACT_SHEETS/Focus_On_Slow_Cooker_Safety/index.asp

  38. I tried it your way with the skin on and another way with the skin off and there was more juicyness your way!! This is a delicious and easy way to fix an inexpensive meal, thanks!!!

  39. I made this chicken today and it is the best chicken I’ve ever made! I used cilantro and lemon grass along with the garlic and salt. DELICIOUS! Thanks.

  40. I can honestly admit that before now, I refused to cook whole chickens because I did not know how or want to spend the time carving all the meat off of it. What was I thinking!? I was missing out on the easiest thing ever. When the chicken is done, it simply falls off the carcus and there is literally no effort involved. I am so glad that I steped out of my comfort zone and tried this. I cook this all the time now.

  41. Here’s my problem – I have a 10hr time span from when I leave my house for work and make it home. I reeeaaally want to try this recipe but I am so worried about over-cooking. Should I try it frozen?

    1. Get a programable outlet timer like what is used to turn lights off and on when you are on vacation. You can find it in the hardware/electronic department of many stores, Wal-mart, Target, Wal-greens, ect. Set it to come on at a time say, 4-5 hours before you get home, so it won’t be completely cooked by the time you get home.

  42. My husband stumbled across your website recently and since then I have made this twice. I did find that cooking the chicken leaves the breast dry, so for next time I think I will cut the cooking time down to maybe six hours. It was delicious! Thank You for making my busy weeknights easier 🙂

  43. I found this recipe about a month ago, and have made it once a week since then, for chicken salad, instead of buying (as I usually do) a rotisserie chicken with a tiny bit of white meat on it.

    I can buy a very large chicken breast for under $3 at my store, and have heaps of perfectly-cooked and tender chicken meat, and I do get the crock pot full of broth out of it, too, for chicken soup. So, I’m saving $$ on the chicken and lots of money on the broth, which is quite expensive at the store.

    McCormick sells a “rotisserie spice” now, which has the same mix as the stuff they sprinkle on the rotisserie chickens at the grocery store.

    And happy ending – my dog loves the little chicken bits I pull off the bones after I make the broth. 🙂

    Great work!

  44. So I must say I love you ladies!! I made the fauxtisserie lemon herb chicken with green bean bundles and Garlic herb scalloped potatoes…It was amazing!!! So simple and feeds a ton. Only took me two hours to make everything in between interruptions and all that. I’m going to buy your book so I can have it on hand. Thanks again for sharing 🙂

  45. OK question – mine keeps falling apart – I go to lift it out and seriously all of it falls apart – bones and all – which makes getting to the meat kind of a pain – I’ve tried everything (including a disaster of sucking out the juice to keep it from getting “stewed” (I burned myself pretty bad doing this btw – so I do not recommend it) )

    1. Honestly, that doesn’t bother me because it means it’s moist and tender and done. 🙂 BUT I totally get your point. I would actually try cooking it for just a little less time so everything isn’t quite to the falling apart stage, you know?

  46. So I’m totally a bachelor and like to cook but am really bad at it and never have time. My sister sent me this recipe because she knows I love rotisserie chicken and I finally made it today. All I can say it, IT WAS AWESOME! I loved how I came home from work and my house smelled amazing and the chicken was so incredibly tender and tasty. I made stove top stuffing (don’t hate, I love that stuff!) and corn to go with it and it was the best meal I have made for myself ever I think. I will totally be making this again soon. 🙂

  47. The chicken I bought is 5 lbs and I had to jam it in to get it to fit. It is touching the crockpot on two sides. Is this going to cook as well if there isn’t as much room for the air to circulate?

  48. had to tell you, I made your fauxtissirie chicken on Monday, served it w/couscous and peas, used the broth that accumulated in the bottom of my crock pot for a white bean chicken chili (used frozen boneless/skinless chix thigh for that) on Tuesday, and finished up the last of the chicken breasts on a chicken and spinach pizza on Wednesday! this is a fabulous money saver recipe you have given me and i truly appreciate it! you two are amazing and inspiring.

  49. Eating this right now… Never had a chicken de-bone itself before, talk about fall off the bone, finger-licking good! used the juice to make a gravy over mashed potatoes and roasted cauliflower!

  50. I made this (first but NOT the last time) today, and had to tell you a funny story. Last night, I got the crockpot ready and set the herbs and spices out so I’d be all ready to go this morning. I took the kids to school, came back to get everything going, and found a note from my husband taped on the lid: “Yum, tinfoil soup! My favorite!” Ha!

    Also, thanks for the VERY forgiving recipe. I accidentally had it on High nearly eight hours, and it was still tender, juicy and delicious. Thanks!

  51. Tried making this today. The chicken came out juicy and delicious. My only complaint is that the skin is inedible. It might taste good, but I can’t get past the texture. The skin really is my favorite part of a rotisserie chicken. I guess I’ll try roasting in the oven next time.

    But – that won’t turn me off to your site. I just discovered it today, and I’ve found tons of recipes (and recipe ideas) I want to try.

  52. So I made my very first fauxtisserie chicken this weekend and I was so excited with the way it turned out! (Never thought I’d be this excited over a chicken!) It was juicy and flavorful and just fell off of the bone + it was pretty just like a rotisserie chicken! I took a shot at this recipe b/c whole chickens were on sale and I like to keep a supply of cooked, cut up chicken in my freezer for soups, enchiladas, casseroles, etc. When I roast them in the oven the white meat is dry, and anytime I tried them in the crockpot they were less than flavorful and looked rather sickly. But this is my new “go-to” recipe for whole chicken – and it’s pretty enough to serve as the main course! Only thing I think I’d try differently would be to spray my foil balls with a little non-stick spray before placing the chicken on them…nothing worse than sticky chicken foil balls! 🙂

  53. My friend cooks chicken this was but builds a little rack of celery to keep the chicken out of the fat and add flavor

  54. Tried this recipe for the first time today and will again
    Not as “pretty” as those I’ve seen online/skin was almost the same color as uncooked
    But since we don’t eat the skin it really didn’t matter

    Chicken was moist and flavorful
    Will make curry chicken salad tomorrow

    Thanks for sharing

  55. I saw a similar method to cook bbq brisket on an episode of “Cook’s Country” only they placed the brisket on an upside down aluminum bread loaf pan. Question, how does the skin turn out? I’m usually looking for crispy skin, so I tend to steer clear of the slow cooker. Thanks

  56. I’ve made this twice for my own house AND at work. I work on a military base with bunch of men in a fire station. What a great way to feed a bunch of hungry men! It’s economical and can be used for several days. With the leftovers we made chicken tacos for dinner the next night! Other things we’ve done with the leftovers: chicken soup, chicken salad, chili, put it on pizza, simmer with your fave bbq sauce…the list goes on!

  57. This is my go-to recipe for making whole chickens. I attempted to make one in the oven and it didn’t work out very well. I love that I can do so many different spices and flavors with it!

  58. Sounds awesome and excited to try! Some ideas on other posts:
    Worried about dry breast meat…try a brine ahead of time. It will add flavor and help retain moisture.
    Crisper skin…try broiling quickly before adding to cooker and maybe even basting.

  59. Another dinner success! This was my first time making a whole chicken and my mother was not confident I could do it- and even she was impressed! I used a 4.5 lb bird in a large crockpot. I washed the chicken, dried it, stuff thyme and rosemary in the cavity and in between the skin and breast. I sprinkled the entire bird with Ruby’s Rub from Ruby’s BBQ in Texas. I cooked it for 8 hours and when I served it was literally falling off the bone! Thank you, i will continue to try your recipes.

  60. I have a CuisineArt slow cooker. I set it on low for about 7 hours. Came out overcooked. Next time I will adjust the time down. I’m going to read all these comments and hopefully next one will be even better. At least I’m not afraid of cooking a whole chicken anymore!!
    Thanks 🙂

  61. I have a small crockpot (would have to stand the chicken up) and a much larger Nesco oven w/rack. Can I use the Nesco, or have to buy a larger crockpot? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  62. I can’t imagine how many hand washings you had to go through to make and photograph this chicken! I too am paranoid about under-cooked poultry! Last Thanksgiving I brined my turkey, and it was so moist and juicy, that I lost sleep that night fearing that it hadn’t been fully cooked and that all my guests would end up in the ER!

  63. This chicken is amazing! I use the garlic paste that comes in a tube instead of actual garlic cloves. I have also cooked turkey breasts this way, and they are excellent. The meat stays moist, and is perfect for sandwiches—I like a grilled cheese on rye with the turkey on it. Yum.

  64. I just want to say thanks for all your wonderful recipes! This was a fantastic way to cook a chicken!
    I have made several of your recipes and ALL were good! You cook great food without being overly “fussy”. My husband wants a plate of food, not 2 mini veggies crossed over a cube of meat, and you deliver!! Keep up the great work!

  65. Can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve seen it floating around and always think how versatile it is. I too have touching raw chicken/salmonella issues. Years ago I discovered Playtex “Clean Cuisine” disposable gloves. Haven’t touched a raw chicken since and no longer worry about the germs stuck under my finger nails!

  66. This looks awesome, but have you ever used anything other than aluminum foil to hold the chicken up? I am not a fan of aluminum anything, so an alternative would be appreciated. I wonder if you can use Pyrex ramekins? Any thoughts?

  67. Okay, I bookmarked this recipe and intended to do it with an unfrozen whole chicken. Then I burned my hand and had to wait 3 weeks before finally thawing and using this recipe. WOW! As good as the “promises”.

    I put 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the crock pot but the chicken sweated adequately to actually cook it on “high” at only 4 hours. Excellent taste, perfect texture.

  68. I have been making this chicken ever since I found this recipe a few years ago and I love it, especially when my supermarket has whole chickens on sale for $.99 a lb. I am looking for a little advice however. I typically roast some vegetables, then throw the peeled rotisserie chicken into the pan with olive oil, lemon, herbs, and red onions for the last 15-20 minutes (so it can warm since I peel it the night before). Every time it comes out super dry, even when I tightly cover the pan with foil. The chicken is PERFECT coming off the bird the night before (or even that morning), but those few minutes in the oven zap all of the juices out of a perfectly moist bird. So, have you done something similar and how do you keep it juicy?

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