How to crock pot a chicken:
--1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)
--2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
--1 tsp paprika
--1 tsp onion powder
--1/2 tsp dried thyme
--1 tsp Italian seasoning
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp black pepper
--pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)
--4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
--1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)
I used a 6 quart crockpot for a 5 pound bird. It fit nicely.
Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity. This takes a while, and is gross. Keep small children away so you don't freak out about salmonella. I skin whole chickens because I hate the idea of the chicken fat simmering all day in the crock---it also looks disgusting when the chicken is cooked because it's all slimy and icky.
I get it that I'm weird. If chicken skin makes you happy, then by all means, ignore me.
In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.
If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird.
Do not add water.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.
Lemon herbed chicken:
--head of garlic
--salt and pepper
--a bunch of fresh rosemary (dried will work too)
rub the chicken inside and out with a bunch of butter, salt and pepper.
Plop it into the crockpot.
Peel your garlic and shove a bunch of the whole cloves into the bird cavity and throw some more on top and around the chicken.
Slice the lemon and put slices on top, around, and inside the bird
Wash the rosemary and do the same. If you are using dried rosemary, use a good amount---probably 2-3T of dried herbs.
Do not add water.
cook on low for 8-10 hours. I put this on at 4am, and had it for lunch at noon. Then I took a 2hr nap!
Also, if you don't want to be constantly cooking whole chickens, buy chicken thighs! Tastier, and way WAY cheaper. You can use them any way you would use breast!