I will often buy a whole chicken to cook as it is often more cost effective and I can get two or three meals out of it for the whole family. Cooking the chicken in the slow cooker takes away all the hassle of roasting it, it’s quick to put on in the morning, and ready by tea time.
Slow Cooker Tarragon Chicken
If you have never tried cooking a whole chicken in a slow cooker then you really must try it as it’s super easy peasy. You can literally just put a whole chicken into the pot, put the lid on and stick it on a low for about 8 hours, and you then have loads of succulent chicken to put with whatever accompaniments you want. If you prefer your skin crispy, you can transfer the chicken to the oven to brown the skin for half hour at the end. (I try not to eat the skin as I’m trying to be good so skip this step.)
I like to add a little flavour to my chicken, and this method also means you can turn the juices in to the most amazing homemade chicken stock which is perfect for some of my soup recipes, especially my slow cooker creamy mushroom and tarragon soup.
- Whole chicken (I usually leave the legs tied as it helps stop it from falling apart in the slow cooker)
- 1 Lemon-quartered
- 4 garlic cloves- skin on, slightly crushed with the flat edge of a knife
- 6 sprigs of fresh tarragon
- Place the garlic cloves, half of the tarragon and 3 of the lemon quarters in the cavity of the raw chicken.
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker pot (make sure your chicken fits in to your slow cooker before you start!).
- Squeeze over the last lemon quarter, season and place remaining tarragon sprigs on top.
- Put the lid on and cook on a low for 8 hours. Done!
- If you like your chicken skin crispy then transfer to the oven for the last half hour.
I normally serve our chicken with veg for the kids, and we normally have ours with salad, but you can have whatever accompaniments you fancy. There is usually enough meat for dinner the next night too, and we often use leftovers for a stir fry or curry.
You can also make a delicious chicken stock with the leftover carcass without even washing the pot up in between!
Homemade Chicken Stock
- Leftover chicken carcass once the meat has been removed (including lemon, garlic and tarragon from the cavity)
- 1 onion- peeled and quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 litre boiling water
- Once all the meat has been removed from the chicken carcass, put all the bones, skin, and cavity contents (lemon, garlic and tarragon) back into the slow cooker pot.
- Add the onion, bay leaves, peppercorns and water. Give it a stir and pop the lid back on.
- I usually leave mine on a low overnight, so for about 10 hours.
- In the morning it doesn’t look the prettiest but smells amazing! Sieve the contents retaining the liquid.
- It makes about 1 litre of lovely chicken stock with hints of tarragon, garlic and lemon. Perfect for making soup with.
NB. I am a home cook, and have had no formal training in preparing food. So these are just recipes that I use at home for the family. Whilst I have taken time to try and be as accurate as possible, some of the quantities are approximate. I am always keen to learn, so if you think the recipe can be improved upon please take the time to comment below. I also love seeing your versions.