This is definitely not an earth shattering recipe, and it's barely a recipe at all! I thought I would just share a few tips that I've picked up that have made things easier for me when cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot.
It's really quite a marvelous thing - season a whole chicken, pop it in the crockpot, let it do it's thing for a few hours, and you have fall-off-the-bone chicken, ready to eat! I've been making this for a few weeks now and using the chicken for lunches during the week. One week I decided to roast the chicken in the oven, and decided I greatly prefer the crockpot. The meat truly does fall off the bone, which makes it really easy to separate out.
Whole Chicken in a Crockpot
One whole chicken
seasoning of your choice
Start by preparing the crockpot. I like to use crockpot liners for easier (and faster - don't have to wait for the crock to be cool enough to handle) clean up. Make 3 balls out of tin foil (about 2-3 inches in diameter) and place in triangular pattern in the crockpot. If available, place a rack on top of the foil balls. I have one that is just the perfect size, and I have found that it makes it easier to remove the chicken in one piece when it's done cooking. The chicken will release a lot of juice while cooking, so the foil balls will help keep it elevated, but the rack will help it come out of the pot without falling apart and dropping back into the liquid.
Prepare chicken by removing the giblets, rinsing well inside and out, and patting dry with paper towels. There are many ways to season the chicken - I keep it pretty simple with a little olive oil and some home-mixed Emeril's Essence. Fresh herbs + butter is another great way to go. Rub the oil and seasonings all over the chicken and under the skin to help flavor the breasts. Cut the lemon into quarters and stuff into the cavity.
Place chicken on rack in crockpot, and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken by lifting from the rack. I find it helpful to wedge a strong, metal spatula underneath the rack to help lift it up and out. Then just enjoy the chicken!