10 Essential Methods for Cooking a Whole Chicken

Here at Kitchn, we’re big fans of cooking a whole chicken. We often use it as a form of meal prep — divvying up the meat to use in a multitude of flavorful, easy, and cheap weeknight dinners — but a whole cooked chicken is also an impressive dinner on its own.

There are a number of great ways to execute a whole cooked chicken, from the oven to the slow cooker to the pressure cooker. Below, we’ve rounded up what we consider to be the 10 essential methods.

Tell us in the comments below: What’s your favorite way to cook a whole chicken?

1. How To Roast a Chicken

This is our essential method for roasting a whole chicken, and it never fails to yield crispy skin and moist and tender meat.

2. How To Cook a Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

If you’re looking to swap your grocery-store rotisserie chicken with a homemade version, this slow cooker chicken is the best place to start. Once you prep the slow cooker itself, the rest is entirely hands-off.

3. Instant Pot Whole Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

You can cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot in less than 30 minutes. The mushroom sauce here, while delicious, is totally optional — feel free to use this as a base recipe and serve with whatever flavorings or sauce you like.

4. How To Cook a Crispy, Juicy Rotisserie Chicken on the Grill

This burnished beauty is a little labor of love and does require some special equipment, but once you’ve mastered it you might never buy a grocery store rotisserie chicken again.

5. How To Make the Best Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken is not a gimmick — it produces really flavorful chicken that is steamed from the instead out, and beats the pants off of dried-out grilled chicken pieces.

6. Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

This chicken is life-changing for everyone who makes it, and will teach you the very basic steps for braising a whole chicken until tender.

7. How To Cook a Whole Chicken in Coconut Milk in the Slow Cooker

Coconut milk chicken is a riff on Jaimie Oliver’s chicken in milk. This version is cooked low and slow in the slow cooker, but gets its fiery flavor from ginger and Thai peppers.

8. How To Cook a Whole Chicken Dinner in the Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is a perfect vessel for roasting a whole chicken and vegetables because it creates a convection heat that browns the chicken while keeping things juicy. You can easily swap the vegetables here for seasonal favorites.

9. How To Make Chicken Soup

The best chicken soup starts with a whole chicken to make broth. Noodles at the end are actually optional.

10. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup

This is the slow-cooked version of our cold-weather favorite for when you get the spring or summer sniffles and don’t want to heat up the whole house.

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