Hot Chilli, tomato and basil flavoured roast chicken in a slow cooker

roast chicken slow cookerI have only ever made casseroles and stews in my slow cooker, essentially ‘wet’ food until now, so flicking through my Lakeland Slow Cooking book I was tempted to try a roast chicken. They have a couple of enticing recipes and having half the ingredients of one and not quite half of another I decided to make my own up :)

The main thing about roasting a chicken in a slow cooker is the time involved (6 hours) so if you were to try it for a Sunday it would have to be a late afternoon/evening serving OR you’d have to set the timer to come on whilst you’re still tucked up in bed should you want to eat at midday. Of course the beauty of roasting in the slow cooker is the meat doesn’t dry out and stays deliciously moist. Leftovers can be used in sandwiches and pies or eaten cold with salad throughout the summer months.

I think you’ll be quick to agree that the possibilities of changing the ‘flavouring’ are enormous, I already have my next trial ready to go in my head!

Hot chilli, tomato and basil flavoured roast chicken


2 tbsps olive oil + extra for frying
70g tomato puree
1 tsp hot red chilli pepper
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsps basil pesto
1.8 kg whole chicken


In a small glass mix the olive oil, tomato puree, chilli pepper, paprika and basil pesto, season to taste

hot chilli tomato and basil paste

Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper, make a pocket under the skin of the breast with your fingers. You’ll find the skin lifting off the uncooked meat easily as you slide your hand down the chicken. Spoon half of the paste mixture into the pocket you have made between the chicken and the skin and distribute evenly.

roast chicken flavoured

Rub the other half of mixture over the chicken. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken all over.

roast chicken slow cooker

Transfer to the slow cooker and cook covered on low for 6 hours

hot chilli tomato and basil roast chicken

I really must learn to take more photos of the finished product and I apologise for the slack effort above, Other Half was left in charge of dishing up and although the portion control was good, it is a bit slap-happy, get-it-on-the-plate, rather than beautifully and artistically placed for a good photo. I’m not having a go at him I shall just have to remember to get there before him next time ;)


  1. April 15, 2012 / 8:00 PM

    But but but, it’s a *whole* chicken?! These slow cookers amaze me!

    • Mari
      April 18, 2012 / 8:37 PM

      I know, this has opened up an entirely new era for me and my slow cooker…bliss

  2. August 31, 2012 / 11:28 AM

    I love slow cooked chicken but don’t do it often enough – this sounds great, think I’ve only ever done lemon & herb ones. I must try it! thanks for linking up. x

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 4:18 PM

      I’d like to try with basil pesto next time, I think that would be delicious too x

  3. Jennypaulin
    August 31, 2012 / 9:12 PM

    I love cooking my chicken joints in my slow cooker too it’s the only way I roast it now. Great sounding recipe too x x

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 4:19 PM

      I’m almost glad the autumn is upon us so I can get my slow cooker out again, it’s been very neglected over the summer x

  4. August 31, 2012 / 11:19 PM

    gosh would not have thought that you could cook a whole chicken. Did not think it would heat enough to kill off any potential bugs

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 4:19 PM

      It’s in there so long that I challenge any bug to survive and of course I always skewer the meat to make sure, but it literally falls off the bone

  5. August 31, 2012 / 11:38 PM

    I’m veggie but the finished pic looks lovely.

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 4:20 PM

      Mmm not sure I agree, my food photography leaves a lot to be desired IMO especially with all the fab food bloggers out there!

  6. RollercoasterMum
    September 1, 2012 / 10:13 PM

    That looks amazing – will def have to try this. Love our slow cooker but never tried dry meals in it either.

    • Mari
      September 6, 2012 / 4:20 PM

      This was my first attempt too and I was over the moon with the results – give it a go

  7. jade
    January 10, 2015 / 11:34 PM

    Do you put it in the cooker with no liquid at all? Recipe sounds amazing but I’m concerned about burning the chicken if there’s no liquid. I’ve really only done wet meals like you said. Tell me more!

    • January 12, 2015 / 1:05 PM

      Hi Jade,

      Yes put it on the slow cooker with no liquid at all, the chicken will produce some of it’s own and by keeping the lid on you will have a delicious moist chicken. I had your same concerns initially and was really please that it worked. Try it and let me know how you get on


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