Rosemary Citrus Garlic Crockpot Chicken

I love my crockpot.

My childhood memories are filled with the scents of pot roasts and onions and crockpot cooking welcoming me home from school in the afternoon.  Savory soft carrots and potatoes infused with the flavors of garlic and pepper and slow simmered in a true roast gravy with onions.


As an adult, I love the simplicity of it, the ability to toss ingredients into a gadget, walk away and come home to a delicious smelling house and a full meal that is produced almost effortlessly.

A couple of months ago, my crockpot bit the dust.  I did what any self respecting blogger does and I hit up twitter and Facebook.

Y’all were very adamant —

The only crockpot is a REAL Crock-Pot



Y’all know when you get a new kitchen gadget how you feel bound and inspired and challenged and determined to use it to make your very next meal?   What? Is it just me?

So — I pulled out one of the few things that I’ve never cooked in a crock-pot; a whole chicken and got to thinking.

I looked into my pantry to see what was on hand and I found a few of my staples:

rosemary garlic citrus bowl

Garlic, lemons, limes and onions. As an afterthought I grabbed the mandarins out of the fruit bowl and clipped some rosemary from my newly planted bush by the front door. (#win) and I sliced it all up

rosemary citrus chicken prep


Doesn’t that look like an afternoon at a good beach club?  Drink garnishes and the scent of rosemary and garlic — heaven.

Y’all — if you have a spot — plant some rosemary, it smells divine, grows easily and is pretty much a fabulous addition to about any dish.

Back to the crockpot.

Place the onion slices, slices of 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 mandarin and a handful of garlic in the bottom of the crockpot

citrus rosemary crockpot

Stuff the chicken with a handful of garlic, slices of lemon, lime, mandarin and 1 rosemary branch

Place the whole chicken inside the crockpot and top with– rosemary and the rest of the garlic, lemons, limes, mandarins and some fresh cracked pepper.

rosemary citrus ready to crockpot Place on low and cook for 8 hours.

Resist the urge to remove the lid and dive in.

Resist the urge to remove the lid and swim in the aromas wafting from the crockpot.

Just. Resist.

Until the warmer light goes on — then, feel free to dive in to the piece of art that is this amazingly flavorful savory, tangy, sweet, moist chicken dish of awesome.

rosemary citrus chicken crockpot style


I warn you, the chicken falls of the bone.

When you go to remove this from the crockpot, it’s fall off the bone tender.   With the exception of the bones and the rosemary branches, every single bit of this dish is edible.

My friend ate the limes without realizing they were limes, it is THAT good.

rosemary citrus crockpot chicken plated

This dish is ridiculously easy, amazingly delicious and the smell.  Holy hell y’all, the smell.  You want to dive in and lick your crockpot.

okay, y’all — I feel the need to add a disclaimer here.. a few people have had this come out bitter and/or greasy 🙁  I don’t know why.  I can only contribute it to the ripeness or lack thereof of their citrus.  I’ve made this several times and have never had that problem.  Most people who make this recipe have great success with it, but I’m just laying that out there.  I don’t know if removing the rinds would help.  When I have some time I’m going to try this with several different levels of *ripe* citrus and see if I can replicate the issues….. just a heads up, y’all (3/1/12)

: Citrus Garlic Crockpot Chicken with Rosemary
  1. 1 head of garlic, sliced
  2. 4 medium lemons, sliced
  3. 4 medium limes, sliced
  4. 2 medium mandarins, sliced
  5. 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  6. 4 to 5 fresh rosemary stems
  7. fresh cracked black pepper
  8. 1 (5 lb) whole chicken
  1. Slice the citrus and the onion
  2. Slice the entire head of garlic
  3. Layer the onion, the slices of 1 lemon, 1 lime, a handful of garlic and 1 mandarin in the bottom of the crockpot
  4. Fill the cavity of the chicken with garlic, lemons, limes and mandarins
  5. Place the chicken in the crockpot and top with the remaining lemons, limes, mandarins, garlic and rosemary.
  6. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper
  7. Cook on low for 8 hours

* add 2 sliced jalapenos for a nice kick of heat

* if you are worried that your fruit might not be ripe enough, remove the peels.  Unripe citrus will leave a bitter taste.



I love seeing what y’all are linking up and feeding your family and friends.
Thank you for sharing the link love, commenting and linking back — <3


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  1. YUM. I may try this.
    (Also, y’know I am not much of a cook – but I love to infuse olive oil with rosemary – makes for yummy dipping… and even just a pretty kitchen decor dealy)

    1. 🙂 YAY for someone giggling at my silly southernisms 😉
      And everyone who knows me probably rolls their eyes because I really do say, Oh My Holy Hell, y’all — 😉 except it sounds like hail and … oh.. HAI TANGENT 😉

      YAY! Let me know if you do make it! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      1. Oh, Imma southern girl too. Read it to hubby exactly like that, we both got a giggle. LOVE me some southernisms. I never say holy hell, but I think I’m gonna start.

    1. Miss – it’s crazy good. Ridiculous with sweetness and acid and citrus and zingy and tangy and savory and the moist deliciousness.. insane!
      Let me know!!! xoxoxo

  2. I cook chicken all the time in the crockpot, but I have never put oranges and limes in it. I love lemon in my chicken, but I never thought to do it with other citrus. What a great idea!

  3. This sounds amazing! I too love my crock pot…has anyone else found that their crock pot overcooks things when using recommended times on crock pot recipes?

    1. Hey Krissa!
      I found that with my last one — which wasn’t an actual Crock-Pot — it was a different brand that starts with an R. And after doing lots of research and talking with people — the overcooking seemed to be very common with that particular brand.

  4. I had this same crockpot and my insert cracked into four pieces:(
    Your chicken looks fabulous. Can’ t wait to try this.

  5. Oh my, that looks so tender and juicy! I’ve never put a whole chicken in my slow cooker, which happens to be my best friend, so I think I’ll start with this recipe!

    1. YAY Cat! I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t ever done it but, for some reason it just never occurred to me to try it! I”m so glad that i did! I have another whole chicken in the freezer — I can’t wait to come up with something for it, too!!!

  6. Hi Rachel,
    I shared my GF coconut banana blueberry bars and an article about treating acne with diet. I hope you like them. Your chicken looks amazing. i am going to try it this week with my pastured chicken!

    1. Hi Jill,

      Thank You! Coconut Banana Blueberry Bars! WOW — those sound like summer in a snack! yummy!
      Let me know what you think about the recipe!

  7. Your recipe would sure be a winner here at The Cottage, we just love Crock Pot recipes and your looks delicious. Thank you for hosting and have a wonderful week!

  8. That looks great. I love citrus with poultry. And any opportunity I have to use rosemary is a winner in my book.

  9. Your photos are gorgeous Rachel! This recipe sounds incredible!
    I am sharing my recipe for Cauliflower Chopped Salad. My vision was to create a salad that was like a gourmet pasta salad but with cauliflower instead of pasta. It’s yummy!
    Thanks for hosting!

  10. OMG I’m making this tomorrow. I’ve linked up my blackberry cake, I hope you enjoy it, it’s so easy!

    and seriously, I’m making this tomorrow!

  11. All that citrus from so many sources must really flavor things up… Looks like a very flavorful pot roast … Once again, thanks for hosting this great linky, I look forward to it every week!

  12. Made this recipe tonight, but I’m thinking there is a missing ingredient maybe? Like water, broth or a base of some sort? It was awful dry, but super fragrant for sure. Let me know if you normally use something for a base of some sort when you make this? THANKS.

    1. Hey Jacqueline,

      I’ve never had this come out dry. Did you cook it on high perhaps? I’m trying to figure out how it would be dry. The juices from the onions, citrus and chicken create a very hearty broth.

      I don’t add any additional ingredients. Every step listed is how I’ve made it the 4 or 5 times that I’ve made this and I’ve never added any additional liquid.

      I’m sorry that it was dry, is your crock pot new or old? I found that mine, which wasn’t an ‘actual’ crockpot brand was cooking at a MUCH higher temperature and I was having lots of issues with things being dry or burnt and it was about 3 years old.
      I wish I had more advice. 🙁

  13. We followed the recipe to a T. It looked absolutely beautiful and so took some amazing pictures of the Rosemary, citrus, and chicken in the Crock Pot. Smelled sooooo heavenly while cooking……Rosemary and citrusy! Took out the falling off the bone chicken to slice up. Took a bite of the chicken and citrus.

    What did we do wrong????

    Bitter!!! Greasy!!!! No garlic. No onion. Looked pretty, but…….. What to do with the greasy, bitter stock?????

    And we were soooooo hungry for this!!!!!

    Have some amazing pictures, though!

    1. Mary,

      I have no idea :(. The citrus could be not as ripe as it should be, but I don’t know about the greasy :(. I’m so sorry. What a horrible disappointment 🙁

    2. Same thing happened to us! It smelled amazing, but the taste was bitter, sort of like what a lime rind would taste like.

  14. I’ll concur with Mary.

    We followed the recipe to the letter, also, except for using fewer lemons and limes. It smelled great, and we were really looking forward to it too.

    This turned out bitter and greasy for us too; had a flavor reminiscent of lemon Pledge. I’m not sure what happened to the rosemary or the garlic, or even the chicken flavor.

    I’m not sure what to do with the crock pot full of blegh.

    1. I’m so sorry Damian 🙁 It’s so weird how some people have so much success with this and a couple have had it come out bitter. I’m going to try it with several different levels of fruit ripeness and see if I can duplicate the results to try to better explain and figure out what’s happened.

      I’ve made this several times and have never had the result that y’all are reporting. Thank you for telling me, and I’m so sorry that it didn’t turn out for y’all. That’s so frustrating to smell something wonderful and anticipate something delicious all day and have it completely turn on you 🙁

  15. I was do excited to try this. I love anything lemon and chicken. I made sure all my lemons limes and oranges were super ripe put everything in the crockpot turned it to low and by dinner time it looked and smelled wonderful…. The taste however was really really bitter. I took all the skin off and drained the juices. It made it bearable but it still turned out pretty bad. I would defiantly suggest taking the rinds off to anyone who makes this in the future.

  16. Hello there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
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  17. Looks great and I bet smells awesome too, but what about salt? I see you omitted that so I am trying this today and I’ve added garlic salt, some season salt, paprika, and some lemon pepper instead of black pepper.

    1. Kai,

      I’m a salt after a taste-and-see kind of girl, especially with slow cooker recipes! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts, especially with your tweaks! Have a fabulous night!

      1. So it turned out soooo good, nice and juicy snd falling off the bone. The spices I added worked very well. Will make again!

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