1) Line the bottom of the slow-cooker with bacon and toss half the thyme on top. Top with the potatoes, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Pour the chicken over the potatoes and add water to cover the potatoes. Scatter the remaining thyme and the butter on top. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, or until potatoes are fork tender.
2) Discard the bay leaves and peppercorns. Ladle into large shallow bowls and season with salt and pepper, to taste.