Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 10 mins

Tender, seasoned braised chicken served on a warm tortilla and garnished with avocado, sour cream and cilantro

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 carnitas
: 100 kcal
Author: SmartyPantsKitchen
  • 2 lbs chicken white and/or dark
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin divided
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder divided
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder divided
  • 2 tablespoons Adobo sauce ( optional: see recipe notes)
  • juice from six limes
  • 1 tablespoon salt divided
  • 1/2 large onion sliced
  • 1 jalapeno cut into strips
  • cilantro as garnish
  1. Season chicken with 1 tablespoon each: garlic powder, chile powder, ground cumin. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon salt over the chicken

  2. Pour chicken broth into slow cooker; add lime juice; place chicken in broth

  3. Top chicken with sliced onion and jalapeno

  4. Cook on low for 4 hours

  5. After 4 hours, remove chicken and shred; season with remaining spices and add Adobo sauce; (optional: see recipe notes); combine well

  6. Using a measuring spoon, remove about 1/2 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker; discard

  7. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and allow to simmer on low for at least 30 minutes

  8. Remove shredded chicken and place on warm flour tortilla; garnish with cilantro, sour cream and/or avocado

Recipe Notes

Should I Use White or Dark Chicken for Chicken Carnitas?

Dark or white chicken meat works great in this recipe. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, or use a combination of the two. Dark meat seems to have a little more flavor, but the seasonings in this recipe will work well for either type of meat.

How Do I Make Carnitas?

The beauty of this dish is that the slow cooker does the work for you! Just prep a few items:

What is Adobo Sauce?

Adobo sauce is a brownish-red sauce, usually found in canned Chipotle peppers. It has a little heat to it, so if you do not like spicy, you can choose not to include the sauce.