Crispy Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas

Crispy Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas are slow cooked and then broiled to a light crispy perfection.  Paired with warm tortillas or a crunchy style taco, this will be dinner done right.

Slow cooker carnitas

Chicken Carnitas

Did you ever think that you could get sensational tasting Chicken Carnitas without having to stand in the kitchen cooking all day?  Well pull out your slow cooker, your crock pots, whatever you want to call them and you will have taken the first step toward Crispy Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas.

The slow cooker has to be one of the all time greatest cooking modalities created.  Now we have the instant pot which is a whole other level of amazement, but these Crispy Chicken Carnitas are the perfect meal for really any night of the week or weekend.  Being able to throw all your ingredients into one pot and not have to fuss with it for the rest of the day is shear genius.

What goes well with crispy slow cooker chicken carnitas?

  • Flour or corn tortillas, or taco shells
  • Spanish rice
  • Guacomole
  • Black, pinto, or refried beans
  • Cole slaw
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sour cream or Crema Mexicana
  • Jalapenos
  • Cilantro

carnitas recipe

Often when we think of carnitas we think of Pork, but now it is time to think of chicken.  This chicken is slow cooked so the flavors infuse and marinate the meat which allows it to come out juicy and tender.  After this chicken has cooked for 8 hours you simple shred it and crisp it up quickly in the oven.

The crispy texture and the amazing flavor makes for one delicious burrito, taco, or salad.  Not to mention how perfect this would be for crispy chicken carnitas nachos.  I loaded mine up with fresh pico de gallo, which you can generally buy already made in the stores to save on time.  I also added cilantro, and Crema Mexicana.

What is Crema Mexicana?

  • Is a rich, creamy sour cream that has a buttery sweet flavor.
  • It is great used on tacos, nachos, salads, or mixed for using as a dip.

How do you make Crispy Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas?

  1. Place 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast in the bottom of a 6qt slow cooker.
  2. Pour: diced jalapeños, red onions, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, chicken stock, and taco seasoning packet over the chicken breast.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 4-5 hours.
  4. Turn your oven to broil and prepare a rimmed sheet pan by spraying it with non stick cooking spray.
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker ( save the juices in the slow cooker) and put on a platter.  Using two forks shred the chicken and transfer to sheet pan.  Pour 1/2 cup of juices from slow cooker over chicken, mix to combine, and broil on high for 2-4 minutes.
  6. Serve with tortillas, taco shells or turn it into nachos.  Garish with cilantro and limes.


Why do you use orange juice in carnitas?

  • Orange juice is a good acidic liquid that serves as a tenderizes for meat.

So when you are in the mood for some good Mexican food, don’t pull your car out of the garage or driveway, pull out the slow cooker and let the recipe come to you.  It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to be delicious.

Key Ingredients used in this recipe:

Looking for more Mexican inspired recipes?


  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • limes, cliantro, pico de gallo, and  Crema Mexicana to garnish


  1. Place chicken 6 QT slow cooker and top with jalapeno, red onion, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, taco seasoning packet, and chicken stock.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high 4-5 hours.
  3. Preheat broiler to high and spray a rimmed sheet pan with non stick cooking spray.
  4. Pull chicken out of slow cooker ( reserving slow cooker juices) and place on a platter, and with two forks shred the chicken.  Then transfer chicken to the prepared sheet pan and pour 1/2 cup of the juices from the slow cooker over the chicken, stir and place in the oven to broil for 2-4 minutes.
  5. Remove and serve with warm tortillas, limes, cilantro, pico de gallo, and Crema Mexicana.
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