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Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas

Updated: Jun 24, 2023


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 4 hours

Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp oregano, dried

  • 2 tsp cumin, ground

  • 1/2 tsp coriander, dried

  • 1/2 tsp paprika, smoked

  • 2 1/2 Tbs olive oil

  • 3/4 cup red onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 Tbs jalapeño pepper, chopped (canned chilis)

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 orange, seedless, sliced

  • 2 lb chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

  • 1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce

  • 1 Tbs maple syrup

  • 8 tortillas

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges



  1. Whisk together chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and paprika. Set aside.

  2. Chop onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper.

  3. Slice orange.


  1. Rub all sides of chicken thighs with spice mixture. Place in a slow cooker and drizzle with olive oil. * See notes about Instant Pot version

  2. Top chicken with 1/2 cup of onions [reserve 1/4 cup for serving], garlic, jalapeño, and orange slices. Drizzle with soy sauce and maple syrup.

  3. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours, or on low setting 8 hours.

  4. When cooked, the chicken should easily shred. Use two forks to pull apart chicken in the slow cooker. Let the meat sit in juices until ready to serve.

  5. Serve in warm tortillas topped with onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Note: *INSTANT POT VERSION: Add liquids to the bottom of the pot before adding chicken. Instead of using orange slices, juice the orange and whisk with other liquids. This will prevent burning.


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