Carnitas, a Mexican dish where the shredded pork is cooked until slightly crispy on the edges, has to be one of my favourite Mexican meat dishes! When I came across the idea of doing a lighter version with chicken on Jeanettes Healthy Living I knew that I would have to try some chicken carnitas! I pretty much took my pork carnitas recipe and used it for these chicken carnitas and I used the slow cooker to keep things nice and easy. You pretty much just mix the orange juice based cooking liquid, throw it and the chicken in the slow cooker, shred the chicken and broil it until crispy. To help ensure that the chicken stays nice and moist the cooking liquid is mixed in with the chicken before and after it broils. Of course these chicken carnitas can be used in many things like burritos, enchiladas, taquitos, etc. and my favourite way, in simple tacos with fresh diced onions, cilantro and a hit of lime!
Nice and crispy on the edges!
Feel free to use your favourite taco fillings!
Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas Tacos
A lighter version of carnitas using chicken that is cooked in the slow cooker before being broiled until slightly crispy on the edges and moist and tender in middle!
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
- 3/4 cup orange juice (~2 oranges)
- 1/4 cup lime juice (~2 limes)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 12 small tortillas
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, torn
- salsa to taste (I like a salsa verde here)
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker along with the mixture of the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and cook on low until tender, about 6-8 hours.
- Shred the chicken, mix in 1/4 cup of the juices, spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil until it starts getting crispy, about 5 minutes. Mix in 1/4 cup of the juices, mix everything up and broil for another 5 minutes before mixing in another 1/4 cup of the juices.
- Assemble the tacos on the tortillas with the chicken carnitas along with the onions and cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.
Option: Replace juices with beer.
Option: Use your favourite tacos toppings!