Crispy Chicken Carnitas & Chipotle Sauce

Crispy Chicken Carnitas.jpg

Crispy Chicken Carnitas &

Chipotle Sauce

dairy free. gluten free. refined sugar free.

For the past year, we have been trying to find the perfect carnitas recipe. We wanted the recipe to be juicy, flavorful, but also have good texture and mouth feel (ie. we didn’t want seasoned chicken mush). A few weeks ago, we celebrated my birthday with some of our friends in Minnesota and decided to throw a “taco tuesday” themed bash. It gave us the excuse to trial a new carnitas recipe I had recently found online. We did the night up big - Mexican rice, grilled mangos, fresh-squeezed margaritas, and this chicken carnitas recipe from Little Spice Jar! Oh my goodness it was amazing! I doubled the recipe, because it’s that good, and I cooked our chicken in a crockpot, because we don’t have an instapot. However, if you do have an instapot, just follow the link above to Mariza’s blog and follow her instructions.

I figured I’d save you all the continued searching and trial testing and just hand this recipe over to you right now:

Crispy Carnitas:


  • 4 lbs of chicken (I like to do a mix of breasts and thighs)

  • 2 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • salt and pepper

  • zest and juice of 2 oranges

  • ½  cup lime juice

  • ½  cup chicken broth

  • 5-8 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, quartered

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili pepper

  • 4-5 tablespoons adobo sauce

  • 2 bay leafs

  • ½ bunch of cilantro (stems included)

  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Add chicken to crock pot, add and coat chicken in dried spices

  2. Next, add zest & juice of oranges, lime juice, chicken broth (great to use the same carton of broth from my Cauliflower Mexican Rice, if making together!), garlic cloves, onion, chili pepper, adobo sauce, bay leafs, and cilantro. Give everything a stir to mix and cover in liquids. Cook on 4 high or 8 low.

  3. Once cooked, discard the cilantro, take out the chicken and onions and set aside on a sheet pan to shred. Keep the broth. Turn the oven on to broil.

  4. Shred chicken on the sheet pan and drizzle 1/3 Cup of the broth and 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil over the chicken/onion mixture. Pop under broiler for about 5 minutes. Then, take the chicken out to toss and drizzle with more broth and olive oil. Put back under the broiler for another 5-ish minutes. Serve immediately while still crispy and hot!

Chipotle Sauce:


  • 1 C. Mayo

  • 1 Tbsp. dairy-free milk (we use almond)

  • 2 Tbsp adobo sauce

  • 1 tsp. chipotle pepper

  • pinch of salt and garlic powder


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl!