you name it. [instant pot chicken carnitas]

February 22nd, 2021 by | comments

Carnitas are my absolute favorite. I order the meat at basically every Mexican restaurant, but when I want to make homemade carnitas, I don’t always have pork shoulder on hand (does anyone?). That’s where these chicken carnitas come in, as I almost always have chicken in the fridge or freezer. The meat is packed with flavor, super moist and perfectly crispy after a few minutes under the broiler. Add the chicken carnitas to tacos, a salad, a burrito bowl – you name it. SO delicious!

instant pot chicken carnitas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion (roughly 3 heaping cups), sliced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic (1 Tbsp.), crushed
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 2 lbs.)
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode on high heat. Once heated, add vegetable or canola oil to the pot and heat another 30 seconds.
  2. Add onion and sauté 3-5 minutes, until translucent and aromatic. Stir in the garlic and cook another 20-30 seconds.
  3. Deglaze the pot with the chicken broth, lime juice, orange juice and chipotle pepper, stirring everything together. Simmer mixture another 2-4 minutes.
  4. Turn the sauté function off, then add chicken breasts and top with cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Mix everything together to incorporate and make sure chicken is coated.
  5. Add the lid to the Instant Pot and pressure cook on high for 15-17 minutes, followed by a quick release.
  6. Remove the lid of the Instant Pot, then transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board to roughly shred, then add meat back to the pot with the juices.
  7. Preheat the broiler to high, then spread desired amount of chicken carnitas with juices onto a baking sheet. Broil 5-7 minutes, or until the meat becomes brown and crispy. Remove from oven.
  8. Serve immediately in tacos, salads or burrito bowls.

// share //