Chicken Carnitas AKA Carnitas de Pollo

Do a much healthier version of carnitas. This low-fat chicken version is packed with flavor and spicy goodness. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 179kcal
Author: Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan


  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 14 oz chicken broth
  • 1 orange juice only
  • 1 lime juice only
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 onion large


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Trim and cut about 2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breast (or thighs) into 1 to `1 ½ inch cubes.
  • Mix the chicken with one teaspoon kosher salt, one teaspoon paprika, one teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir well to coat.
  • Add the chicken to the hot oil and occasionally stir until browning well. About 7 minutes. You do not need to cook completely just brown.
  • While chicken is cooking, mince one jalapeno and two cloves of garlic.
  • After chicken is browned well (about 7 minutes) add the jalapeno and garlic and cook two more minutes
  • Add a 14 oz can chicken broth and the juice of one orange and one lime.
  • Adjust the temperature to get a firm boil. Do not cover and do not stir. Just let it reduce to almost nothing. About 20 minutes. Your house will smell wonderful.
  • While the chicken is reducing, clean and slice one red pepper, one green pepper, and a large onion.
  • When the pan is almost dry, move the chicken to a plate and cover with foil.
  • Add the veggies to the pan over medium-high heat and cook until tender (about 7-8 minutes). Stir frequently and scrape some of the fond off the bottom of the pan. If needed add a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth for moisture.


Pro Tips:

  1. Use skinless chicken breasts or thighs if you wish.
  2. Please do not skip the orange and lime.
  3. When cooking the peppers and onion, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan frequently.
  4. Cut the jalapeno if you want but it is not a very hot dish and it adds some nice taste.
  5. Nutrition is for everything listed in the ingredients but not for tortillas or toppings.
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Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg