Rating: 4.92 stars
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Chicken carnitas made in the pressure cooker are quick and easy! We crisp them up in the broiler, and they are perfect to meal-prep and enjoy for the week! Serve with tortillas, diced onions, chopped cilantro, sauteed cabbage, lime wedges, and anything else you like!

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Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
25 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Chicken:
Chipotle Sauce:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle over chicken breasts on both sides.

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  • Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear chicken breasts, 1 to 2 minutes per side, working in batches so chicken sears rather than steams. Transfer chicken to a plate.

  • Add garlic and onion to the hot cooker; cook and stir until browned evenly on all sides, about 2 minutes. Return chicken to the pressure cooker along with lime juice, chicken broth, cilantro, chipotle pepper with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, orange zest and juice, and bay leaf. Close and lock the lid. Set timer for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size of chicken breasts.

  • Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, milk, chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, salt, and garlic powder to an electric blender. Blend chipotle sauce until smooth.

  • Release pressure from the cooker using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, 10 to 40 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid.

  • Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

  • Transfer chicken breasts to a clean surface and reserve cooking liquid. Shred chicken meat using 2 forks. Place in a large bowl and drizzle 1/4 cup cooking liquid over chicken; toss to coat. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over the surface of a baking sheet. Add chicken to the sheet and drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil on top. Stir to coat evenly.

  • Broil chicken in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Toss chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid and rotate the pan for even broiling. Continue broiling until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Serve with chipotle sauce.

Cook's Notes:

You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts, if you'd like.

Leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be kept in a zip-top bag in the freezer.

Instead of releasing pressure naturally, you can also use the vent setting if available, allowing to vent completely before removing the lid.

Nutrition Facts

236 calories; protein 19.6g; carbohydrates 4.7g; fat 15.3g; cholesterol 56.1mg; sodium 185.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (4)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/24/2020
This was a HUGE hit with the whole family. Will definitely make again. Good savory flavor that complemented the spice. Read More
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2020
I used chicken thighs and skipped the cilantro (Yuck!). I used low fat Mayo for the sauce, and I skipped the whole broiler exercise because it seemed to be a lot of work. These carnitas were delicious. The sauce was wonderful. I served these with flour tortillas and cabbage that I sauteed in a little lemon olive oil. Great meal. Thanks a lot for the recipe! It's my go-to now. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/26/2021
amazing Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/23/2020
This was a HUGE hit with the whole family. Will definitely make again. Good savory flavor that complemented the spice. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2020
This was really good! I wasn't sure about the baking after cooking. I don't think it's necessary unless you want the "crispy" part. I did want to try it crispy and am happy I made the extra effort! I did not use the chipotle sauce in the recipe though, I don't like mayo. I found a substitute online and it worked out perfectly. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/21/2020
I really like this recipe, and honestly the sauce is the highlight for me. I will say that it doesn’t usually end up getting crispy, but that’s fine for how we serve this. I like to double the recipe and use the meat as filling for quesadillas, tacos, etc. for a quick meal. I wonder if anyone has found a good way to use the leftover liquid? Lots of good flavor in that, too! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/21/2021
My first time making this in an instapot. Tastes delicious, but a dutch oven would have been faster. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
08/20/2019
I made this with the suggested chicken thighs and my family loved it. There were parts of the recipet hat were lost a bit in translation but after reviewing the original personal recipe we got it made. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2021
Made in an IP Duo+Crisp, so I used the air fryer broiler button instead of broiling in the oven. My husband and son *loved* it (I'm veg). Next time I would pour off the broth and drizzle a little over instead of just returning shredded chicken to the pot to increase crispiness. I made spanish rice from a box (gasp!) in the bake pan on the tall trivet while pressure cooking the chicken (8 mins) and it turned out perfect. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/18/2021
This was the best chicken I've made for tacos. The chicken was incredibly flavorful and would make excellent tacos even if you didn't broil it. The chipotle sauce was fantastic. I did substitute plain Greek yogurt for the mayo. My son has asked that we make some the next time we have french fries. Read More