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There are so many ways to use these amazing Chicken Carnitas and using it in rice bowls is one of my favorite.

This chicken with roasted squash is absolutely delicious.


You can slow cook the chicken in a crockpot or in a cast iron pot in the oven. I find the crockpot works best for this…the chicken loses a lot more moisture in the oven.

When the meat is done slow cooking, spread it on a baking pan and drizzle all over with honey. Put it under the broiler stirring every couple of minutes until meat browns and begins to carmelize. Spoon on more juices as desired.


Peel and seed butternut and acorn squash and cut into bite-size pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, garlic salt and any seasoning mix you want.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes until squash is fork tender.


Whisk dressing ingredients together in bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. Spoon cooked rice into a individual serving bowl.
  2. Cover with roasted squash.
  3. Add Carnitas meat.
  4. Drizzle with Chipotle Dressing
  5. Top with roasted pepitas and chopped cilantro.


Chicken Carnitas

This is the most delicious Mexican chicken dish EVER! The chicken is slow roasted in citrus and spices and then carmelized under the broiler. The flavor is insane! @mostdeliciouslife.com
5 from 1 vote
Course dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican


  • 1 Crock Pot *OR cast iron dutch oven


  • 3 pounds chicken thighs skinless and boneless
  • tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 large oranges, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3-4 strips orange peel
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin and cut rings into 1-2 inch strips
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey


  • 3 small-med acorn squash


  • cilantro
  • roasted pepitas
  • lime wedges

Chipotle Dressing

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle sauce from the can with the peppers
  • pinch salt
  • pinch garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 350° (if using dutch oven).
  • Trim all fat from chicken thighs,
  • Cover bottom of crockpot (or dutch oven) with olive oil.
  • Layer chicken on top of oil.
  • Sprinkle chicken with all the seasoning.
  • Add garlic and orange rinds.
  • Mix together the orange juice, lime juice and chicken broth. Pour over chicken.
  • Stir together distributing all seasonings evenly.
  • Cook in crockpot cook 5-7 hours on low, 4-5 on high. (3 hours in the oven with the dutch oven.)
  • When meat is done, use forks to roughly shred chicken. Use tongs to place shredded chicken onto baking sheet.
  • Turn oven to broil. Drizzle honey over chicken. Broil for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and pour some of the juices over the meat. Stir and broil again for a couple of minutes. Depending on how much juice is left you can do again. Watch carefully so that the chicken doesn't burn and edges become carmelized.
  • Serving options:
    With tortillas and toppings
    In a Rice bowl with rice, roasted squash, black beans, sauce and toppings.
    In roasted acorn squash with toppings, drizzle with chipotle sauce.

Chipotle Dressing

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Adjust the amount of milk as needed.

Roasted Acorn Squash

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut a slice off the bottom so it will sit flat.
  • Place on baking sheet. Brush inside of each squash with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Roast for 40-50 minutes until fork tender.

Roasted Squash

    • Cut up butternut and acorn squash into 1-1½ chunks. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt, salt & pepper and any favorite seasonings. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 375° for about 15 minutes until fork tender.
    Keyword acorn squash, carnitas, chicken, mexican