Here’s a slow cooker chicken dish that you can use for simple tortilla roll-ups, tacos, or tostada salads. While the chicken is on the home-stretch of cooking, set out an assortment of goodies for serving: tortillas or chips, shredded cheddar, queso fresco, or cotija, guacamole or avocado slices, lettuce or shredded cabbage, chopped white onion, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, salsa and/or hot sauces.
Double the ingredients for a group of 8 or 10 (dinner), or large party potluck.
Mexican Chicken in the Slow Cooker
- 6 - 8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs about 2 pounds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled, halved, and sliced ¼-inch
- 2 red or orange bell peppers halved, seeded, and sliced ¼-inch
- 1 cup chicken broth low-sodium Swanson is a good one
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt depending on the broth you use, you might not need this extra salt
Serve with: 6-inch tortillas, cheese, avocado, chopped white onion, cilantro, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and salsa or hot sauce
Trim away excess skin and fat from chicken but leave some skin on to brown. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other cooking oil) in large dutch oven or stovetop-safe slow cooker insert over medium heat on stovetop. Add chicken and lightly brown on both sides. Remove chicken to plate and set aside.
Add a fresh tablespoon of olive oil to pan, add the sliced onion and bell pepper strips, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the browned chicken and any juices to the pot. Pour in the broth and sprinkle in the cumin, oregano, and salt. Transfer insert to slow cooker, cover, and cook on low heat setting for 3-4 hours until chicken is well cooked and falling off the bone.
Transfer chicken pieces (and the vegetables you can catch) to a cutting board using a slotted spoon, and put the pot of broth on the stovetop, medium-high heat (if your slow cooker insert is not stovetop safe, transfer the broth to a pot); simmer to reduce the broth slightly and concentrate the flavors.
Remove the skin and bone from each piece of chicken, shred or chop the meat, and return it to the broth to serve.
Serving options: roll up the filling in tortillas (or serve as tacos or tostadas) and garnish with shredded cheddar or cotija, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, chopped white onions, pickled jalapeño, sour cream, hot sauce, anything you like that brings Mexican flavors to life.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- If your slow cooker has a ceramic insert that is not stovetop-safe (traditional crock pots were often made this way), brown the chicken and cook the veggies in a separate pan then transfer to your crock pot/slow cooker.
- Instead of a slow cooker, you can use a pot on the stovetop—cover with a lid and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. I like to use a “dutch oven” as it retains a lot of heat and keeps things moist.
- I like using bone-in chicken pieces because the flavor of the chicken and broth is greatly enhanced over “boneless skinless” options.
- This recipe can be doubled, just don’t crowd your chicken pieces when browning—you may need to do this in batches.