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slow cooker citrus chicken on a white plate with slices of orange and lemon and lime

Slow Cooker Citrus Chicken (Pollo Asado)

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Slow Cooker Citrus Chicken (Pollo Asado) yields bright citrus flavors and tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone chicken. A super easy recipe with delicious results!
Servings 6


  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey omit for whole30
  • 4 whole garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 pound bone-in chicken legs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the orange, lemon, lime juice, and honey along with ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside ¼ cup of the citrus mixture.
  • Place the chicken thighs and legs into the base of a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, then pour over the remaining citrus mixture. Nestle in the onion pieces and garlic cloves. Note: You may also add the citrus rinds at this point (as pictured). Some readers have found the addition of the rinds bitter, so if in doubt, discard them out and just use the juice.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6, or until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Place the legs and thighs onto a metal baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons citrus mixture, then broil on high 5-10 minutes or until the skin is crispy.
  • Serve the remaining citrus mixture for dipping and serve the chicken immediately. Alternatively, if you prefer to skip the broiler, simply remove the skin and serve the chicken shredded off the bone with the citrus mixture on the side for dipping.


If you don't have lemons and limes, just use 4 lemons or 4 limes.
Serve the chicken on the bone, or shred the meat and serve in rice bowls or in tacos with beans, pico de gallo, guacamole or sliced avocado, and plenty of hot sauce.
If you are very sensitive to the bitter side of citrus, leave the citrus rinds out, and can skip the lime juice. You can also discard the juice remaining in the slow cooker.
Recipe inspired by The Pioneer Woman's Pollo Asado