Chicken Carnitas Recipe - moist, tendered chicken tossed in taco seasoning and a hint of bbq sauce. |

Chicken Carnitas

The most tendered, juicy and moist chicken carnitas recipe. Ready just under 45 minutes. 

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1.5 lbs. boneless chicken breast (about 4 pieces)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning I used Trader Joe's taco seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 adobo peppers


  1. To poach the chicken, fill a saucepan with enough water for the chicken breast to submerge. 

  2. Bring the water to boil and place the chicken breast in water. Cover the lid, bring it back up to boil. 

  3. Remove from heat, set aside with lid on for 20 to 25 minutes. 

  4. Remove chicken from the saucepan and shred chicken breast with two forks. 

  5. Sprinkles taco seasoning, salt, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over chicken. Set aside. 

  6. Heat oil in a medium skillet  over medium heat. Add in minced garlic, onion and saute until fragrant. 

  7. Add adobo peppers, shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, water. Stir well so all the sauce are well incorporated with the chicken. 

  8. Simmer on low for 3 minutes until all sauce are absorbed. If it seems dry, add a bit more water. Season to taste accordingly.

Recipe Notes

Depending on the type of barbecue sauce used, you might need to add more or less salt.

To prevent the chicken from drying, add water.