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This easy grilled chicken breast recipe is perfect for summer

Seasoned, grilled chicken breasts are on the table

Seasoned, grilled chicken breasts are on the table in about 15 minutes. Credit: Marge Perry

There aren’t many dinners as fast and easy — or well-suited for summer — as grilled chicken breasts. Simple seasoning, a squeeze of lime or lemon and a sprinkling of a fresh herb are all it takes to make a satisfying dinner.

The key to cooking boneless chicken breasts long enough to be safe but short enough to remain tender and juicy is an instant-read meat thermometer. Don’t go by color — the chicken can be white and still undercooked, or slightly pink and safe. Insert the instant-read thermometer horizontally into the breast until the tip is at the center of the thickest part: it should register 160 degrees.

Consider the seasoning in the recipe below a guide: change it up to suit your taste. Use whatever dried herbs and spices you like: add spicy heat with a pinch of cayenne; give it a Tex-Mex vibe with smoked chipotle chili powder; or make it an Italian with dried basil and oregano. Then throw it on the grill and stand by: within 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the breasts) dinner is ready. It’s really that easy — and delicious.

Spice-Dusted Grilled Chicken Breasts

4 (7-8 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves, flattened to even thickness

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane zester or very finely minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Lime wedges and fresh cilantro, if desired

1. Prepare the grill for direct medium heat (350° to 450°F) cooking.

2. Combine the chicken, oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; toss well.

3. Grill the chicken over direct heat with the lid closed 10-12 minutes, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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