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