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Let’s face it, chicken breasts are really bland. Especially when there’s no skin (i.e. fat and flavor). And Baked chicken has a reputation for being even worse! When you don’t sear it at all over the stove top, you’re losing out on texture too. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to make this innately boring cut of meat into something really delicious that will have the whole family excited. And no, it doesn’t always mean stuffing the chicken. Below are our top tips for making better (uncomplicated) baked chicken breasts.

Placing Chicken breasts over a bed of lemon slices is an easy and affordable way to infuse a ton of fresh flavor. Limes and oranges work well too!

This is by no means the only seasoning rout you can go. Craving Mexican? Try 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Feeling Italian? Try 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. The flavor combinations are endless. Just remember that in the world of spices, a little bit goes a long way.

Honestly, it’s kind of amazing how much of a difference brown sugar, garlic powder, and paprika (all ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry) can do. Not only does it add a slightly smoky, sweet taste, but it makes your chicken look way prettier. (Naked salt-and-pepper chicken breasts are a very sad sight to behold.)

Duh. But for people without a ton of kitchen confidence, it can be tricky to tell if chicken is cooked through unless you slice into it, which can cause all those flavorful (lemony) juices to escape. You’ll get the hang of being able to tell just by feel (it should be firm but not rock solid) but until then, we recommend using a thermometer. 165° is your magic number for cooked-through chicken.

Regardless of how hungry you are, let the baked chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Cut too early, and you might end up a dry and bland chicken breast atop a messy pool of juices.

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