It’s time for grilled chicken, Israeli style! These boneless skinless chicken thighs, also known as pargiot, are marinated in Middle Eastern spices and grilled to perfection. They are tender, juicy, and a great way to spice up your chicken dinner. This dish cooks up quickly and is delicious for a weeknight meal or summertime cookout.
This dish is called pargiot (also spelled pargiyot), which in Hebrew means baby chicken or cornish hen. Pargiot is commonly made with boneless skinless chicken thighs that are marinated with Middle Eastern spices. Grilled boneless thighs are popular in Israel because they are a fresh, flavorful, juicy meal that cooks up in minutes.
This tasty recipe is perfect for summertime grilling, but can be made anytime of year indoors with a grill pan or cast iron skillet.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- So flavorful! These grilled chicken thighs are marinated in flavorful Middle Eastern spices that transport you to another world.
- Fast and easy. This easy chicken recipe has a quick prep time and also cooks up quickly!
- Tender and juicy. Using boneless chicken thighs are a great choice for the high heat of the grill since they stay juicy and tender.
These boneless chicken thighs are great for a quick weeknight meal or weekend summer BBQ. They work well for casual dinners in the sukkah during Sukkot. And are so tasty alongside Potato Latkes during Hanukkah.
If you get in a Passover rut, the flavors of this chicken dish bring excitement to the table. Serve pargiot with cauliflower rice (if you omit regular rice during Passover) and matbucha sauce (a red pepper tomato sauce).
This dish is often cooked on skewers kebab-style, but I like to grill the thighs as a whole piece for more even cooking and quicker prep.
This recipe is based on a friend’s family recipe that they serve during the week of Passover. Outdoor grilling instructions are adapted from grill master Jamie Purviance in Weber’s Ultimate Grilling cookbook, 2019.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
See the recipe card below for a complete ingredient list and measurements.Jump to Recipe
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs - This recipe also can be made with thin chicken breast cutlets. They will be a little less juicy yet still super flavorful. Cook for less time until 160ºF on a meat thermometer.
- Produce - Garlic, lemon juice, and parsley add a brightness to this dish. Fresh garlic can be substituted with garlic or onion powder.
- Dried herbs and spices - You will need cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, and allspice. These Middle Eastern spices make the perfect marinade for this dish! If you don’t have a specific ingredient on hand, you can leave it out as there is still plenty of flavor. Alternatively, a premixed spice blend can be used like baharat, ras el hanout, or shawarma.
Step by Step Photos
See the recipe card below for complete directions.Jump to Recipe
Combine the ingredients for the Israeli spiced chicken marinade.
Toss chicken thighs with the marinade, and marinate the chicken overnight or for at least 2 hours. If short on time, just 15 minutes of marinating will work too.
Grill chicken on a preheated grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Don’t skip the marinade! Even if it's only 15 minutes, marinating the chicken in the Middle Eastern spice blend will help the spices permeate into the meat.
- Grill it anytime of year. You can still get that grilled feeling for this chicken dish even in the winter by using a stovetop grill pan.
- Make it kid friendly. Chop the chicken into 1 inch cubes, toss with the marinade, let sit, then sear in a pan on the stove for 10-15 minutes, mixing often until crisp and cooked through. This is a great way to serve pargiot to kids in a fun way where it’s bite sized.
- Let it rest! Letting chicken rest before cutting into it helps the chicken retain its juices rather than run out.
- Overcook it? Why cook these chicken thighs to 175-190°F (80-88°C)? See this America’s Test Kitchen article about cooking chicken thighs. Chicken breasts become dry and tough when overcooked, but chicken thighs actually become more tender and juicy when cooked to a higher temperature.
Make the marinade and then let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours, up to overnight. Grill just before serving.
Storage and Reheating
How to store: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to reheat: Leave cooked chicken out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Reheat in the oven for about 5 minutes until warmed throughout. Be careful not to overcook and dry out.
What to serve with pargiot
These grilled chicken pargiot are delicious served with fluffy rice and a chopped Israeli salad with cucumbers, tomato, and mint. It’s good served with a drizzle of tahini sauce, a dollop of hummus, or this herbaceous green tahini. Can also be served with a pita.
More Israeli and Middle Eastern inspired recipes
- Za’atar Roasted Chicken
- Lemon Herb Green Tahini Sauce
- Jerusalem Salad (chopped tomato and cucumber)
- Arayes (meat stuffed pitas)
- Lamb Tagine
More chicken recipes
- Crispy Baked Chicken Schnitzel
- Chicken Marbella
- Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Chicken and Vegetables
- Italian Herb Chicken With Wine and Garlic
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken thighs actually become more tender and juicy when cooked to a higher temperature, so cook boneless chicken thighs to an internal temperature of 175-190°F (80-88°C).
Preheat the grill on medium high heat for about 15 minutes or until the grill reaches about 425ºF. Cook chicken thighs with direct heat and the lid closed for about 4-5 minutes per side. The chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 175-190°F (80-88°C) on a meat thermometer.
Pargiot (Grilled Israeli Chicken Thighs)
- Stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill
- Instant read digital food thermometer
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley heaping tablespoons, ½ ounce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice juice of about 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric optional
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil, to grease the grill pan
- Make the Marinade: Make the marinade in a large bowl: whisk together all ingredients except the chicken and neutral oil for the grill. Set aside.
- Prep chicken: Clean the boneless chicken thighs by using chicken shears or a sharp knife to cut off any excess fat or stringy pieces.
- Marinate the chicken: Place chicken thighs in the marinade, and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator covered for 2 hours or up to overnight. OR If pressed for time, a 15 minute marinate at room temperature will work too.
- To cook on a stovetop grill pan: Heat a stovetop grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Put a little neutral oil on a paper towel, and carefully rub it around the grill pan so that there is a light oil coating. Place chicken thighs on the grill, leaving 1⁄2” of space between each piece of chicken. Depending on the size of your grill, work in 1 to 2 batches. Cook chicken on each side for about 5 to 6 minutes.
- To cook on an outdoor grill: Preheat the grill on medium high heat for about 15 minutes or until the grill reaches about 425ºF (220°C). Cook with direct heat and the lid closed for about 4-5 minutes per side.
- The chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 175°F - 190°F (80-88°C) on a meat thermometer. Other signs that the chicken is cooked through include fairly firm to the touch, clear juices, no longer opaque on the inside, and brown grill marks and char on the outside.
- Transfer cooked chicken to a plate to cool for 10 about minutes before serving. Serve warm.
- Why cook these chicken thighs to 175-190°F (80-88°C)? Chicken breasts become dry and tough when overcooked, but chicken thighs actually become more tender and juicy when cooked to a higher temperature. Source: America's Test Kitchen.
- Make ahead: Make the marinade and then let the chicken marinade in the refrigerator for 4 hours, up to overnight. Grill just before serving.
- How to store: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat: Leave cooked chicken out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Reheat in the oven for about 5 minutes until warmed throughout. Be careful not to overcook and dry out.
- This recipe is based on a friend’s family recipe that they serve during the week of Passover. Outdoor grilling instructions are adapted from grill master Jamie Purviance in Weber’s Ultimate Grilling cookbook, 2019.