Mouth watering is a foodie way to say to salivate  

Over here in the Middle East, the most common style of poultry consumed is the meat of the chicken leg and thigh. This is very unlike the norm throughout most of the West where the most popular cut of the poor bird is the breast, and chicken steaks taken from the leg and thigh are little known.

Now as we all know the chicken breast has very little fat and is therefore prone to become very dry very easily. Nevertheless it is used in most culinary recipes from cordon bleu to chicken Kiev and everything else in between requiring white chicken meat. The simple fact is that the meat of the leg and thigh when removed from the bone provides for a very attractive chicken steak which retains its liquids and remains juicy no matter what you do to it.

In Israel, this cut of chicken meat is known as “Pargit” which literally translated means young chicken, and as we all know, everything that is young is fresh, soft and tender. The texture of the “pargit” is such and highly recommended.

I have an unsubstantiated theory as to why there are so many chicken legs and thighs available for consumption as “pargit” in Israel and concluded that it is directly linked to the dearth of KFC fast food outlets here. There are a few KFC outlets in Israeli Arab towns such as Nazareth and Baka Al Gabya, as well as in the main Arab cities of West Bank such as Hebron, Ramallah and Tulkarem. I suppose its popularity in the Arab community is that it’s really a fast-food version of the popular Arab dish maqluba which primarily uses drum sticks and rice, a kind of crumbed maqluba in a bucket.

As KFC apparently soak their chicken in milk before crumbing and frying and the laws of Kashrut prohibit the mixing of milk and meat its not surprising that KFC has set up shop in the Arab sector and not the Jewish sector in Israel.

‘Pargit” is easy to season, even easier to prepare and super quick on the grill and then to finish to perfection in the oven.

“Pargit” Mustard/Lemon/Garlic/Basil/Parsley grilled Chicken Steak: a great one for the BBQ

Ingredients and Marinade:

  • “Pargit” chicken steak from leg and thigh x 1 kg.
  • Olive oil x 60-70 ml
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Garlic teeth crushed x 6
  • Dijon mustard x 4 tsp.
  • Granulated sea salt x 4 tsp.
  • Ground black pepper x 2 tsp.
  • Chopped basil x ½ cup
  • Chopped parsley x ½ cup


Put everything into a bowl, mix well, add the chicken steaks, mix ensuring the steaks are well coated, cover; then put into the fridge and let sit for at least an hour.

Heat the grill as hot as you can. Using an onion on a fork and canola oil, clean and lubricate the grill before throwing the chicken steaks on, smooth side face down. Sprinkle a little more coarse salt and ground black pepper, turn the steaks over after a minute or so and give them another minute on the other side. Remove from the grill so they will have the grilled look and flavour without being incinerated or dry. You can refrigerate and do in the oven later on at your leisure.

Preheat oven to 200 C. On a tray on oven paper, place steaks in oven and cook for seven to eight minutes and they will be ready, tender and juicy.

Great with rice, or roast potato and sweet potato.

Next week another Jewish great. How to make the cheapest cut of meat the most tender. Shtetl fare and its part in Culinary USA.

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The BFD Food Column: ‘Pargit’ Mustard/Lemon/Garlic/ Basil/Parsley Grilled Chicken Steak
Daniel Goldwater

Daniel Goldwater

Ex-New Zealander, lover of the buzz that emanates from Jerusalem, Israel and the wider Med. region. Self-trained chef and entrepreneur, trained Pastry chef and former Personal chef to the Ambassador of...