I was cruising the internet for copycat recipes for some of my favorite places. Carrabbas is one place we looveee to go.
Well, surprisingly enough, I came across a website for PBS. Did you know that one of the Carrabba brothers hosts a cooking show on there? YES! This was one of the free recipes they had available on the website. The official italian name for this dish is Involtini di Pollo. Absolutely delicious.
Dice half of an onion.
Mince 2 cloves garlic.
Thaw 1/2 cup spinach. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible. Set aside.
Remove the casing off two mild italian sausage links. Set aside.
Heat about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a skillet. Saute the onion and garlic for a minute.
Sprinkle in a little fennel seed.
Add the italian sausage. Break apart while it cooks.
When there's no longer any pink in the sausage, add the spinach. Remove from heat and mix well. Make sure you break up the meat and spinach so they are well distributed.
Remove from the pan and put in a bowl. Cool a little.
Break in one egg.
Grate about 1/2 cup fresh parmegiano-reggiano.
Mix everything together well.
Take a long length of saran and put it on the counter. Sprinkle lightly with cornstarch.
Put down the chicken breasts. I used three and just spaced them out on the saran. Dust lightly with cornstarch and then put another length of saran on top.
Use a mallet or a heavy skillet to pound out the meat starting in the center and working your way out.
This is about as thin as you want it. Any thinner and you're going to rip it apart.
Put a couple tablespoons of filling down the middle of the chicken breast.
Roll up and seal with toothpicks.
At this stage, wrap each involtini with saran and hold in the fridge overnight. This firms everything up and keeps it from falling apart while cooking. You could easily freeze these too. Wrap in saran and then hold in freezer bags.
Heat 2 Tbsp butter and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a skillet.
Sear all sides of the involtini.
Remove from the pan and put in an oven safe dish. Cover with foil and put in the oven at 250*. This is just to keep them warm while you make the sauce.
Cut one stick of butter up into 8 pieces.
Using the same skillet you cooked the chicken in, add 1/4 cup chicken stock.
Add 1/3 cup red wine. Cook this down while scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Season with some salt and pepper.
Keep over medium high heat until half the liquid has evaporated.
Add 2 pats of butter at a time, stirring frequently. You don't want this to come to a boil because it will break up the sauce.
Once the 2 pats are melted, add another two. Keep doing this until you've added all the butter and you have a smooth sauce.
Remove chicken from the oven and carefully pull out the toothpicks. Slice on the diagonal and plate. Spoon some sauce over the top.
I served this chicken with some lemon basil linguini. I don't have pictures of the pasta dish, but I will walk you through it.
1 handful linguini pasta, boiled in salt water and drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp basil (fresh is best, but dried works just as well)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 Tbsp butter
In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Saute the garlic for a minute. Don't let it burn. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Remove from the heat and toss in the cheese and butter. Toss well. Serve immediately.