Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.
Offering Italian-inspired cuisine passed down from our founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses only the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, customers can enjoy signature dishes, including Chicken Bryan, Spiedino di Mare and a fresh twist on an Italian Classic, Wood-grilled Chicken Marsala. Carrabba’s was voted #1 Italian in the 2014 Consumer Picks Survey by Nation’s Restaurant News.
Carrabba's Copycat Recipe
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and wrung of all water
2 mild Italian sausages, removed from casings
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 cup parmegiano-reggiano, grated
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and garlic. Saute for a minute. Add the fennel seed and sausage. Use a spatula to break the meat apart as it cooks. When there is no longer any pink showing, add the spinach. Remove from the heat and mix well to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Dump into a bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes. Add the egg and cheese. Mix well.
Pound out the chicken breasts until they’re about a half inch thick. Put a couple tablespoons of filling in the middle. Roll up and seal with toothpicks. Let sit in the fridge, covered, overnight.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet. Sear the chicken on all sides. Remove from the pan and put in an oven safe dish. Put in a 250 degree oven to hold while you make the sauce.
Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/3 cup red wine. Season with some salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat until half the liquid has evaporated. Cut one stick of butter into 8 pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and stir frequently to melt. Don’t let the sauce come to a boil. Once the two pieces melt, add 2 more. Repeat until all pieces have been melted and incorporated into the sauce. Remove from heat. Pull chicken from the oven and carefully remove the toothpicks. Slice the chicken on the diagonal and plate. Spoon some sauce over the top. Serve with lemon basil linguine.
LEMON BASIL LINGUINE
Carrabba's Copycat Recipe
1 handful linguine pasta, boiled in salt water and drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon 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 tablespoon 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.