Carrabba's Chicken Marsala


by Todd Wilbur



     Menu Description: Fire-roasted chicken breast topped with mushrooms, prosciutto and our Florio Marsala wine sauce."


     For Carrabba's clones, this recipe tops the list in numbers of requests that roll in. To reverse engineer this big-time favorite entree, we ordered our dish to go, with the sauce on the side, to better attack each element separately in the underground lab. Recreating the secret sauce is easy enough with a couple small cans of sliced mushrooms, a bit of prosciutto, marsala wine, shallots, garlic and some other good stuff. As for cooking up your chicken, make sure your barbecue grill is good and hot. The restaurant chain grills the chicken breasts over a very hot real wood fire, so crank that grill up high enough to get the flames nipping at your chicken. And if your grill has a lid, keep it open. 


Marsala Sauce

1/3 cup butter

1 slice prosciutto, diced

2 teaspoons minced shallots

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 4-ounce cans sliced mushrooms (drained)

1/4 cup marsala wine

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup chicken stock

2 teaspoons corn starch

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

2 tablespoons heavy cream


Chicken Spice

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon marjoram

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder


4 chicken breasts (small butterfly cut double breasts or large single breasts)

olive oil   


1. Melt butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.

2. Turn heat up to medium/high to sauté the prosciutto in the melted butter for about 2-3 minutes (be careful not to burn the butter). Add shallots and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add marsala wine, simmer for another 30 seconds or so, then add mushrooms (drain off liquid) and black pepper. Simmer over medium/high heat for 5 minutes.

3. Dissolve corn starch in chicken stock. Add stock to the saucepan and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

4. Add parsley and cream to the sauce and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until thick. Remove pan from the heat, then cover it until needed.

5. Preheat barbecue grill on high heat. Combine ingredients for chicken spice in a small bowl. Use your thumb and fingers to crush the spices in the bowl to make a finer blend.

6. Brush each chicken breast generously with olive oil. Sprinkle spice blend over both sides of each chicken breast and grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done. Give chicken a one-quarter turn on each side while cooking to make criss-cross grill marks.

7. Serve entree by arranging each chicken breast on a plate. Spoon one quarter of the marsala sauce over each serving of chicken and serve it up. (


Serves 4.