Rolled Meat Palermo Style or Marsala-Orange Sauce

(“Involtini alla Palermitana o al Marsala”)
(“Bracioli ri Carni”)


This dish is prepared in all the regional cuisines, not only in Italy, but all over the world. The various fillings and different cooking techniques give to the rolled meat special characteristics and diverse taste.
This small package of meat rolled around spices or herbs or preserved and seasoned meat, or a combination of it, in English is called bird, in French paupiette or roulade, in Italian is involtino di carne.
In Sicilian it is called braciola because it is roasted in the brace, the embers,
in fact in Palermo it is mostly barbequed.
It is also browned before being baked or slowly braised in wine or stock.
The braising or baking tenderizes the meat and develops flavors.
When the bracioli are braised or baked, orange juice and Marsala wine is added.
The sweetness of the Marsala in combination with the sour taste of the fresh orange juice gives to the bracioli an exceptional fragrance and a rich gusto. This mosaic of those diverse scents will result in an unforgettable feast for the palate. If all the ingredients are not available, be inventive :use what is in your pantry!


Serves 4




The Meat
Ask your butcher to cut 12 very thin slices of veal to make braciole (Or 12 slices of boneless chicken breast). Each slice should be at least about 4X3 inches. If it is not this size or larger, beat the meat with a mallet, between two sheets of plastic wrap, to the desired size.

The Stuffing

  • ½ medium size onion, chopped 
  • ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs, toasted in the oven for 3 minutes 
  • 6 slices salami chopped 
  • ½ cup provola cheese, shredded 
  • ¼ cup pecorino cheese, grated 
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts 
  • 1 tablespoon of raisins, softened in water (optional) 
  • freshly grounded black pepper to taste 

The Braciole

  • 4 metal or wood skewers, use in pairs (metal is preferred) 
  • 8 bay leaves 
  • 4 pieces of onions 1X2 inch 
  • ¼ cup of olive oil 
  • 1 lb. breadcrumbs in a wide container 
  • butcher twine 

The Marsala Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • I medium size onion, chopped 
  • 1/3 cup of Marsala wine 
  • 1 orange 
  • zest of 1 orange 
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 




Making the Stuffing
In a large skillet heat ¼ cup of olive oil over a medium heat, add the onions and sauté until light golden color. Add breadcrumbs and sauté for 2 minutes.
Place in a bowl, add remaining ingredients, taste for salt, and set aside.

Making the Roasted Braciole
Place the cutlets on the working table, putting the shortest side in front of you, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.


                        Rolled Veal

Spread each slice with the stuffing and roll the cutlet up firmly in the shape of a small sausage, using 2 skewers at a time, secure the bracioli inserting 3 bracioli on each double skewer, separating them with a bay leaf and a slice of onion.
When ready to cook them, place ¼ cup of oil in a dish, dip both sides of the bracioli in it, and transfer to the container with the breadcrumbs.
Cover completely, shake off excess crumbs and set into a pan or dish.

On a hot grill, or the barbeque roast the bracioli for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning often, to make sure they do not burn. Do not overcook them.

If a grill is not available, bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until done.

Making the Braciole in Marsala-Orange Sauce
Place the cutlets on the working table, put the shortest side in front of you and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
Spread each slice with the stuffing and roll the cutlet up firmly in the shape of a small sausage, secure it with a toothpick or tie it with the butcher twine, gently, winding around and lengthwise. 


In a heavy skillet heat the olive oil and sauté the bracioli on all sides. 
When bracioli are lightly brown, add chopped onion and keep turning until onions are a light golden color.
Add the Marsala wine and cook over a high flame for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the skillet for any pieces of meat or onion stuck to it.
Add the orange juice, zest of the orange, salt, pepper and parsley; simmer for about 20 minutes for Veal Bracioli, - 30 minutes for Chicken
Keep turning bracioli every few minutes. Add some water if sauce does not cover at least ¼ of the bracioli.


Serving the Bracioli
Arrange on a serving dish, and finish with its sauce.
It can be served with boiled peas, or boiled potatoes, simply covered with the bracioli sauce.

                        Boiled PotatoesPeas