This dinner turned out a be a little more prep that I was originally imagining, but when it was all said and done, it was definitely worth the extra effort. In the end, it was almost 2 hours including prep and cooking time (thankfully I attempted this on a Sunday!). Next time I make this, I might try using a bag of frozen pearl onions instead of boiling the fresh cipolline ones to save a little time.
The flavor was the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. Sometimes I shy away from recipes calling for raisins or other sweet flavors, but with the vinegar and salt, they were just right. I ate every single one off my plate!
Vinegar-Braised Chicken and Onions
via bon appetit
2 pounds cipolline or pearl onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
5 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and/or legs; breasts halved crosswise)
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 bay leaves
Cook the onions in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim root ends; peel.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add pancetta to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and pancetta is brown, 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a large bowl. Add onions to same pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with pancetta.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken to pot skin side down and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 10-15 minutes per batch; transfer to bowl with onions.
Carefully drain fat from pot and return to medium-high heat. Add both vinegars to pot and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Add broth, raisins, bay leaves, and reserved chicken, pancetta, onions, and garlic to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is fork-tender, 35-40 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and onions to a large platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid and discard. Remove bay leaves, and season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and onions.