Sunday, January 5, 2014

Vinegar Braised Chicken and Onions

    Cooking in a Dutch oven is awesome. It feels like high-end slow cooking. It also makes wonderful meals. You may remember me raving about the Baked Daube Provencal I made last year. Maybe you didn't. OK, it's more than likely you didn't. Go read the post now, I'll wait. Back? All right. Anyways, I found this recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit. Naturally, I had to make some changes to compensate for lack of requested ingredients. I figure onions are onions and I can't be bothered to make a special trip to the store. I was a bit leery of this recipe. A bunch of vinegar and raisins added in there didn't sound like a great idea, but it worked. We served it up with an Oven Gratin of Potatoes. I'd definitely make this one again. As always, any notes or changes are in blue.

Vinegar Braised Chicken and Onions
via Bon Appetit
  • 2 pounds cipolline or pearl onions (Didn't have either of these. I used two pounds of yellow and red onions)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4-inch pieces (Nope. I used regular bacon.)
  • 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 low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Cook onions in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim root ends; peel (I totally ignored most of this step. I just peeled and sliced the onions and moved on).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and onions to a large platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid and discard. Remove bay leaves (remember what my mom taught us: bay leaves left in a dish will lead to a choking death every time), and season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and onions.
Good times!

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