In this famous dish from southwest France, chicken is infused with the flavors of meltingly tender onions, Armagnac, and silky-salty Bayonne ham, for which prosciutto makes an admirable substitute.
If you think slicing up two pounds of onions will result in a lot of eye watering, try this method I learned in southwest France: sprinkle the chopping board with a few drops of vinegar. If that doesn't help, sprinkle a few more drops of vinegar directly on the onions as you slice them. When all the onions are sliced, simply rinse them under running water to remove the vinegar. Washing won't spoil their flavor. In fact, the onions should be wet for this dish so they won't burn but will slowly wilt as they cook. The addition of a little water softens them up before the sugars are released. Once soft, they will naturally turn golden.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.