• About 24 small cipollini onions
• About 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
• Pinch of salt
• 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
To peel the onions, bring a Copper-Core sauce pan of water to a boil. Cut an ‘X’ in the root end of each onion. Drop the onions into the water for a few seconds, just long enough to loosen the skin. Remove the onions from the water and peel off the skin and outer layer of the onion if it is bruised.
Place the onions in a 3 or 4 quart sauté pan. They should fit in a single layer with room around the onions. Pour in enough stock to reach halfway up the sides of the onions.
Add enough water to just come to the top of the onions. The onions will float so press down on them to determine the correct level of liquid. Add the butter, salt and sugar to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Adjust the heat as necessary to cook the onions at a gentle simmer for about 50 minutes.
While the onions cook, bring a sauce pan of water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath. Wash and trim the root and ends of the onion shoots.
When the water is at a boil, add enough salt for the water to taste like the sea. Add the onion shoots and blanch for a minute or until they are just tender. Remove and place in the ice water. Dry on paper towels. When the cipollini onions are tender, the liquid should be reduced to a glaze that coats the onions. If there is excess liquid, continue to simmer the liquid to a glaze. Toss the onions with the onion shoots or chives just before serving.
Chef Thomas Keller's tip
"It is important that the cooking process is not rushed. If cooked too rapidly, the onions will break apart."