FOR THE PICKLED ONIONS:
1 1/4 cups champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves
1 small dried red chile
5 black peppercorns
A few pinches salt
6 small yellow onions, peeled, sliced into 1/4"–1/2"-thick rings and separated, ends discarded
FOR THE SALAD:
2 oz. sliced bacon, cut crosswise into about 1" pieces
2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. chicken livers, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons whole zante or 6 halved seedless red flame grapes
2 small handfuls watercress
1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons oloroso sherry
For the pickled onions: Combine 1 1/4 cups water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, chile (broken in half if you like a spicier pickle), peppercorns, and salt in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and add onions. Gently stir the crowded onions as the brine returns to a simmer, then simmer them for 45 seconds. Pour onions and brine into clean jars and allow to cool. Tightly cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 day and up to 6 months.
For the salad: Put bacon into a medium skillet and cook over medium heat until just crisp. Set bacon aside, reserving rendered fat in skillet. Increase heat to medium-high and add 1 1/2 tbsp. of the oil. Add livers, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until they are browned on each side and faintly rosy on the inside, 1–1 1/2 minutes per side. Stir in bacon, grapes, and 8–10 ringlets of the pickled onions (save remaining onions for another use).
Toss watercress with vinegar and 1/4 tsp. of the oil, then divide between 2 plates. Spoon half the livers, bacon, grapes, and onions onto each plate. Deglaze skillet with sherry over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, then add remaining oil, swirling skillet over the heat. Spoon sauce over livers and salad and serve immediately.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Saveur, Issue #77