Make a sheer film of oil in bottom of a 12-inch saute pan (not non-stick) and heat over medium high. Add chicken in a single layer and scatter with onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook about 30 seconds per side to sear. Turn heat to medium low. Using a zester, shred the colored rind (zest) of the orange over the pan. Cook chicken 4 minutes per side, or until firm when pressed with a finger. Turn onion pieces with chicken.
Remove to a serving platter and keep warm. Pour away all but a tablespoon or so of fat from pan. Set over medium high. Add any desired flavorings, sauteeing for just a minute or so. Add wine. Using a wooden spatula, simmer wine as you scrape up the brown glaze in the pan. When wine is all but gone, add stock and simmer, stirring until deeply flavored. Taste for seasoning.
Depending upon the intensity of your glaze, you might want a little more stock. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.
Copyright 1996 Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.