Heat a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat until edges are warm to touch, and then add olive oil. When oil is hot begin to thin and flow, add pieces of chicken, skin side down, until floor of pot is filled. Don't overcrowd the pot. Brown chicken in at least two batches unless the pan is very large. As pieces brown, turn them over and brown other side. Remove browned pieces and place on platter. When all chicken is browned, drain off all but very thin film of fat and oil.
Add onions to Dutch oven and cook over low heat until limp and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper to taste and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in sherry, dissolved saffron, 1/2-cup water, and balsamic vinegar. Return chicken to pan, cover , and cook , turn, cook through about 45 minutes. Remove chicken pieces and skim off fat with spoon. 1/4 cups liquid remaining.
About 20 minutes before serving, in a small saucepan, heat vodka to just below boiling point; do not boil. Remove from heat and add lavender buds. Allow steeping 15 minutes. Strain out and discard flowers and return vodka to the saucepan. Add the defatted pan juices and heat to cook off alcohol, 3 to 4 minutes.
Return the chicken and the sauce to the Dutch oven, and heat gently until warmed through. Pour honey over top. Serve topped with toasted almonds.