It is odd how celery flies under the fancy-food radar and is deemed so conventional, just a simple member of the mirepoix gang. To me, celery has a distinctive flavor and complexity, and it loves being cooked. Think of the first time you had cooked celery: It was probably in Thanksgiving stuffing or in a steamy paper container of takeout Chinese stir-fry. Think about how the celery stands out. Give the celery respect, because no respectable stuffing, chicken salad, Bloody Mary, or chicken wing setup would be complete without the celery.
- Preheat the circulator water bath to 85°C / 185°F.
- Take 8 celery stalks, peel them with a vegetable peeler to remove the fibers, and cut them into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the sliced celery in a resealable gallon-size plastic bag, add the chicken stock, kosher salt, and lemon zest, and seal the bag using the displacement method. Submerge the bag in the circulator water bath and cook for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the remaining 2 celery stalks and cut them into 1⁄8-inch-wide slices.
- Remove the bag from the hot water bath and drain the celery, discarding the liquid.
- In a medium bowl, combine the braised celery, the uncooked celery, and the celery leaves. Add the lemon juice and season with sea salt to taste. Add the olive oil, Parmesan, and almonds, and toss again to coat. Serve.
Reprinted with permission from Sous Vide, copyright © 2019 by Hugh Acheson, published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.