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Celery braised in Madeira from Florence Aaron & Paula Peck

As with veal kidneys Duke of Clarence style, Noël Cossart gives the ladies credit for this recipe but fails adequately to identify the source. It is a sympathetic and, for celery, hearty accompaniment to any grilled or roast bird or meat. As with the duke’s kidneys (not his own, the ones he ate) the Editor has visited certain liberties on the original recipe, as outlined in the Notes. Four servings.

  • CeleryWithHerbyButter.jpg2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 minced scallions
  • 3 cups celery cut into 1 inch crescents
  • heaped ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup Madeira
  • a splash or two of celery bitters if you have any
  • 2 egg yolks (always the tricky part)
  • about 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet until it shimmers, then fry the scallions over medium low heat until golden.
  2. Add the celery, celery seed, and chicken stock, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat and simmer the celery until barely fork tender, usually in about 15 minutes.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks into the Madeira and add a little of the braising liquid to the mixture.
  5. Whisk the Madeira mixture into the celery, “stirring constantly but gently,” as Cossart says (and to prevent the yolks from curdling), “until the sauce thickens.” Scatter the parsley over the braised celery and serve it up.

-The original recipe fries a minced clove of garlic with the scallions, but its pungency detracts from the bright flavor of the celery. The Editor has added the celery seed and optional bitters; when it comes to the flavor tones of celery, more is more. We want more. Cossart also omits the parsley and sprinkles his braised celery with dill instead but we do not like it.
-Cossart does not specify a particular grade of Madeira but we like our savory dishes… savory. So we choose a drier grade like Rainwater or Sercial.