What is more wonderful than a poached egg?  Many things, perhaps, but not when you’ve been traveling, or you’re in a hurry, or your child has a performance and you’ve got one hour to make and serve a decent meal.  Or really at any time at all when you want something delicious and fast.

That is the case for me now. I’m just back from a most amazing trip to Asheville, where I taught the best of the best (you know who you are!), and poached eggs were on the menu. I love them atop a salad, a puree of just about any vegetable or, my real favorite, on a well-toasted, heavily buttered slice of bread.  Any of these combinations makes a good meal.  To help you recreate this I made a quick video demonstration.  I hope you’ll follow along.

Here are the written instructions too, to help you make a foolproof poached egg:

dated eggs

Dated eggs from my friend Louis’ hens…

Buy the best large eggs you can find.  They should be at room temperature, and honestly, not JUST out of the chicken. Here, we say an egg should be at least a week “old” before it’s ready to be used. That’s why eggs in France – whether they’re laid commercially or in someone’s garden – are dated.

Break an egg into a small bowl so you can slip it easily into the water.

Bring a good-sized saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of white wine or regular white vinegar – this helps the egg white solidify and stick with the yolk. You can use red if that’s what you’ve got – it just adds a little color to the egg.

Reduce the heat so the water is boiling vigorously but not explosively, and pour the egg right into the whorl, where the bubbles come up from the bottom of the pan and create a little bubbly mound on top of the water.  The egg will fly around the pan, so you can add others to the whorl – up to four at a time, depending on the size of your pan.  Spoon the egg white up around the yolk if necessary – sometimes a very fresh egg will not hold together well, so you need to help it along.

When the yolk is to your liking – for soft, 2 minutes –  remove the egg with a slotted spoon, and transfer it to a plate lined with a cotton towel or, if you want to eat it immediately, set the slotted spoon on the towel and tap it gently so the water comes off the egg.  Watch a video on poaching eggs here

Proceed to your glorious poached egg, after seasoning it generously with salt and pepper.

Bon Appétit!

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10 Responses to Poached Eggs

  1. Kathee Dowis says:

    Yesterday I saw your post on FB about poaching an egg. I did it this morning and it was perfect. No sticking to the bottom of the pot!!!!

    Love the Asheville snaps. My son attends Brevard College not too far away.

    As always, love your posts!

    Kathee Dowis

  2. One of my favorite dishes for breakfast…add an avocado and I am in heaven.

  3. Robyn says:

    Hi Susan, I find if the eggs are good quality I don’t need vinegar, but a good pinch of sea salt achieves the same result, without that vinegar after taste. Great video! Love your books too.
    Cheers Robyn from Australia

    • Susan says:

      Robyn – I get the very freshest eggs and they dissolve all over the place in the water! And I’m glad you use salt, but it’s notorious for not allowing eggs to hold together. I’ll have to do some research on that one! Thanks for the compliment. I’m a video novice but it’s so fun to do!

  4. Lorraine Sabourin says:

    I absolutely love poached eggs. Being a diabetic, this is a very healthy thing for me to eat. I like mine on a crisply toasted piece of sprouted whole grain bread, buttered, with two eggs on top. Maybe a couple of slices of tomato on the side. We always mashed the eggs and salted and peppered them. Yum!!! I will never forget our lovely lunch with you Susan, during the Fall Fair in Louvier in Oct. 2014. My daughter Kelley and husband, Frank were with me and you cooked the most delicious lunch for us. It was great being just the four of us together. You made a rhubarb (from your garden) crème tart for dessert with home made ice cream. Luscious! It was a wish fulfilled for me. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and we so loved the Fair. Brought home some memorable gifts. Love keeping up with you and can’t wait for your new book. A hug for you from all of us. Lorrie Sabourin

    • Susan says:

      Lorrie – I’m glad that you can enjoy poached eggs. They’re one of my favorite meals. Simple and delicious. I’m glad you have such great memories – wish you could see the rhubarb plant now. It’s October and there are still stalks. They’re skinny, but I’m sure they’re delicous. And ice cream is on the menu tomorrow for lunch with the group who is here now. I’m so glad to hear from you!

  5. Dawn Murrietta says:

    Thank you Susan for reminding me how deliciously easy a poached egg can be. I have chickens and certainly take my eggs for granted, I have overlooked them for dinner too often! I will follow the french way and make them more often for dinner:)

    • Susan says:

      Dawn, You have your own chickens, lucky you! And you’ll find their eggs a wonderful, wonderful supper dish, particularly when poached.

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